The Construction Blog Of The New Topper Fine Jewelers
12/12/11 The last construction entryLittle details have been filled in over the month and the store has taken it's final form. While we would have liked to have had a grand opening party before it got too busy with the holidays, it wasn't possible so it will be scheduled for the first week in Febuary. While we still are working on little things, here are some pictures of the store in final form. (well final-"ish" anyway) here are photos of the store just 4 short months after the start of our 4 to 5 week project. Our new exterior featuring Omega watches on the left, and fine jewelry on the right.
I'm going to miss writing these construction blog updates, but with a little luck I'm sure we'll come up with something else to write about. Thank you to everyone who'se followed the transition of our store. We hope you like how it's turned out.
11/7/11 Entry-way Progress & More Display Build Out.While we still await arrivals such as the glass doors in the back of the showroom and about 6 feet of cases near the front, Topper feels a little less like a construction zone each day.
Progress with the Watch Corners.While the physical corners for Glashütte Original & Zenith were functioning a week ago, the displays just arrived and the watches are now going out on display. Our Zenith space is almost double what it was before, and is now organized into three sections: El Primero, Elite & Older product. Aside from the fact that it is nice to see them in a more logical and spacious layout, we hope collectors will enjoy being able to have them adjacent to our new watch line Glashütte Original. The two brands compliment each other well, and are on any collectors shortlist of the best originally manufactured timepieces.
Work on the ExteriorWhile we removed the gold tone cladding of the early 1990s design a few weeks ago, in the interim the door frame has had a placeholder while we awaited the new brushed steel cladding. That cladding arrived a few days ago and was installed this morning.
"Almost Finished" - Posted 10/31/11The store is open again, and while we are about 95% there, there is still some work left that will take place over the next few weeks.
"Finishing Touches - Posted 10/28/11Things comtinue to move along! The Michele Trunk show ocurred today, and we stocked the center case of the store with Michele watches while construction continued. Tomorrow we are ready to inventory the store though the process of building the displays will continue through the day.
"Soft Open" Scheduled for Tomorrow - Posted 10/27/11While we will be planning and announcing a formal grand opening event soon, the showroom is far enough along tomorrow morning that we can put out merchandise and let people in tomorrow! Though we have many lose ends to work on, we hope you like the evolution of the store. Some merchandise will not be out for a few days as we work on the fine details of the displays. Thank you again, to all who have visited with us as we've gone through these changes. Work will continue in the background over the next few weeks, but the store is starting to take shape.
The Install Continues - Posted 10/25/11The work continued today, and while good progress was made, we will not ready to put merchandise in the cases tomorrow. We will have open phones and a closed showroom tomorrow. There's an outside chance the showroom will be open Thursday, but there is still a lot to accomplish.
The New Cases Arrive and the Start of the Install - Posted 10/24/11Almost all of the cases arrived this morning and by the end of the day the Zenith corner both front and back were installed, and significant progress was made on a few of the other branded corners. We will pick up where we left off tomorrow, and hopefully have more of the back wall units attached by tomorrow night. Tomorrow should bring a considerable build out, and there's a chance we will be able to display merchandise as work continues around us on Wednesday, but we will have to see how it goes.
Case-less Sunday - Posted 10/23/11
Today all of the cases were discarded, and work continued on the interior of the front of the store. Tomorrow will be a fast paced day as we start the installation of the new cases and teams sent by Swatchgroup and Zenith install their respective corners. We are open tomorrow for phone hours only and will do our best to help everyone in that capacity. As to the install, we are crossing our fingers that nothing was damaged in transit and look forward to being able to resume normal operations soon.
Old Cases Used for the Last Time. - Posted 10/22/11
Today was the last day of our duct taped cases. The new cases are on route, and installation will begin Monday morning. The main showroom will be closed on Monday & Tuesday while we assemble. If you would like to make special arrangements to visit during these days, please call us and we will see if we can accommodate your needs. We are scheduled for normal phone hours on Monday and Tuesday and will have full staff on the premises.
