Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Video: Trading Spaces, The Bed-Stuy Swap

Bedford Stuyvesant's Monique Greenwood does her own version of Trading Spaces on The Bed-Stuy Parlor.

Neighborhood Beat can be seen weeknights at 8:30pm in Brooklyn on Time Warner Cable channel 56 and Cablevision channel 69. It is also streamed live on the web at

Cheap Links

  1. Support Your Local Hardware Store (Reclaimed Home)
  2. Things I Will Miss Over the Winter (Bed-Stuy Blog)
  3. The New York Literary Society Comes To Bedford-Stuyvesant (Bed-Stuy Blog)
  4. Bath Reno #6: Modern in Carroll Gardens (Brownstoner)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mr. Reno v. Mrs. Reno: To Sand or Not to Sand

Carpeted or Wood Floors?

Earlier this year, Mrs. Renovation and I faced a dilemma: should we take up the carpet in one of our rentals or should we leave it? (The carpet was installed shortly before we bought the house.) We weighed the costs: leaving the carpet would be free, while taking it up and refinishing the floors would cost us about about $1000. You know I wanted to take the cheap route, but Mrs. Reno knew better.

Like all married couples, Mrs. Reno and I went back and forth for several weeks about the carpet. Mrs. Reno argued that no one in New York liked wall to wall carpet and wanted to remove it. I thought the floors were too damaged to fix. Several openhouses later, it became clear to me that she was right: the carpeted floor was turning off potential tenants. So Mrs. Reno called our floor guy, M., to check out the floors. Four days later, he was done. The finished floors are below. We found tenants a week later. The moral of this story: listen to your wife. (Sometimes)

Work done:

  1. Carpet removed.
  2. Nails and staples removed.
  3. Missing pieces of the wood flooring patched. (There was an extremely damaged area)
  4. Floors sanded several times to remove layers of paint and gook. (This took two days)
  5. Three coats polyurethane added.

The results.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Bed-Stuy's Project Regeneration

Bedford Stuyvesant's Project Regeneration (PR) provides a great service to homeowners and people in the community of Bedford Stuyvesant.

The program teaches participating youth job readiness and financial literacy through a combination of volunteer and paid activities. In particular, youth learn to:

1. Work responsibly - Based on punctuality, attendance, work quality and respect for authority. During after school and weekend hours, PR-G gives stipends to economically disadvantaged high school students to recycle, remove rubbish, leaves and snow from sidewalks, and curbs of members'properties.
2. Manage and track their finances
3. Write a business plan

One of the coolest things about the organization is its snow shoveling program. PR charges homeowners a small fee for young people in the program to clear snow from their properties during the winter. Mrs. Reno and I plan to sign up because we're done shoveling snow!

Click here to read Project Regeneration's Website.