Federal and State Guidance as Regards Essential Services Workers During Covid 19 Crisis and Stay at Home Orders

As Illustrated Below both New York State and Federal Guidelines for essential services include Building maintenance Services and Construction Services.

New York State Guidelines. (link Below)


Federal Guidelines Link Below



FROM:            Christopher C. Krebs


Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

The attached list identifies workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are essential to continued critical infrastructure viability, including staffing operations centers, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centers, working construction, and performing management functions, among others. The industries they support represent, but are not necessarily limited to, medical and healthcare, telecommunications, information technology systems, defense, food and agriculture, transportation and logistics, energy, water and wastewater, law enforcement, and public works.

Third Floor Corporation/Doctor Structure statement

The links above provide clear Federal and New York State guidelines defining which industries are classified as “Essential, Critical.”
Construction and many construction trades are explicitly mentioned. Third Floor Corporation and Doctor Structure Incorporated are open and operating, though at the same time we are striving to minimize the potential for viral contamination to ourselves, clients and other operating stakeholders.

Though we are not on the front lines in the way of medical personnel, grocery and other food supply workers, pharmacists, emergency first responders and so many others, we have taken the stance to retain the integrity of our organizational functioning to see that our clients’ homes are functioning safely and properly and to be available as needed with tools, vehicles, labor power and equipment. We are committed to finishing up projects during which families’ homes are exposed to the elements or are in any way left unsecured.

We are not accepting any interior construction work in occupied homes and our crew has been instructed not to enter occupied dwellings to use the bathroom or for any other non-emergency reason. We are dividing crews so as to minimize unnecessary interpersonal contact. Client meetings and architectural conferences have gone virtual. Any of our staff who are symptomatic are instructed to stay at home until they are fully recovered and we are adopting a flexible stance toward workers and trade contractors who have family obligations related to the present crisis.

Good health and safe passage to all.

Benjamin Fiering
President, Owner and Master Builder Third Floor Corporation
Chief consultant Doctor Structure Incorporated

NESEA Tour of Third Floor Two Family Residence in Cold Spring, NY

Friday December 6 the North Eastern Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) will tour our recent project in Cold Spring New York.  For more information follow the link below. If you are interested to attend please register with NESEA


Breaking ground: 1 Brave Scout Trail Residence, Nelsonville, NY

March 14, 2018

Clearing and excavation for Net Zero and Living Building Challenge residence, Nelsonville, NY

All materials stored on site for productive use. Trees cut to length for milling with lumber available for project use. Mulch for landscaping. Firewood for wood heat.


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Cutting out the Failed Wooden Girder Harrison NY

Harrison, NY May 23, 2017

Below are a few photographs of our crew, having cribbed up beneath the old wooden girder featured in our prior articles Center Beam Replacement 19th Century Post and Beam House Harrison NY, and Structural Preparations Harrison NY We are ready here to cut and remove the failed girder. Ben is featured cutting out the beam with a chain saw. Israel and Gerald are featured prepping the cribbing before the cut.

Below Shows the girder removed with the old joists notched.
Beam Out

Photos are by Ben Fiering and Gerald Moore, Reproduction only by permission of Third Floor Corporation and Doctor Structure Incorporated #thirdfloor

Structural preparations Harrison, NY

Doctor Structure is in (or shall we say under) the house. #housecalls #thirdfloor

Initial preparations in Harrison NY. Scope: Shore floor framing in new solid footings. Reinforce original wooden girders at basement and 1st level floor then shore second level. Remove cracked beam and replace with new locally sourced white oak timber with inserted steel reinforcement.

Lest there be any confusion, Doctor Structure does make house calls.

1968 Deck House Restoration

April 2017: Pepper Pond Deck House (1968) restoration in progress, Sherman CT. Design by Barbara Eyler, Benjamin Fiering, Eli Weiner. A Third Floor Project #Thirdfloor #DeckHouse

photo by Ben Fiering

Pepper Pond K1 April 2017
Pepper Pond Deck House (Original construction 1968) restoration in progress, [Scope of work: replace footings and post piers, replace all posts, repair or replace deck substructure as needed, Remove and process, reclaim and replace decking. Handrail stanchions custom white oak. Cap rail reclaimed Mahogany. Roof built up and insulated to r, 50 Hunter Panel Polisosanurate insulation. Retrim roof. Add Copper gutter. Site work and drainage to come. ] April 2017. A Third Floor Corporation project. Design Team Barbara Eyler, Benjamin Fiering, Eli Weiner. Carpentry and structural repair by Gedi Bruce, Mathew Kane, Eli Weiner #Thirdfloor #Deck House

photo by Ben Fiering

Pepper Pond Deck House restoration Sherman CT. Credits as above.

Business of the Week: Third Floor Corporation

This article was published this week it is copied in full to our blog.

By : Brendan Mitchell, 12-12-2016
Ben “Doctor Structure” Fiering, the master builder at Third Floor Corporation, knows better than most that good things take time.“We try to be mindful of the time, but…” says Ben, before trailing off. He chooses his next words carefully.

“The things we build are going to last forever.”

After five minutes of speaking with Ben, it’s clear that he’s passionate about the construction and restoration work his company does every day. He’s not shy about admitting that high quality work is their number one priority.

