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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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Heres the deal with the Building Department. They do not take bribes anymore since they have been investigated. What they do is delay everyone and abuse what little power they think they have! They blame the delays on the fact that they have to take furlough days. THEY ARE DELAYING EVERYONE because they are pissed off that they cant take bribes and they have to take mandatory days off! THEY ARE GARBAGE AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS GARBAGE!

Posted on: 2010/7/29 13:40
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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tern wrote:
What is a "smoke certificate"?

I know the DCA Green Card inspection includes smoke alarms, and that for 3 families you need an interlinked smoke alarm system.

But what is a smoke certificate? Is this something separate issued by Jersey City?

Robin.


I wonder if you're wondering where you post went.

Posted on: 2010/7/29 13:37
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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What is a "smoke certificate"?

I know the DCA Green Card inspection includes smoke alarms, and that for 3 families you need an interlinked smoke alarm system.

But what is a smoke certificate? Is this something separate issued by Jersey City?

Robin.

Posted on: 2010/7/29 13:23
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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Just so you know, there is a monthly maintenance fee for the sprinkler system. A friend of mine who owns a building near the Holland Tunnel and voluntarily installed a sprinkler system now pays about $160 a month maintenance fee. She's currently in litigation but JCMUA/United Water point to a statute that says they can collect this user fee.

Posted on: 2008/6/25 16:11
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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turtle wrote:
You may also want to email the fire safety supervisor at Bureau of Fire Safety, Department of Community Affairs. His email is gsmyth@dca.state.nj.us. He is very helpful. I had questions about fire escape codes as we have just bought a multi-family brownstone and wanted to make sure that I was in compliance with the code prior to my 5 year green card inspection. Mr. Smyth even mailed me the FTO bulletin on fire escapes.


Turtle, thank you for the information.

Posted on: 2008/6/25 14:55
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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You may also want to email the fire safety supervisor at Bureau of Fire Safety, Department of Community Affairs. His email is gsmyth@dca.state.nj.us. He is very helpful. I had questions about fire escape codes as we have just bought a multi-family brownstone and wanted to make sure that I was in compliance with the code prior to my 5 year green card inspection. Mr. Smyth even mailed me the FTO bulletin on fire escapes.

Posted on: 2008/6/25 0:35
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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i think an earlier post was asking where in the code or something about googling....

ta da! in the 'view the...' column of the center of the page are all of New Jersey's buildings codes.
http://www.state.nj.us/dca/codes/

i don't actually suggest trying to find what you are looking for in there. well you can try, but this is why it is very important to hire an experienced licensed architect. they go to school for 7 years, through nationally mandated 3 year internship, have to pass 7 exams and then typically don't even get to design thier own buildings for another 5-10 years all just to be able to read this stuff.

and tell you that a renovation of that scale = treated like new construction and 3 familes = sprinklers.

and that it is for you and your families safety.

and give you a realistic idea of whether you can afford all that you want and are required to do so that you won't get in over your head.

I'm very sorry for all the hardships you have experienced with your project and hope that things start to get easier for you. good luck.

Posted on: 2008/6/20 22:22
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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[quote]
icechute wrote:
A three family is considered a multiple dwelling. Three units or more and/or 3 stories or more requires a sprinkler system.

tennis204 wrote:
Icechute, do you know where it is written that renovation involing a building with 3units or more and/or 3 stories or more requires a sprinkler system?

*********
icechute wrote:
They will sometimes waive this if you are not doing a gut reno., but the scope of your project (new addition, systems, interior reno.) is large enough that you will have to install the system.

tennis204 wrote:
Can you refer me to people who have successfully had this waived?

*********

icechute wrote:
Your architect or contractor should have known this/advised you.

tennis204 wrote:
As of 2007, I was aware that the city was requiring sprikler system in certain cases but was told that the requirement was not consistent.

icechute wrote:
I assume you've already gone through the Zoning Board to get approval for the addition and deck?

tennis204 wrote:
Yes, I have approval from all of the other Depts. for this project which includes the addition and a deck.

Posted on: 2008/6/20 20:28
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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tern wrote:
Quote:
So many people buy brownstones and victorians and blast out all the walls for an open floor plan with the obligatory kitchen opening into living room with the obligatory GRANITE ISLAND. I seriously think someday this V. popular style will become dated and people will return to the the cozy feel of


Interesting you should say that, it is exactly what my wife is doing in our brownstone renovation.

She had to really insist that our architect not put an island in "You don't want an island? Nobody does a kitchen without an island!".

Robin.


Parsing what's a new classic and what's a fad ain't easy. Assuming the kitchen is large enough for an eat in, but not so large you can do without additional work space, an island is extremely practical, rather than just trendy like, say, those hideous recessed can lights that are virtually required now. Our "island" is a 5' x 2.5' x 2" slab of laminated oak strips on 3" diameter counter height brushed steel legs that I made. With oak swivel backed stools, it's where my family eats 6 days a week, and in the separate dining room on sabbath. And granite is simply the new standard, pushing out formica, but much more practical and indestructible. For that reason it's no longer the choice of those looking for a "statement" kitchen.

