Filed with the DOB!

You may be wondering why you haven’t heard from us in a while (or maybe you haven’t–it’s OK).  It’s because we have been busy trying to get our Alt 1 paperwork filed with the Department of Buildings so we can start demolishing the old extension and putting in the new. It has been a stressful 3 weeks. The renovation roller coaster is in full effect.

You may recall that we were waiting for the results of the Letter of No Objection application that was filed by the sellers.  It was rejected by the DOB–allegedly.  The most frustrating part is that we don’t exactly know why because we did not file it or receive the results even though it pertains to our property.

So now we have to go through the costly process of getting a new Certificate of Occupancy because the DOB does not recognize our house as a legal 2 family even though the Finance department has had no problem collecting the taxes for the 2 residences over the years.

Filing is a difficult process and basically requires you to hire a person called an expeditor to help you because the process is so confusing that the lay person could never do it on their own.  Expeditors are basically building code experts.

In our case, we hired all our providers a la carte.  Some people hire design/build firms and now I get why.  These firms have the architect, structural engineer, contractor and expeditor all in one package so you, as a home owner, don’t have to negotiate and coordinate all of them as you do if you hire them individually as we did.  Of course design/build firms are usually much more expensive too.

The Tests

When we thought we had everything ready to file–guess what, we still had the asbestos test to do.  This required taking samples of all the areas of the house that will be demolished, sending them to a lab and then of course waiting several days for results. Ahhhh… another week of delays.

Do you see that hair sticking out of the side of the plaster in the photo below?  It is horse hair that they commonly used to mix in with the plaster compound.  Nineteenth century horses did not have it easy.

On the upside we were lucky and no asbestos was found. This would have meant a big abatement bill to get rid of it. Instead we’ll have a normal demolition cost.

Once the results came in our team pulled together about 10 forms(we had already done the pit and soil tests) with various government looking acronym/number combination names such as TR1, TR4, EF1, PW1, PW1A, PW1B, and ST1. This packet looked just like a TurboTax generated income tax return. We sign some, our architect signs some, our engineer signs some others, we write some checks, it all goes to the expediter and viola… it’s finally filed!

TIP:  Don’t buy a house that needs major renovations unless your marriage is on solid footing–you will be arguing constantly!  Seriously, just deciding whether to put in a ceiling fan can take a whole evening’s discussion.

When we first started this blog we talked about how it felt like a roller coaster ride, well it’s been upside down lately and let’s face it–we haven’t even started.


5 thoughts on “Filed with the DOB!

  1. Wow Angela! This sounds amazing. We need to do the reverse – change our C of O from a 2 family to a one family. Too bad we can’t just exchange documents…

  2. Pingback: An expensive lesson with the DOB and a Letter of No Objection | Brownstone Cyclone

  3. Pingback: Restoring Old Fireplaces | Brownstone Cyclone

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