Opening Up A Store- Kitchen Plumbing

Business By kookycutter Updated 14 Mar 2012 , 4:33am by scp1127

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kookycutter Posted 27 Jan 2011 , 2:17am
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Hi, I am currently looking at places to open up a storefront for my cake business. I just saw a place today that I really liked. It is currently an art gallery and will need some work to transform into a commercial kitchen, etc. My concern is the plumbing issues. Obviously, there isn't a kitchen in place in the space and I will need to have everything installed. What are some of the obstacles/ issues I will face with installing plumbing. Is it a straightforward job? Is it expensive? I'd love to hear from the experienced business owners.

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bigwheals Posted 27 Jan 2011 , 2:43am
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Hey I just recently went through the same thing and I know a few things about what the health dept. requires like very particular about drains and you must have a three compartment sink, hand wash sink, mop sink, and a sink in your bathroom. and yes the plumbing is expensive i paid to have those sinks installed and my friends dad and brother gave me a deal 15 hours work for 800.00 dollars thats like 38 dollars and hour. Most plumbers charge 65 dollars and hour. Hope this helps

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scp1127 Posted 27 Jan 2011 , 3:10am
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You need to get a plumber in there to give you an estimate. Then double it... and that goes for every system. Others have said the same on here. So many unforseen things come up. The plumbing run to all of those sinks and the floor drain are expensive. You also need to install a grease trap. A space that has to be built out completely is tons more expensive than a former restaurant. And that's alot of cake!

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indydebi Posted 27 Jan 2011 , 3:20am
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ditto all of the above. trenching thru a concrete floor to install the drains is VERY expensive. As in "you can't believe it" and "you have no idea" expensive. Find out if you require a vent/hood over your cooking/baking area. cutting thru the roof to install this system is also very expensive. My exhaust hood (just the metal hood) was $1000 per linear foot and I needed 8 ft of it. This didn't include the installation costs.

Work with a contractor who is VERY familiar with health dept requirements. Having one of those was a godsend to me.

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scp1127 Posted 27 Jan 2011 , 11:14am
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Debi, you are so right. Each of the contractors tweaked my layout to save me money. I got an estimate to move the hot water heater a few feet, $2500. We did it ourselves for hardly nothing. But we have commercial contractors licenses. You can't do the work yourself if you don't have the license to pull permits. So be careful relying on friends and family. They won't be able to help on the systems. We live in a smaller town and the contractors come to do the job in two's at $70.00 each, $140.00 an hour. My guess, and Debi can help me, is a full buildout would be $80,000 up, and likely it will be up. To convert a kitchen that is in code, a fraction. There are abandoned restaurants in every town. In this economy, I would hate to have to overcome that before I made any money myself. And lots of people on here say they barely break even, or go in the hole, with much less to overcome than this.

I don't mean to be discouraging, but do your business plan and present it to a loan officer or an accountant. Not that you need a loan, but see what they say about the viability. You must include every expense documented with quotes. And hopefully you have business experience.

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bakershusband Posted 27 Jan 2011 , 11:49am
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We are just finishing up a space and should be moving in within the week. The worst was the plumbing as Mass. Has a lot a lot of regulations and only select vendors that you can purchase grease traps and stuff from. I would recommend that you talk to the inspectors directly with the contractor. This was our biggest lesson learned as we had to get a second grease trap and almost couldnt do it at all commercial kitchens in the stats cannot have pvc drainage which is common these days .
Price aside which everyone has spoke about I would research and talk to everyone in your city (health, building, inspectors and then the contractors).

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scp1127 Posted 27 Jan 2011 , 11:56am
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We have two grease traps too. I think the more expensive grease traps are a guarantee in the future because of the environmental impact and the added cost for sewer systems.

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jewelsq Posted 27 Jan 2011 , 2:24pm
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I'm not sure if kookycutter, the original poster, has started from the beginning, but this is the best place to start, by looking at the requirements in your state and town.

In my area of NJ, we did not have to have a commercial license to acquire permits or do the work. But we did have to go through the state Uniform Construction Code Office. BUT first, we had to have the blessing of the health department, then the town, then the state,

I really believe knowing the limits and boundaries for opening/building businesses in your area is top priority and it seems like so many put the cart before the horse.

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scp1127 Posted 27 Jan 2011 , 2:44pm
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jewelsq, it looks like we all are assuming that. If she hasn't done the first steps, my advice is to stop right now, learn how to open a business, secure proper funds, about $100,000, then go to the health dept. I got the application 1 1/2 years before I applied. I found the answers to every question either online or talking to contractors. I also priced used and new equipment, bought it, and saved for the construction. When I asked for a meeting with the health dept, my application was approved at that meeting... because I already knew the answers. Anyone looking to fork out that kind of cash better know what they are doing or have it to lose. And if it is borrowed, with little business knowledge, that person is putting their house, credit report, and future income in serious jeopardy. Sometimes on this site, when someone writes, "I'm getting ready to open my cake shop. How much does it cost?". I answer by saying that if you had to ask that question, you are not ready.