As for sprinklers, though I've not been required to, I'm thinking of voluntarily installing them in the basement where the laundry, workshop and boiler are. I've had enough paranoid episodes of wondering whether I turned off the soldering iron or was the lint filter cleaned recently, and will I come home to a pile of smoke.

Posted on: 2008/6/20 19:49
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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So many people buy brownstones and victorians and blast out all the walls for an open floor plan with the obligatory kitchen opening into living room with the obligatory GRANITE ISLAND. I seriously think someday this V. popular style will become dated and people will return to the the cozy feel of


Interesting you should say that, it is exactly what my wife is doing in our brownstone renovation.

She had to really insist that our architect not put an island in "You don't want an island? Nobody does a kitchen without an island!".

Robin.

Posted on: 2008/6/20 18:57
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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I love how everyone has a number in their head and feels that, that is more than enough for an entire new sprinkler system in an old house that was built way before a sprinkler system was ever thought of....


True enough! It's never as simple as it seems. I know of one instance where the owner discovered that in older buildings, the water pressure often isn't sufficient for a sprinkler system, necessitating the purchase of a special pump that cost well into the five figures. Needless to say, I've been turned off to major renovation for life. I've decided that if I want drastic modernization or improvement, it's far easier to sell what I have and move to a new home.

Posted on: 2008/6/20 18:32
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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I love how everyone has a number in their head and feels that, that is more than enough for an entire new sprinkler system in an old house that was built way before a sprinkler system was ever thought of....I have enough knowledge in rehabbing older homes that I can say this:
Don't buy one if you don't have enough money to make it "modern" unless you do what another person said and just live like the previous owner lived and just maintain the house as is.....I have been through many rehabs and each time I learn something new about old homes. You never know what you might get.
I can say that installing sprinklers in a gutted home without having to break walls and plan where the piping is going is much easier. Not to mention the coordination and ensuring that it is leak proof.
Dealing with the city agencies and building department could be very difficult for a person that is not in the construction field. I have never had a problem dealing with them and If I have a problem it gets resolved without having to pay someone off. Its called having full knowledge of your profession and of the Uniform Construction Code.
Sorry you are going through a hard time, but not all contractors are out to get the homeowner. Its very hard to keep prices low when materials, gas, and labor costs have risen exponentially and the highest Quality is expected.
Good Luck.

Posted on: 2008/6/20 17:54
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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30,000 to 40,000 for a sprinkler is way too much...

No more than 20,000 for three units... shop around a bit... the market has fallen on its butt outside of the county, and you may be able to find a company that will give you a break.

I am thinking about 5,000 dollars per unit which would be a fair price.

Posted on: 2008/6/20 16:22
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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From what I've read on Brownstoner.com it will be less than $30-40 thousand. Go to their site and enter "sprinkler system" and you'll find a lot of useful info. One guy just had it done to his brownstone and it cost him $6,000 for the water main pipe and $3000 per floor. That makes it $15,000 instead of $30.000. Still nothing to sneeze at....Apparently the sprinklers are only needed in hallway/exit area....

I totally get that you need to make the building to be safe but I kind of agree with the earlier poster about "making do." so far as cosmetics etc... So many people buy brownstones and victorians and blast out all the walls for an open floor plan with the obligatory kitchen opening into living room with the obligatory GRANITE ISLAND. I seriously think someday this V. popular style will become dated and people will return to the the cozy feel of
a separate dining room and living room which open up to each other via pocket doors. There are a lot of good things about separate (though smallish) eat-in kitchen with a classic kitchen table (no island or stools in sight).It's old-fashioned, yes but the privacy is nice and it feels cozy and more house-like...

Posted on: 2008/6/20 15:49
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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Quote:

icechute wrote:

Figure 30-40K. Sorry.


On the one hand, that's a lot of money, and I'm sorry for the original poster and hope things work out.

On the other hand, I sure wish someone had installed sprinklers in the apartment of the poor 90-year-old woman who burned to death at Second and Marin last month.

Posted on: 2008/6/20 15:22
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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Does this sprinkler law also apply to 2-family-2 story homes?

Posted on: 2008/6/20 14:06
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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This has been a very long renovation process and I feel like I am at my wits end. I love JC, neighborhood, and neighbors, but I don't know if I can fight this system longer. HELP Please!!!


