Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Birth of a Tearoom - Part 4

Glitches Galore
Making progress, but it seems like I'm in some bizarre game show called  "Fix This Glitch"!  The first big one was my old desk just wouldn't fit.  No how, no way.  So, I figured that a corner type desk would fit best in the space.  Went on line to find exactly what I needed, and it had to be ordered.  None of the three office stored in town carried that model. 

Then there was the challenge of putting it together.  With me reading the directions, and the TeaMan wielding the screwdriver, we got it together on two nights.  Big one off the list. 

Part of the reason we chose this location, was that the plumbing all seemed to be right in place, and, naturally we thought that would save some money in plumbing costs.  So, at the right point, I set out to find a plumber.  The one I used last time turned out to not be licensed in our county, and I found out after the fact that that's required on top of the state license.

So, I started calling for estimates.  The first one came in at a shocking $2500 just to hook up 3 sinks and my ice machine.  Called around some more, and found a reference for a plumber that was supposed to be much more reasonable.  His estimate came in at $2585 plus permit fees not included!  A rough figuring of how long the job should take minus materials yielded somewhere between $300-400/ hr.!  Highway robbery!  And glitch city! 

If I've learned one thing in the years I've run my own business, it's to have tenacity.  And after lots more searching, we finally found one who would do the job, everything included, for $1800.  Still a pretty penny for the minor amount of work involved, but with time running shorter, I scheduled him to do the work. 

Then, when we tried to place the hand washing sink in the only area it could go, my old sink was just too big.  Off to the home store circuit again to find the right sink.  My brother built a custom counter to hold it and fill the gap left beside the 3 compartment sink, and now I have a little more work space than I expected. 

The under counter refrigerator has to sit on a platform (6 inches off the floor), because the appliances have to be able to be cleaned under.  We measured the counter height carefully in the plans, but when we went to place he fridge under the counter, it was two inches too tall!  We cut down the platform, and now it's a perfect fit.  Keeping fingers crossed that the health dept doesn't notice.  I can still easily clean under it, so you'd think that would be OK, but sometimes the health dept is a stickler for the letter of each regulation, and totally ignores the reasonable practicality.  Like I said, fingers crossed. 

Almost every display fixture had gotten nicked or scratched in the move, so it took the better part of a day to touch everything up.  Not a difficult job, but time consuming.  Several of the fixtures, in the new configuration, were sitting too low, and we spent a weekend building boxes for them to sit on.  With painting each with two coats of paint, it really did eat up a whole weekend.

I have a very nice two-piece custom built cash register counter, which, in each of the other locations, fit nicely.  But, of course, here they are just too big and were taking up too much space.  Finally I figured that they could be nested closer together with a notch cut out of one of them.  Enter carpenter brother Dave again.  With his handy saw and careful measurements (carpenter's mantra:  measure twice, cut once), problem solved!

I imagine there will be a few more glitches before all is said and done, and we're into that nerve-wracking stage of only a couple of weeks until opening.  But, we've gotten through before, and we will again.  At least things will get more fun from here on out as we start to decorate and bring the merchandise in--and the plants--and my antique tea cart with my favorite Priscilla patterned tea set on it. 

We're getting there...we're getting there...

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