Well things are going…
As with almost all construction projects, there are usually hiccups on the road. Nothing is ever as easy or simple as it initially seems. Everything always takes a little longer, and is a little more work. Such is the case with our store.
Our first issue we had was a leaky roof. About a week after we started construction, there was a warm spell, where some of the ice on the roof melted. We quickly learned where the leaky spots on the roof were. Most commercial roofs are built flat, and use membranes to keep the water out. Unfortunately when there is a leak, and that leak is repairs, the water will run to the next lowest point. If this area is leaky, the roof will again leak in another spot. It is a difficult job in the winter, as most of the roof is frozen pretty thick with ice and snow, so in order to repair you must melt the ice and get to the roof.
There were initially two leaky spots in the roof with the first warm, and the landlord has been pretty good going up on the roof several times attempting to repair, however we now have a few more leaky spots in different areas. We had a similar situation with our small 600sq ft office we were in a few years back, and eventually the landlord there had to just completely re-do the roof. Here is hoping this is not required with this unit.
Our second issue we have dealt with is the drop ceiling. When we first rented the unit, we noticed several spots where the drop ceiling was dipping and lowered. Our initial plan was to replace the ceiling tiles, and repair the few dropped tracks of the drop ceiling.
Once we got in there and saw the condition of the drop ceiling, we realized we would have to completely remove and replace the entire drop ceiling. The tracks were old and falling out of the ceiling, and they were so old that the ones they currently sell don’t connect to them. The ceiling was also not installed safely, with not enough support for the lights, and many ‘cheat’ areas, where they tied together multiple wires to one connection. We ended up gutting the entire section of drop ceiling and are replacing it all. This added an extra few thousand in material and labour, and put us a few days behind.
We also had a very annoying situation with our debit machine/phone line/internet line. To make a very long story short, our credit card merchant offered us a ‘deal’ to get a free rental of the interac machine if we used Bell as our internet provider. The internet speeds through Bell were pretty terrible, but the price was good, and I figured we would not be downloading any movies or doing any strenuous internet activity at the store, so we signed some papers and went ahead with it. I called Bell to get a quote for their phone line as well, but they wanted $65 for a basic business phone with no features. I contacted Rogers, and they wanted $32 for a basic phone with 2 features. I went with Rogers, and they installed a phone line last week on a 1 year contract.
A few days ago, I received an email from our credit card merchant that says — Sorry to tell you but for the Bell deal to work, you need to also get a phone line with them. Well I already had a phone line with Rogers on a 1 year contract, so essentially, I was screwed. I had to call Rogers and ALSO get internet with them, and no longer get any ‘deal’ for the rental of the interac machine. So after 15+ email, many phone conversations with Bell and Rogers, we are ending up just paying full price for everything. Joy!
There are some good things though! I don’t want this to just sound like a ranting post of frustration. The floors have been completed, and buffed, and the paint is complete. The bathroom is done, the kitchen in the back is pretty much done, and this week Mike will be building our custom primary counter as well as our juice bar. Ikea has delivered 8 shelving units to us, and this week Meg will be going over to put these together.
Our goal is still a March 16th opening, which I think we can get to. We have a few more days this week to finalize all the construction stuff, then next week will be the big push to setup the store displays and make everything pretty.
We are also planning some pretty awesome promotions when we first open, so stay tuned for some updates shortly!