Starting A Gaming Store - Getting The Building Ready

Continuing my series on the madness that is opening a game store today I am going to talk about getting the store ready. It may not seem like to big of a task, but once you start you realize you are like Sisyphus - you are never done.

When I took over the space it was a square white room with scuffs, holes, and gouges in the wall. The place had some pretty solid off-grey marbled carpet (this will be important later), and a bathroom with working water. No lights, no AC (how nice in July), and a lot of work to do.

My wife decided that I should paint the walls. I was okay with the dingy beat up white walls, but that just wouldn't stand. We headed off to Home Depot and I picked out a nice darkish shade of grey - who doesn't like dark grey? I bought two buckets of paint, a paint roller, a paint roller tray, some plastic, some paper, holy crap this is expensive, a brush, paper towels,  and I even bought some painters tape so it would all be nice and neat.

I'm not gonna lie - I hate painting walls. Putting up the tape is what gets me - it seems like you are doing twice the work. I decided that I would start off by painting a square section of one wall to test the color and worry about the tape later. I opened a bucket, stuck in my roller, put about two strips of paint on the wall, and the paint roller exploded. The handle broke near where the plastic goes to the metal rod that holds the roller. GREAT.

The next evening I went to Wal-Mart to pick up some more paint rollers. I was looking in the painting section and then I saw this bad boy -

The Wagner Power Painter

This thing was a life saver. It pretty much worked like a big airbrush - I just filled the bottom full of paint, pointed it at the wall, and it blasted out the paint. This thing was a bit more expensive than a roller - it was about $80, but the time and frustration it saved was WELL worth it. The only thing was that this thing would need power. Great. I was going to have to turn on the power  - no point in having lights if you aren't selling anything, right? Well, maybe not. I remembered reading an article a while back about a guy who powered part of his house by using his Toyota Prius and a Power Inverter. I just happen to drive a Prius so that is what I did. I went and bought a 100' extension cord and a power inverter and I now had some power.

This is the point where the lack of AC really kicked in. Since I didn't have building power the AC wouldn't run and it was HOT in the store. CRAZY hot. I was just dripping sweat as I painted. It was murder. I had a box fan plugged up to my power inverter, but this just made the hot air move around a bit, better than nothing, but it was still hot. This went on until I got all the painting done and then I called up and ordered some power for the building. This means I will have a few bills to pay before the store opens, but it is worth it.

Once everything was painted and dry it was time to start moving fixtures and tables in. I had a few tables that would work nice in the store, but I still needed a few white folding tables and chairs so I picked those up at home depot. I had a couple sets of Gorilla Racks out in my garage, so those got packed up as well. I was still down a few shelves, but I lucked into a unique situation where a guy knew a place that was moving and they had some stuff they didn't need and I was able to pick up a few sets of shelves that really topped the place off on storage.

The last thing I did was hang up a piece of pegboard over a set of my short Gorilla Racks. This will give me some extra space and will work marvelously for hanging Games Workshop blisters and the like. This part was pretty fun since I got to use my drill and a borrowed circular saw - always fun. At this point I am pretty much done with the layout of the store. I still need a check out area and I need to clean up a bit, but all-in-all it is done. Here are a few pictures I snapped with my iPhone to give you an idea of how it is turning out. They are a bit grainy but you can get the idea.

 The piece of pegboard between the racks

 More shelving

More gaming area - and some mess 

Two of the Warhammer/40k Tables

I have a bit of product already on the shelves. This is stuff that I had in my closet and garage. Most of it hadn't been opened yet, so I decided to bring it up and put it on the shelves to get it out of my house. I actually placed my first orders with Games Workshop and Alliance yesterday, so hopefully by the end of the week I will have more stock to put on the shelves.