Category: scam

Product Warranties vs. The Big Chain Stores

The NJ Tool Show is an annual event that my tool-nut friend and I eagerly anticipate all year. We get to see all the latest innovations in shop tools, from programmable laser cutters that sliced with such precision that they could duplicate a business card in 6 point type in a piece of oak veneer to shade tree inventions that seemed to have no practical use at all. It’s tool porn, no doubt about it. At one of the shows, maybe 2001, I ducked outside into the freezing January weather to grab a smoke — a habit I’m glad to

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Got three estimates? Get three more.

A couple of weeks ago, I did my annual pre-heating season ritual of flushing my 42 year-old Weil-McLain steam boiler in preparation for the ceremonial relighting of the pilot light. I learned later from a plumber that you shouldn’t flush a cold boiler because the fresh incoming water will leave chemical deposits. It was academic in this case however because the boiler drained dry. WTF? The low water cutoff (LWCO)/autofeed should have replenished the boiler with fresh water. It didn’t. Granted, the LWCO looks like some sort of World War 2-era device and it had never been serviced since I

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DOT sidewalk inspection scam?

My doorbell rang this afternoon. It was my cheerful postman, Kevin, and he had a certified letter for me. Certified letters are almost always buzzkillers. I could see from the envelope that this one was from the NYC Dept of Transportation so I knew it wasn’t congratulations from Publishers Clearinghouse. Kevin said that every house on the block, except one, got certified letters from DOT. What the hell, I’ve got nothing to be concerned about My sidewalk and curb are in excellent condition. I signed for the letter and opened it up. Inside was a Notice of Violation that my

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    Welcome to Brooklyn Row House

    This blog is about the challenges of renovating an old (1903) Brooklyn, New York row house.

    My last major renovation project was the master bedroom, most of which is about finish carpentry. You’ll find other completed home improvement projects in the Projects submenu at the top of this page.

    I’m not a professional builder and don’t pretend to be. I’m just an experienced amateur raised in a family of committed DIYers. I try to closely follow local and national building codes but don’t mistake anything on this site to be professional or even accurate advice! Your mileage may and definitely will vary.

    This is the third iteration of BrooklynRowHouse.com, from scratch-built to Drupal and now Wordpress. I hope you enjoy your time here.