Home Repair: The Fix is In
Artisans to care for your old house -- or penthouse -- whatever the challenge.
BY RUTH J. KATZ
Roth Painting Co. (305 East 46 Street; 212-758-2170). Owner Gordon Roth operates a no-nonsense union shop, with 40 painters. He also has a small carpentry shop that can handle interior jobs. The work is meticulous. His painters will sand, skim-coat, and fuss until the surface is smooth enough for Sarah Hughes to skate on. Minimum: $5,000.
Vivid Painting (845-628-2041). Albanian-born Vasel Ulaj ("Vasko" to customers) runs a small, eighteen-year-old family business. "I'm not the cheapest and I'm not the highest," he says. One plus in addition to the fastidious prep work: He will conveniently quote a flat fee rather than a time-plus-materials rate. About $350 to $400 per day per painter.
Brian Kehoe (212-629-3040). Kehoe trained at the United States School for Professional Paperhanging in Vermont. He's been plying his trade for fifteen years and can tackle anything -- suede cloth, grass cloth, and textiles as well as basic papers, although he hangs mostly high-end product. He will do jobs small as a bathroom. Minimum: $500; more if ceiling is included.
Picasso (1259 Park Avenue, at 97th Street; 212-722-8883). Although Anastasios Detsikas's paperhangers are skilled enough to handle 70-year-old, tissuelike papers and pricey hand-painted murals, he prefers hanging "regular stuff for regular folks." He says he's done more than 1,000 "standard New York City bathrooms"; most such jobs run about $300 (or $500 with ceiling).
Janos P. Spitzer (131 West 24th Street; 212-627-1818). Spitzer has been creating magnificent wooden floors for over 40 years and is in the rarefied top tier of "floor guys" in the city. While most of his work is designing and laying elaborate marquetry and parquetry for designers and architects, he also refinishes high-end floors. Minimum: $2,000 (prices start at $5 to $7 per square foot).
Scerri Quality Wood Floors Plus (426 East 73rd Street; 212-472-0671). Joseph Scerri likes to think of his tiny storefront location as the "pro shop for floors." (He is the New York distributor for several European lines of floor-care products.) His passion is for the look and feel of eighteenth-century floors, but a big part of his business is refinishing contemporary floors, starting at $3 per square foot.
Marble and Stone
Hoffman Bros. (516-795-6125). These guys will tackle everything from fireplaces, countertops, and floors to more exotic projects (the New York City subway, for example). They do repair and restoration only, working on terra-cotta, limestone, granite, tile, and marble. "We're not cheap, no matter what it is," notes co-owner Marty Hoffman, but estimates are almost always free.
Carl Terranova (159 Christie Street; 212-228-4910). Terranova specializes in repairing, refurbishing, and refinishing marble, terrazzo, tile, and granite in floors, walls, countertops, and tables. His crews did the hallways in the Empire State Building. Refinishing marble floors can range from $2.75 to $5 per square foot. Resetting a piece of stone runs $50 and up; replacement pieces start at $125.
Olek Lejbzon & Co. (210 Eleventh Avenue, eleventh floor; 212-243-3363). Thirty-plus European craftsmen fill this 11,000-square-foot studio. Jobs range from crafting new mortise-and-tenon joints for a handsome teak armoire ($1,300) to rebuilding a Tuxedo-style leather sofa, including hand-tying the springs and replacing worn sections ($4,000).
Joseph Biunno (129 West 29th Street, second floor; 212-629-5630 or 212-629-5636). Biunno's got a network of talented artisans who do metalwork, woodworking, and fastidious repair of antiques. Repairing the wooden swivel arm on a delicate antique tabletop mirror was $150; reconstructing the marquetry for a damaged Moroccan table using rare woods was $600.