Ben started Third Floor Corporation in 1993, but he’s been in the industry since the early eighties, when he started working construction while studying social history at college. His passion for building things had been kindled even earlier than that by his father, Norman Fiering, a skilled carpentry hobbyist.

Remodeling by Third Floor Corporation
A recent project completed by Third Floor Corporation. Architecture by David Wallance.

Third Floor Corporation was started in Manhattan, and their first project was converting old warehouse space in to a three-unit live/work space for artists. Today, they are a full-service construction and general contracting company serving private residential clients in New York’s Hudson Valley.

“I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world,” Ben says of the Valley. In his spare time, Ben enjoys exploring the area’s abundance of nature, photography, playing guitar, and studying the history of art, craft, and architecture.

Ben “Doctor Structure” Fiering at work. 

From the way Ben talks about his line of work, it’s clear that Third Floor Corporation are not your average construction company. They specialize in structural repair, and the restoration of both classic and modern architecture.

“[We have] an intimate understanding of the challenges involved in the restoration of antique buildings,” Ben says, when describing what separates his company from others. He speaks with pride and admiration when talking about his staff, the trademark of a business owner that treats his employees with respect.

With over thirty years in the workforce, though, Ben is the first to admit he’s faced some challenges.

“Maintaining a stable workflow depending on changes in the economy is a challenge.”

While 2017 is sure to hold some challenges of its own, Ben does not seem fazed. Perhaps it’s because building things is more than a job, for Ben; it’s a passion he inherited from his father.

“I grew up doing this work… I’ve always enjoyed making things.”

If you’re interested in discussing a project with Ben from Third Floor Corporation you can reach him on (914) 263 6148 or at ben@thirdfloorllc.com. You can also follow Ben on Twitter as @Dr_Structure

Looking for something else? Submit a free request on EZBZ for what you need and where you need it, and we’ll get you quotes from providers in your area. Try it out today at myezbz.com.


Hand Tool Set for the Apprentice’s First Day

The following list is the required list of tools to be in the possession of a carpenter’s apprentice on her or his first day of work for Third Floor Corporation.
 Ben Fiering–Fort Montgomery, NY August 29, 2015

Apprentices helpers and contractors who desire to advance to the standing of carpenters on Third Floor Corporation projects, should come to work every day equipped with at least the following tools and a tool bag or box in which to keep them organized.

[There are a variety of branded products mentioned below and a few retailers.  It should be clearly stated that this blog accepts no funds or other support from retailers or manufacturers and that these should not be considered as endorsements. They are meant only to aid in locating and identifying the tools mentioned.]

  1. –Safety Glasses.
  2. –A note pad on which notes can be taken and drawings and calculations made.
  3. –A tool belt or a combination, hammer holster and nail apron, or one of each which will accommodate a hammer, fasteners and some or other simple tools to be worn when working in appropriate conditions.
    This Carhart set shown below is light and easy to take on and off for those of us who prefer not to work wearing a heavy belt.

    This cotton nail apron for less than 3 dollars is acceptable if worn with a hammer holster and a basic belt that will hold a tape measure. The master carpenter who first trained me worked this way, with a simple cotton nail apron and a hammer holster.



  4. –A knife or utility knife in good condition
  5. –A tape Measure.. and one of good quality, Stanley, Dewalt, Milwaukee, etc with a wide rigid blade of at least 16′.
  6. –A carpenter’s pencil and a standard pencil and means of keeping these sharpened.
  7. –A Framing Hammer of some sort with a waffle head. I recommend a wooden handled Framing hammer but this is not required.

    http://www.vaughanmfg.com/shopping/Products/23-OZ-Milled-Face-California-Framing-Hammer-With-Curved-Handle__CF1-HC.aspx The Vaughn “California” framer is the classic but there are many variations

  8. –A finish hammer preferably 16 oz and must be smooth faced so as no to mar finish woodwork. I recommend the hammer below. It is a lifetime tool and can be used to pry nails and such due to its strength.


  9. –A “catspaw” nail puller. such as this one shown below. There are many variations on this tool from Stanley, Vaughn, Bostitch and Estwing and Dewalt. personal preference should prevail but you should have a durable double ended tool of this type.


  10. –A 12 – 16″ Flatbar This one below is from Dewalt


  11. –A combination square, I recommend the classic Stanley tool below. It is durable, inexpensive and the markings are etched so they will stay readable as the tools ages and wears.


  12. –A set of good long body wood chisels and a stone to keep these sharp. This set below is available at the home depot.


  13. –A set of simple screwdrivers or a combination screwdriver with a #1, #2 both Phillips and flat.
  14. –A simple adjustable “monkey” wrench
  15. –A Lineman’s Pliers. These Channel Lock pliers will last a lifetime if kept oiled and dry. In a pinch you can cut through a deck screw with these to shorten it. Klein also makes a pair of these as do many others.


  16. –A chalk line.”Chalk Box” .. and some chalk to put in it’ This Irwin “Straight Line” solid aluminum chalk box doubles as a Plumb Bob and has yet to be improved on by more expensive plastic bodied models.


  17. –A brass plumb bob


  18. –A two foot Level. and over time a plumber’s level and a 4′ level.
  19. –Nail Sets such as these inexpensive standard type shown below


In addition to these it is useful for people to have in their cars some basic painting supplies, a caulking gun putty knife etc.