Starting A Business On A Shoestring Budget....

Business By Annabakescakes Updated 13 May 2011 , 8:02pm by scp1127

Annabakescakes Posted 11 May 2011 , 5:34pm
post #1 of 19

We are STILL remodeling our garage. We are almost done with the remodel...had a lot of trouble with getting people to come do what they said they would...still waiting on the dry wallers to finish a wall and I had to wait 48 days from order date to get a door and install it. We had cheap doors we bought at a recycle center, but found out they meet "code" so we ordered some at Lowes...15 days later we got the wrong doors, manufacturer's error, doors were on sale when we took them back, so we had to wait 28 days for the second set, due to back logging...

When we finally got the second set, it was 3/4 of an inch too short, which made it not line up with the side lights...We Jury rigged it, but too bad we had to wait on the door to do the ceiling, wait on ceiling to do walls, wait on walls to do floor....

Honestly, I am behind in tallying up my receipts, but I know I am at least $900 over budget because of the doors alone. And little piddly things here and there are just eating up the cash, we have been doing EVERYTHING we are able to ourselves. We are learning as we go, and the 500 trips to Lowes, back and forth are KILLING us in gas right now.

I hope to be done in the next couple weeks, but my first open date was 7 weeks ago, thanks Masonite!

Now I have a 200 serving wedding due on Saturday that I took when I was SURE I would be open by now... It is contracted and paid for, so I am still doing it, but I can't work in the garage all week and have to mess up my kitchen again... thank God I didn't advertise!

Anybody who is thinking of doing it them all themselves needs to take think about it... I would LOVE to call somebody to finish it all up for me!!

18 replies
divinecc Posted 11 May 2011 , 5:53pm
post #2 of 19

Too bad you are having so much trouble icon_mad.gif I hope you get done soon and will get so much business you won't even bat an eye at the extra $900! Good luck thumbs_up.gif

Dayti Posted 11 May 2011 , 7:19pm
post #3 of 19

Build outs take ages even if you do contract them out - I was told 4 weeks for my bakery...took double that, and funnily enough, double the original quote pretty much. Keep calm and carry on! I'm sure you guys a doing a better job than some shoddy contractors, and you will feel super satisfied when it's done icon_wink.gif

Annabakescakes Posted 11 May 2011 , 8:54pm
post #4 of 19

Thanks, I am sure hoping I make so much money my husband can quit his job and we can put the kids in private school, and $900 will look like $9!!!

We are doing a real nice job, though! I can't wait! I will post pics when I am done, of course! It is going to be awesome! lol

LindaF144a Posted 12 May 2011 , 12:49am
post #5 of 19

I don't know where you live, but wait until you have to wait for your Dept of Health and town and fire marshall to give your certificate of occupancy. This will all seem like nothing.

Oh, and wait until you hire employees....that's lots of fun (sarcastic tone inserted here).

Annabakescakes Posted 12 May 2011 , 1:43am
post #6 of 19
Originally Posted by LindaF144a

I don't know where you live, but wait until you have to wait for your Dept of Health and town and fire marshall to give your certificate of occupancy. This will all seem like nothing.

Oh, and wait until you hire employees....that's lots of fun (sarcastic tone inserted here).

I am in Ky and as a home-based business, I am only allowed 1 employee who doesn't live in my household. If I ever do hire that 1 employee, I am making it count! I will never wash another cake pan EVER again! But if I hare a decorator, I am taping it. LOL We had the best time watching people interview at the place I used to work. The interview consisted of decorating one of the cake orders for the week. This was before cake boss and Ace of cakes, but nobody thought it could be that hard, and boy, did they make messes! FUN-NY!

indydebi Posted 12 May 2011 , 10:07am
post #7 of 19

consider yourself lucky that its only $900 and the cost of gas. I was quoted $10,000-$12,000 and it would take 10-12 days.

I was in the shop during construction and one of the guys asked me, "When are you wanting to open?" I said, "Oh puh-lease! This 10-12 day job is already in its 10th week! I'm not holding my breath!"

the final cost of this $12,000 job was $28,000.

And I've always heard it called "gerry" or "jerry" rigging, not "jury rigging". So I looked it up and found that all three can be considered correct! Learn something new on this site everyday! thumbs_up.gif

Occther Posted 12 May 2011 , 11:07am
post #8 of 19

I agree with Debi - remodeling seldom costs what you initially budget. I had a very uniformed idea that I could open my coffee shop for around $5000 - before I realized I had to purchase commercial equipment. Ended up being closer to $25,000. And time lines - yea - they seldom met. Keep your chin up - it will get there!!

leah_s Posted 12 May 2011 , 11:20am
post #9 of 19

Hey Anna - where are you in KY? Or did I already ask that?

Annabakescakes Posted 12 May 2011 , 2:11pm
post #10 of 19

I live in NKY, Burlington, to be exact, outside city limits, right on the line with Hebron. I don't think I could be considered competition, this far from Louisville...

