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View Poll Results: Do it myself (im qualified but not a contractor)
do it yourself, its your condo 0 0%
do it yourself but notify super of everything 2 33.33%
do it yourself after aprooval from the condo board 4 66.67%
pay a contractor to do all the work. 2 33.33%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-11-2009, 09:59 AM
 
12 posts, read 85,482 times
Reputation: 14

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Hi Guys, this is my first post here.

I searched the forums but have not found a good answer for my questions so..

I just closed on my Condo in a 1930s built building in Sunnyside this week. It needs major work. What I'm concerned about is taking down 2 walls.


Questions:

1. If I want to take down 2 walls (not structural ) how should I proceed? Im told to pay off the superintendent , other say to get permits blah blah $ $ $ from the condo board . Im very tight on cash and over-qualified to do all the work myself so I don't want to have to pay someone who will expensive half-ass the job when I will do it to perfection!

2. Should I give a "$ gift" to the super?

3. If I need to get permits for the board, how can I do this and where can I get them from? How much will this cost me?

4. Basically my question is, how can I as an owner do work in my place without upsetting anyone and not getting fined?


I know that
-I have to work between 8:30am - 4:30pm
-work quietly to not upset neighbors so they dont report me to the board, which will lead to an inspector or fines.
-take out/dispose of major trash myself cleanly (get container)
-the super seems really cool but I dont know if hell give me a hard time.

I have lived/remodeled my previous property (private house) and there weren't as many regulations to follow so I want to make sure I don't have any issues.

Thank you very much everyone
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:57 AM
 
7,079 posts, read 35,333,778 times
Reputation: 4065
Quote:
Originally Posted by mihaiCD323 View Post
Hi Guys, this is my first post here.

I searched the forums but have not found a good answer for my questions so..

I just closed on my Condo in a 1930s built building in Sunnyside this week. It needs major work. What I'm concerned about is taking down 2 walls.


Questions:

1. If I want to take down 2 walls (not structural ) how should I proceed? Im told to pay off the superintendent , other say to get permits blah blah $ $ $ from the condo board . Im very tight on cash and over-qualified to do all the work myself so I don't want to have to pay someone who will expensive half-ass the job when I will do it to perfection!

2. Should I give a "$ gift" to the super?

3. If I need to get permits for the board, how can I do this and where can I get them from? How much will this cost me?

4. Basically my question is, how can I as an owner do work in my place without upsetting anyone and not getting fined?


I know that
-I have to work between 8:30am - 4:30pm
-work quietly to not upset neighbors so they dont report me to the board, which will lead to an inspector or fines.
-take out/dispose of major trash myself cleanly (get container)
-the super seems really cool but I dont know if hell give me a hard time.

I have lived/remodeled my previous property (private house) and there weren't as many regulations to follow so I want to make sure I don't have any issues.

Thank you very much everyone

You absolutely have to get permits, etc. Because you won't be able to sell your condo if you've renovated and don't have a valid C of O. You need to read the by-laws of the condominium to see what you have to do to renovate. If you don't abide by the by-laws you can be in MAJOR trouble. The board can fine you.
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:14 AM
 
12 posts, read 85,482 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viralmd View Post
You absolutely have to get permits, etc. Because you won't be able to sell your condo if you've renovated and don't have a valid C of O. You need to read the by-laws of the condominium to see what you have to do to renovate. If you don't abide by the by-laws you can be in MAJOR trouble. The board can fine you.
Thank you and you are correct bringing the resale point up. Do you know what permits I have to get and where I may get them?
Also I have friends who are certified electricians/plumbers etc... can I get them to just make me a valid C of O? And me still do the work?
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:06 AM
 
23 posts, read 58,238 times
Reputation: 12
Mihai,

are you romanian? We are romanian too. We just bought a condo in Bronxville. You need ONLY certified people to work with. The plumber needs a license and insurance, the electrician the same. The only thing that you can do is to give them a "hand" when they work for you. Be really careful.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:14 AM
 
12 posts, read 85,482 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poliana View Post
Mihai,

are you romanian? We are romanian too. We just bought a condo in Bronxville. You need ONLY certified people to work with. The plumber needs a license and insurance, the electrician the same. The only thing that you can do is to give them a "hand" when they work for you. Be really careful.
Hi yes I actually am
I have done my research and started doing the work myself and am almost finished. It turns out the work I have done in the apartment is far better and according to building codes compared to what I found when I first purchased the place..