Here's a question for you: how about just learning to live with what you've got? If you haven't begun demolition yet, it may be the only sane option. That, or selling the place. I've learned to embrace the concept of "good enough" when it comes to my home, especially after witnessing what people in JC go through for major renovations. You could literally end up in bankruptcy over the red tape, delays and cost overruns (a brownstone in my neighborhood has changed hands at least three times in five years because each successive owner has gotten in over their heads with ambitious gut rehab plans). The contractors in this area are, for the most part, just godawful. They're not great elsewhere, but my parents, who live in the suburbs, don't seem to suffer the abusive and price-gouging tactics of contractors here. If you really want to plow ahead with this, you may need to find a local contractor/architect who will secure all the necessary permits - someone who knows the right people at office of the contstruction offical (and has probably greased the right palms) - as part of the deal. This may limit your options, but will save you much grief.

Posted on: 2008/6/20 12:22
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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A three family is considered a multiple dwelling. Three units or more and/or 3 stories or more requires a sprinkler system.

They will sometimes waive this if you are not doing a gut reno., but the scope of your project (new addition, systems, interior reno.) is large enough that you will have to install the system.

You will also need to have a new 3" water main from the street brought in.

Figure 30-40K. Sorry.

Your architect or contractor should have known this/advised you.

I assume you've already gone through the Zoning Board to get approval for the addition and deck?

Posted on: 2008/6/19 22:12
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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SalOnTheHill wrote:

Everyone likes to talk about how inspectors need to be bribed in this City, and I was wondering if anybody had any first-hand experience with greasing the wheels to push things through faster, or if it's just a mythology created by jaded, disaffected people who make assumptions that inefficiency = being on the take.


Yes.

Posted on: 2008/6/19 18:35
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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emergent wrote:
The fire department is probably the most powerful organization in Jersey City so you're not going to get anywhere trying to appeal... unless you know who to bribe. It sounds like a joke, but in this city it isn't, and in most cases it's the only way to get things done.


Everyone likes to talk about how inspectors need to be bribed in this City, and I was wondering if anybody had any first-hand experience with greasing the wheels to push things through faster, or if it's just a mythology created by jaded, disaffected people who make assumptions that inefficiency = being on the take.

Posted on: 2008/6/19 17:48
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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With the kind of work that you're doing, you will be required to install the new sprinkler system. I suppose it won't hurt to appeal.

Also, ensure that your contractor seals all spaces around new romex wires, gas lines, sprinkler lines, and water/waste pipes between floors with fire retardant foam (red or orange) and caulking (red) before inspection to close walls with sheetrock.

You may have to subcontract the sprinkler system (directly connected to the city line in most cases) that you are installing also. Hopefully, your plumber may be able to do this.

Good luck.

Posted on: 2008/6/19 15:05
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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Well, the permit denial letter does not identify the law that requires the sprinkler system for multi-family of 4 stories. So, I have been googling to find out which law is applicable, I think it might be NFPA 13 but so far there is no copies online that are free, so haven't read detail to be sure. Maybe the public library or the fire dept might have a copy I can look at.

I also did find an article on the JCList about the State proposing to add sprinklers but in that article it sight applicability to buildings of six stories or higher and built since 1989. The author was Kathleen Lynn at the Record, curious as to where she got her info and if its correct.

Also, to respond to the above commentor, my brownstone already has fire escape in the back, a requirement for multifamily building in NJ. And I do not want to bribe any gov't official. If this becomes too problematic I would rather sell this home. Thanks for the responses.

Posted on: 2008/6/19 14:54
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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The fire inspectors are always looking for a bribe, they wanted to test the fire alarm system in my building at 6am on a Sunday, not their usual business hours of 9-5. We never paid them and just put up with their crap.

Posted on: 2008/6/19 14:47
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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The fire department is probably the most powerful organization in Jersey City so you're not going to get anywhere trying to appeal... unless you know who to bribe. It sounds like a joke, but in this city it isn't, and in most cases it's the only way to get things done.

Posted on: 2008/6/19 14:39
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Re: Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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I'm not sure what the local law is, but in NYC, once you have a few units you must have either a sprinkler system or fire escapes. If the law here is similar, I wouldn't see them backing down, as it's a basic safety issue.

Posted on: 2008/6/19 14:35
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Sprinkler Req'd by JC for Brownstone Renovation
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Several of you out there have renovated your brownstone and was wondering if you ran into this issue?

I submitted application for construction permit for my project: Demolish rear-existing 2 story enclosed porch, build new 2 story addition, new deck, new patio. And interior of owners duplex: new bathroom, kitchen, minor partition work and new MEP.

I just received a denial of permit letter from the construction department. They are requiring a sprinkler system in a building multi-family 4 stories. My building is a four story brownstone, legal 3 family home.

Have any of you or anyone you know successfully appeal this requirement? If so, how?

This has been a very long renovation process and I feel like I am at my wits end. I love JC, neighborhood, and neighbors, but I don't know if I can fight this system longer. HELP Please!!!

Frustrated homeowner.

Posted on: 2008/6/19 14:06
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