Well, we are still waiting for the Letter of No Objection. It seems that the seller’s attorney received a notice saying it was approved by the examiner but not by the assistant commissioner at the DOB—whatever that means. We are not sure what steps they are taking to appeal that decision. Meanwhile, we are waiting with our completed paperwork to file an Alteration 2 application. If indeed we do not get it it could set our renovation back a few months, which would be financially and emotionally painful.
But onward and upward, we are going forward with updating the rental unit because there is work that does not require permits such as stripping and sanding the floors, repairing cracked walls, updating the electrical (which has its own separate permits) and replacing and/or repairing very damaged ceilings.
After tearing out the drop ceilings, we hired a contractor that we have worked with before on the renovation of the bathroom in our current apartment. We need him to remove the damaged plaster ceilings in the dining area, living room and a small room of the bedroom so that we can proceed with the electrical work. Then we will remove all the baseboard moldings to facilitate the wires for the electrical outlets and the cable wires. Once the electrical work is complete we will go back and repair the walls and install new baseboard moldings.
The bedroom ceiling is in pretty good shape and it has nice moldings so we are going to try to repair rather than replace it.
The ceiling removal took less than a weekend to do. With all the ceilings removed we can can now see what shape the roof is in. Except for some old water stains on the beams, everything looks pretty good but we will want our structural engineer to have a look just the same. These ceilings may never be opened again so if any of the beams need reinforcement, now is the time to do it.
One exciting find under our ceilings was the amount of clearance between the old ceilings and roof joists. In the small room there is nearly 2 feet of additional clearance which would allow us to raise that ceiling to 10 feet. In the living room and dining area we can raise the ceiling about 8 inches. Once we have an estimate from our contractor we’ll do a cost benefit analysis to decide if it’s worth the extra expense – after all this is the rental unit.