How is it possible that only "certified" electricians or plumbers worked in this place and left uninsulated wire ends, unsecured pipes... if a complete amateur did this job it wouldnt have come out like this.

Im completely disgusted and will refuse to pay some "certified" person to leave a nice fire hazzard in my apartment.

so im very happy to say that nearing the finish of the apartment rebuilding everything works and has been upgraded to modern fuseboxes, wiring, pipes, valves etc... even a new toilet and it feels like an actual living space

cheers!
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:29 AM
 
7,079 posts, read 35,333,778 times
Reputation: 4065
Quote:
Originally Posted by mihaiCD323 View Post
Hi yes I actually am
I have done my research and started doing the work myself and am almost finished. It turns out the work I have done in the apartment is far better and according to building codes compared to what I found when I first purchased the place..

How is it possible that only "certified" electricians or plumbers worked in this place and left uninsulated wire ends, unsecured pipes... if a complete amateur did this job it wouldnt have come out like this.

Im completely disgusted and will refuse to pay some "certified" person to leave a nice fire hazzard in my apartment.

so im very happy to say that nearing the finish of the apartment rebuilding everything works and has been upgraded to modern fuseboxes, wiring, pipes, valves etc... even a new toilet and it feels like an actual living space

cheers!

You now have a dwelling without a valid C of O. Good luck selling it.
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:57 PM
 
169 posts, read 446,167 times
Reputation: 174
Hey..I just renovated my condo in Howard Beach..I am an electrician...my family are carpenters....we did most of the work...except for the plumbing..ONLY because the main water line had to be shut down....got a licensed and insured plumber

Also...the whole building knows I'm an electrician and sometimes ask me to do work for them..I always decline...and they get the super and his guys to do the work..well, guess what..I've seen their work.....HACK jobs...and code violations

Condos are less strict than COOPs

What I do know about condos is...anything outside of the walls...i.e. kitchen cabinets...putting up walls....taking down non-load bearing walls is FINE...as far as electrical.....everyone knows I am an electrician..so I guess that is why I didn't get in "trouble"..but then again, I didn't go announcing that I was upgrading the electric in my apartment
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:03 PM
 
169 posts, read 446,167 times
Reputation: 174
Also, a neighbor of mine had her bathroom reno-ed by a general contractor..i KNOW the hi-hats they installed are a code violation..i.e. wrong type for the ceiling/insulation...etc.

Also, my super, after my bathtub was installed, commented on how I still have a standing drain..and I told him that was because the plumbers just couldn't cut out one of the floor joists...my super said, oh yeah....that he had done that in a lady's apartment in the building...(these guys do "side work")..and he probably violated the plumbing code

As far as resale, how is anyone to know what work is not original?....ie. eletric..plumbing...etc,

As far as tile....cabinets....etc....again, that is outside the walls...and your responsibility....not the building's
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:48 PM
 
7,079 posts, read 35,333,778 times
Reputation: 4065
Quote:
Originally Posted by melissa809 View Post

As far as resale, how is anyone to know what work is not original?....ie. eletric..plumbing...etc,
They'll know because a GOOD attorney ensures the C of O is current. If the buyer KNOWS that there have been renovations and the attorney knows (and good real estate attorneys ask about any renovations), then the C of O won't be current and, hence, not valid.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Confines of the 101 Precinct
22,604 posts, read 37,169,237 times
Reputation: 9793
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viralmd View Post
They'll know because a GOOD attorney ensures the C of O is current. If the buyer KNOWS that there have been renovations and the attorney knows (and good real estate attorneys ask about any renovations), then the C of O won't be current and, hence, not valid.
sorry to get technical, but a certificate of occupancy only covers the legal use of the building by listing how many apartments are on each floor. for example if i live on the eighth floor and the current C of O says there are 5 apartments on the eighth floor, i could possibly do an illegal renovation as long as im not increasing or decreasing the amount of apartments on that floor. the C of O's dont go into greater detail than that, and sorry to say, i've seen it happen quite often. now about 20-30 years ago, they did go into greater detail as to what was on each floor, whether it be residential, commercial or industrial, but that is only because they used to be typed using a typewriter. now it is computer generated so they are not as detailed as they were in the past.
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