Need Another Room?


You’ve found a great apartment, in the right location, a great price, in a terrific building; in fact it’s almost perfect. The problem is you need an extra room, for the baby, watching late night TV while your spouse sleeps or perhaps a home office. Now what?

The answer could be a temporary wall to carve out the extra space. But it needs to be done properly and meet certain safety standards. And you may need permission from building management or the Board.

Room Dividers NY,  1Wall 2 Rooms, and  All Week Walls   are a few of the many companies the city install pressurized walls. These so–called pressurized walls are made using only a tension system can accommodate most any size or shape of room, without leaving behind screws or adhesive residue when they are removed, but look and feel like ‘real’ walls. They can be attractive and functional, offering the privacy or separation needed for an office, TV room or extra bedroom. You may even be able to mount your flat-panel TV to one.  When the wall is no longer needed, it can be removed.

New York City is aggressively enforcing a long-standing but largely ignored code requiring approval from the Department of Buildings for permanent walls. According to the City Building Department, those wishing to divide a space need to rely on bookshelves or partial walls that don’t reach the ceiling. Temporary walls must not block exit routes or interfere with ventilation or sprinkler systems, as well as meet minimum room size requirements.

This new enforcement stems from a fatal fire in 2005 in the Bronx and subsequent criminal prosecution of the landlords and two tenants on manslaughter charges. According to the city, the illegal partitions put up by the tenants had disoriented the firefighters and lead to their deaths.

Safety is of paramount importance. Egress routes, maximum travel distances as called out by the building code as well as sprinkler coverage, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be considered before attempting to place a temporary wall.

Inspired by New York Times Article by Marc Santora.


  1. […] can take even that option off the table.  Others are making the decision to share, even putting up temporary walls where allowed and sacrificing a living […]