July 7, 2022

Finding Creative Solutions In the Back Bay 

In this episode of Site Visit with NS Builders, I update you on our Back Bay renovation. And talk about how to be a good neighbor when working in multifamily buildings.


We’re using LFLs (laminated framing lumber) and LVLs (laminated veneer lumber) for framing. Some benefits to using LFLs include their stability and how straight they are. We’ve got about 200 studs ready to go, and there’s not going to be many we can’t use. LVLs would have been our first choice, but the supplier didn’t have enough 2x4s. So the next best option was the LFLs—and the price point was lower, which is a bonus.  


One of the challenges to working in multifamily brownstones in Boston is that we are often limited in what, where, or how to proceed with renovations. Typically, each building has a Board; we need to get permission to work on common areas of the building or on elements such as mechanical that could potentially impact all the residents.  

For example, in the basement, we’ve got a wall shielding the mechanical equipment that services the whole building. And the wall looks like it has been patched repeatedly and could use some attention. But it’s a common wall—we don’t have the right to move it or redesign it just to meet our needs. And although we would have liked to move the staircase, we don’t have approval to do so. Similar to the maze of pipes that could be moved to a better location for our design for this unit. But it’s not about what works for us—it’s about finding a solution that works for everyone in the building. This is our opportunity to be a good neighbor—working in a way that causes the least amount of disturbance to others—and complying with the Board’s requirements. Basically, demonstrating our good-neighbor practices.  

It’s time to discover what NS Builders can intentionally design and build for you! Contact us today to get started on your custom dream home. Together, we can make it happen. 

—Nick Schiffer


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