What it’s taken to get the rented space ready to open up a proper repair shop:

  • The dark and grungy shop
    In the beginning, there was darkness.

    Paint walls and ceiling – Pressure wash, paint two coats. Cuts down on loose crap falling off the walls and creating excessive dust.

  • Paint floor – Acid wash, apply two-part epoxy with sand mixed in for grip. In contrast with the original, bare concrete, the new floor can be wiped clean, and things don’t become gross just because they touched the floor. It’s also way easier to find dropped nuts and bolts. (Thanks to Sharpton Painting for their paint work.)
  • Service garage doors – One door’s spring needed re-tensioning, the other needed that plus all new rollers. (Overhead Door
  • Locks – A locksmith came out and installed a sliding bolt on the outside of one garage door and another on the inside of the interior door.
  • Telephone service – AT&T had to push a button somewhere; luckily this turned on the service outside one of our doors. I trust land lines, and I like their quality.
  • Internet service – Comcast ran a new line and drilled a hole through the wall. You really can’t run a repair shop without internet access.
  • Electricity – There are three circuits, but we need power run across the ceiling to improve the lighting. Dark shops make it too easy to lose parts on the floor, even when it’s been painted light gray.
  • Air conditioning – One window was filled with cement block, so some of it will come out to make a hole for a free window A/C unit I got from my friend Jim to use in Atlanta. It will be drastically under-suited for the job, but it only needs to be good enough to drop it ten degrees inside when it’s 95 F outside. (I’ll worry about heat in a few months.)

Other things we’ve done to get ready:

  • Credit card processing – Advanced Payment Solutions provides us a “virtual terminal,” so the internet connection and computer are also the credit card machine. (The machines cost $360+, so a $12/month fee is the right solution for a low-volume business like this.)
  • QuickBooks – It’s not really the fun part, but accounting has to be done, and I was already familiar with QuickBooks from past lives.
  • Kitchen –¬†Once the shop is officially open, I won’t be able to leave for an hour to get lunch. I’ll miss that, but it’s not a bad trade for having my own shop. Anyway, that all just means I need a fridge (with a real freezer), a microwave, and a coffee maker.
  • Shelving – Repairs shops need to store all kinds of stuff, and floor space is valuable. My friend Bill scavenged some shelving units from his company, which was going to scrap them. Once I tightened all the screws and wiped off the Cumberland River silt from the May 2010 flood, the shelves were nearly as good as new.

That’s enough detail for now. I’m a little tired just reading back over the list.

Update: There are many photos here.

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