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Contractors can eat away at a renovation budget until there’s hardly anything left for materials. Wouldn’t it be a great idea to have a barter system? The idea itself isn’t new to me. I’ve often said “I wish I can find a decent contractor who needs a place to live while working on my house.”

Decent being the operative word. I’ve seen Craigslist barter ads from hacks who probably couldn’t get real work anyway.

Enter Ben Erickson. I received an email from the furniture designer/builder saying he will be looking for a new place to live and work within the next year. He currently has a five year lease at one of the most gorgeous mansions in Bed Stuy and with a year left to go, he’s planning ahead.


247 Hancock

Ben’s current situation is as follows: “Four years ago, as some of you know, I gutted and renovated the top floor of this very unique freestanding brownstone at 247 Hancock St. in exchange for reduced fixed rent on a 5 year lease. I invested approx $60,000 upfront and we divided that over the 60 months of my lease. The landlord and I assessed the current market value of the apt at $2250 and simply subtracted the $1000/mo. making my rent $1250. “

So, what makes Ben different from these Craigslist guys? Um, he’s got mad skills. Check out his website.

This time around Ben would like to work on a raw loft space. He seems really into Bed Stuy but perhaps he would consider other neighborhoods if it’s the right project.

Know of anything?


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