$900 is just for the door! We got the first time homebuyer tax credit, and it only took them a whole year to send it to us...I thought it was stupid to give people money to buy a house, especially since we were going to anyway, and considering the nation is $14,000,000,000,000 in debt, but I figure I'll pay it all back and more once I become a taxpayer. We currently get a refund.

The floor and walls and insulation and wiring are in-budget, but the plumbing was over and the electric was way under. I just had the money with the "family money", so I am not sure what the total is, but I may get away with not spending anymore AFTER I spend another $90 on the door for the trim. I have my pile o' receipts...There is part of me that doesn't want to know!

LKing12 Posted 12 May 2011 , 2:18pm
post #11 of 19

Hi Anna,
Boy am I confused. We live in SKY and we were told that we could not use our garage that it had to be separate from the house. What county are you in?

Annabakescakes Posted 12 May 2011 , 3:42pm
post #12 of 19

I am in Boone County. I HAVE to have it connected to the house, for zoning, but with a door, per health dept.

And I forgot, I need signs, and cookie sheets, and a mop handle and head, and boxes and boards.....

LKing12 Posted 12 May 2011 , 10:44pm
post #13 of 19

Wow, can you believe the difference from one county to another? Hope all goes well.

scp1127 Posted 13 May 2011 , 7:01pm
post #14 of 19

Mine was double the price and double the time too. And we were the general contractors! No one wants to show up for work. And if you don't watch, workers will shortcut and cause work to have to be re-done. I don't know how people hire contractors with no knowledge themselves. They lie about the amount of supplies to pocket the extra money, and shortcut what they think you can't see. Needless to say, contractors hate working for me and I have had quite a few walk off when I point out their shoddy work... especially when it comes from a woman contractor.

indydebi Posted 13 May 2011 , 7:06pm
post #15 of 19

I also noticed how the contractor would "casually" ask me if I wanted this or that done? The conversation generally went:

Them: Would you like this added to blah blah blah?
Me: Is it going to cost me more money?
Them: Yes
Me: No

It was never presented in a "Does your budget allow for ......?" or "Here's an idea you might want to consider and the cost will only be ....." It was a question just thrown out, very casually, like a waitress asking if you wanted a (free) refill. Only when she brought the check, you found a charge for 3 refills!

Careful on those "casual questions"!

Annabakescakes Posted 13 May 2011 , 7:30pm
post #16 of 19

Both SPC and Debi's last posts made me chuckle. I know exactly what you both are talking about. The plumbers (mandatory licensed plumbers-state law) charges me $1000 for the pipes, and I am familiar with PVC prices. There is NO WAY they spent that much, it is more like 1/4 that price, but the other 4 quotes I got were higher.... Took them a day with 2 guys, and 4 hours with 1 guy a week later. Grand total of $2,800 with me buying my own grease trap. But I have been scrimping on everything I can but making it look as nice as i can...

And the plumbers pulled that on me too, the whole "we're putting in a something or other, right?" and "you wanted a dohicky, right?"
Both times I asked if it was included in the quote and if it had to be included for code. Nope and nope, so that's what I told them..NOPE!!

LKing12 Posted 13 May 2011 , 7:46pm
post #17 of 19

My cheapest estimate for the commercial licensed plumber was $3700.00. The does not include the new septic system, septic tank and grease trap! That is another contractor and another quote.

Annabakescakes Posted 13 May 2011 , 8:02pm
post #18 of 19

My garage floor is 2feet lower than my basement ceiling, perfect height to just run the pipes over to the existing, 10 feet away. It was a very easy job. Plus, we had to replace our own drywall! It took me a week to get it halfway decent, and I decided on a huge back splash instead to cover up the seams! add $70 to budget.

scp1127 Posted 13 May 2011 , 8:02pm
post #19 of 19

One electrician quoted me 100 extra feet of the cable that brought the 220 to the new box... at $8.00 per foot.

If anyone is considering this type of construction, get a quote on labor only plus a detailed materials list. Measure yourself, get explanations for discrepancies, then get your own materials. If you have a relative with some construction knowledge, get an opinion.

Never allow them to charge by the hour. A firm quote will mean that mistakes will come out of their pocket. AND BE SURE TO GET THEIR LICENSE AND INSURANCE POLICY. Make a call to the building inspector to verify that the license is in good standing. In WV, a copy must be in each vehicle and we have had employees copy both the license and the insurance policy to get side jobs. They have even pulled permits with our license. Call the company by looking up the number on the internet, not on their card, and verify that the company is aware of your job. Call the insurance company and ask to be named on the policy (for big jobs). This way, you will be notified if they lose their insurance for non-payment. If it is a stolen license, your recourse will be the person that did the job only, not the real contractor. And that guy you hired may not have a dime to his name. You have no idea how much this happens.

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