Yes, the OP should know the answer to the question she asked long before she started to look for a building. Unfortunately, poorly thought out bakeries won't last. But I am happy to see them in my town because they are not competition. For the first 15 years of my life, I worked in advertising for a newspaper as well as owned a small marketing company. People would call the paper and say they just opened a business and would they send out a rep. We had a game where we would guess how long before the business closed based on that first interview. We were never wrong.

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stinnmarshall Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 12:37pm
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The topic under discussion is very exiting. The naughty cake is on my view is a extra ordinary one with different styles, colors , designs and flavors. Could you please provide some attachment links regarding its preparation? Thanks in advance.

plumbing contractors  

residential plumbers

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Annabakescakes Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 1:59pm
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I don't know about your state, but in Ky., there are new regulations in place that a bakery must have an inground, 1000 gallon grease interceptor, which will make home based bakeries like mine obsolete. There is also an additional $300 a year fee icon_sad.gif

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LKing12 Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 2:30pm
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I am in KY and opened last October. The estimate to have a toilet, vanity sink, mop sink, three compartment sink, floor sink (new idea by the Commonwealrh of KY a sink actually in the floor for the three compartment sink drain to drain into!) and hand sink was $4500.00. That did not include any of the sinks or hooking them up to the outside grease tank and septic tank!
My first stop was the HD and because I was the first free standing commercial kitchen built in this area, there were still some "dicussion" between the plumber, septic tank installer and the HD. We were amazed at the number of people who have the "hands" in the operation. Unless it was my own building, I do not think I would pour that kind of money into someone elses'.

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scp1127 Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 2:46pm
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We are licensed contractors, able to pull the permits and hire the sub. Our grease trap was $2500.00. I would guess it would be about $3500.00 in general.

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LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 4:16pm
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Just thought I would add my two cents since we just opened a storefront as well.

The answer is YES, it will be very expensive to install plumbing for a kitchen in a place that has none. We were lucky enough to have at least some existing plumbing because it was a salon before, and there was plumbing from their sinks and such. But they still had to dig a trench in the concrete, VERY expensive. And yes, you need a 3 compartment, hand wash sinks in every work and food prep area, and a grease trap. The size of the grease trap will depend on your local requirements.

There is also something called an air gap that the plumber will have to install. It ensures that the plumbing won't back up into the sink.

The best thing to do is to contact a general contractor who is very familiar with the requirements in your specific city and county and have them come look at the space you are considering (BEFORE you sign a lease) and give you an estimate of the work needed. Your potential landlord should have no problem with you doing this. That's what we did, so we went into the build out with our eyes wide open and no surprises when we got the final bill.

Even with that, there are things along the way that may come up that you didn't plan for. We tried to find out for sure ahead of time if we would need the ANSUL system on our vent hood, and were told we wouldn't need it. But when it came to the final decision, the fire marshal said we did, which adds significant cost to the hood and install.

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FromScratchSF Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 4:30pm
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Originally Posted by stinnmarshall

The topic under discussion is very exiting. The naughty cake is on my view is a extra ordinary one with different styles, colors , designs and flavors. Could you please provide some attachment links regarding its preparation? Thanks in advance.

I have nothing to add except... I've seen some spam posts here but this one made me lol.

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Annabakescakes Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 6:06pm
post #16 of 18

My plumbing was $3,800. I purchased my own sinks and faucets and sprayer and grease trap. I got it all previously used except for the sprayer and trap. The sprayer cost $175, grease trap $280. I don want to get your hopes up by saying how much I spent on my sinks, but their original value was over $4,200.

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LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 13 Mar 2012 , 6:57pm
post #17 of 18

Yes, definitely try to get used equipment when you can! (In good condition, of course) It can save you a lot of money, and you really don't need all brand new equipment. We got our 3 compartment sink w/sprayer used for a really good price. We bought all of our hand sinks new, but they were only about $100 a piece.

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scp1127 Posted 14 Mar 2012 , 4:33am
post #18 of 18

Some home applications differ from commercial and some are the same. Mine was the same as commercial and the requirements were steep. For example, some areas don't require floor drains in separate home kitchens. Mine did.

The grease trap will differ from area to area. If you are on a septic system, you will need an underground tank, at least 500 gallons. If you are on public water and sewer, you may be able to get by with the cheap under sink version.

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