August 07, 2019

August Building Update

by Alan Beatts

Last month I mentioned that I was going to be meeting with a specialist contractor about removing the flooring in the new store.  The flooring itself isn't a problem, but the tile and adhesive on it is.  Both contain asbestos, as is pretty typical for old tile.  Though one solution would be to simply cover it up with a new floor, I don't really want to go that route for a couple of reasons.  First off, adding a layer to the existing floor will (obviously) raise the height.  That increased height becomes a problem because we need to meet the sidewalk outside the shop without too much of a slope because of accessibility requirements.  At the current floor height we can just make it without having to build a ramp and add a handrail.  If we add even 3/4", I don't think we can manage it.

Secondly, asbestos is not very nice stuff.  There aren't a whole lot of construction materials that give me the creeps but asbestos is one of them.  If we don't take the floor out now, there's never going to be a good time to do it.  On top of that, any time we need to work on the floor in the future (like drill a hole through it for an electrical line or some speaker wiring) we'll have to deal with the asbestos risk.

The estimate to remove the floor is around $9000.  Adding the cost of a new, lovely fir floor (much like what we have in the current store), the total is probably going to be around $20,000.  That's a steep price-tag but I think I'm going to do it.  The floor is probably the absolutely hardest thing to replace after we open and so I feel like getting a truly permanent job done is in our best interests.  The schedule for that job is a bit up in the air since I need to figure out how it'll fit with the other work we're doing.  I expect that it will happen after we have the bathroom framed and the light well closed up.  Having those two jobs done will make the asbestos removal easier and it will also make it much simpler to clear everything out of the place (because we can store a bunch of the stuff inside the bathroom rather than moving it to the back yard).

Speaking of the bathroom, last weekend we got a huge amount of work done on the framing.  Almost all the walls are in place (and they all fit properly, thank goodness) and I'll be working on the final touches all this week.

Also on the bathroom topic, my meeting with our plumber, Brian Fusco, went really well.  He's a total pro and I'm looking forward to working with him.  He also gets our goal of really making sure that everything is in solid shape from the outset, even if it'll cost a little more.  So, it's looking like we'll have, for the first time ever, a shop with a completely top-notch electrical and plumbing system.  Oh, and a roof that doesn't leak.  I'm not sure that, after the past 20 years, I'll know what to make of that.

Before you ask, sorry, but still no opening date.  There are still too many moving parts for anything I say to be better than a wild-ass-guess.

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