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Q: After I did the math, it appeared that if I were to make this one-bedroom rental apartment into a two-bedroom, I could, in fact, actually afford to eat this year. But I can't risk losing my deposit due to damages naturally occurring during the construction and subsequent removal of such a wall. What should I do?

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A: Meet Scott Webb, urban hero and founder of The Wall. For almost six years, his Pink Floyd-inspired outfit has been offering a viable solution to obscene rent costs by installing and removing its patented Pressurized Partition System in and from apartments all over Manhattan and the outer boroughs. By temporarily dividing living rooms and bedrooms, Webb enables victims of the current market to take on roommates without giving up privacy or their security deposit. "It fulfills an obvious need," Webb says of his invention. "It allows people to maintain their standard of living -- to survive in this city."

Here's the beauty of it: The Pressurized Partition System is made of all the things a wall should be made of -- Sheetrock, screws, aluminum studs. It looks, feels, and acts like a wall, but thanks to the unique installation process, no damage whatsoever is done to the existing walls of the apartment. When you're ready to move out, they remove it. "The word wall is really a misnomer," explains Webb. "Legally," he's quick to assure us, "it's just a piece of furniture, like a sofa."

Depending on the size and specifications of the project, installation can take anywhere from three hours to two days. The standard eight-by-twelve-foot partition with a hollow-core Luan door is $799.50, including $150 deposit, reimbursed upon removal. Additional amenities include windows ($150 to $200 each), pocket door ($650), and ventilation fan ($250). And if you're feeling particularly romantic, French doors are only $300 apiece. Call for a free estimate (718-793-3151).


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