Cases ready to ship. Installation date set. - Posted 10/16/11
Small finish details have continued over the past two weeks, and the store is just about ready for the final case installation. The cases are all shipping now and will be here for the start of installation on Sunday. While we do not know if we will be able to have the physical store open on Monday the 24th & Tuesday the 25th, at the very least the phones will be open and we will be reachable during the installation. Below are some pictures of some of the cases taken yesterday before they were packed up and shipped to Burlingame.
First view of the new cases - 9/29/11
While the on-site crew has been busy over the last week installing the entryway's new slate tile, repainting window displays, and installing the new window wiring, the most interesting and substantive part of the project is happening off-site. The new showroom cases are well on their way to completion, and we expect them to ship in about ten days with installation occuring shortly thereafter. Our store designer sent us the first progress shots of the actual case construction and we are thrilled with how they are coming out. While we don't want to rush him and have a lapse in quality, they can't get here fast enough!
Lights and Sound - 9/22/11
The temporary lights were all removed yesterday, and the electricians installed the final lighting trim and most of our new LED lights. In addition we now have the new sound system up and running, which is a huge improvement. We are all eagerly awaiting the ship date of the new cases and cabinetry which is a few weeks out. For the meantime, we will get bye with our former and now duct-taped cases which are getting closer to retirement. The construction team is now turning to the exterior of the store while our new cases and cabinets continue to be built off-site.
Floor Installed Up To The Front - 9/16/11
In the last two days the crew installed the floor all the way up to the front of the store. The wood goes from the back of the viewing room through the showroom and stops in a semicircle about two feet from the door. The red plastic markers indicate where the center showcases will go, and the first few feet of the store will feature a new slate tile that will go out to the front. The tile will not be installed until next weekend, so they will continue with more detail work in the showroom over the next several days.
Dry Paint and More Floor - 9/14/11
We now have the ceiling dry and the new floor about 1/4 installed. The door on the left in the top photo will open up into the viewing room. Floor installation will continue through the week and will hopefully be completed by Monday. The new showcases & cabinets, and are all being assembled off-sight and will hopefully ship in a few weeks. While the existing showcases enable us to remain open, they will all be swapped out for new ones as part of the renovation. The new LED lights have shipped and should be here soon to replace the temporary lights.
Painting and the beginning of Floor Installation - 9/11/11
Now that the drywall installation is complete, the messiest part of the remodel is over and the crew has turned to finish detail. Last night, they began painting. In addition, the installation of the wood floor began this morning with the viewing room as the starting point. While completed the viewing room today, it should take at least a few days to install the floor throughout the entire store.
The End of the Drywall Stage - 9/8/11
While this week has been productive, it hasn't been as photo-worthy as last week. We made substantial progress on the electrical side and everynight a crew came in to coat and sand the drywall. When we come into the store tomorrow morning, it will be ready to paint. Today we also started installing the office carpet and began painting the back offices. The store painting will begin tomorrow night, and we will begin the installation of the hardwood floor later in the weekend. More photos will be coming soon!
Hanging and Tapering of the Drywall. - 9/5/11
Happy Labor Day everyone! This is the part of our construction that will probably be about as interesting as, well.... watching the paint dry. That having been said, over the last two days while we've been closed, we've made some serious strides. On Sunday we hung all of the drywall for the store, and today we began the taping process. There will be several days of taping and sanding, with the first scheduled sanding to occur tomorrow night. In order to get the final finish that we are trying to acomplish in the walls, this process will be repeated several times through-out the week. With a little luck, we will be able start thinking about LED light installation, painting, and floor installation as the weekend approaches.
Completion of Ceiling Wiring Install & Recessed Lighting Cans - 9/4/11
Having completes the installation and wiring of around 100 cans for the recessed LED lighting & the wiring for our new sound system, today will commence the drywall phase of the of project. The crew will be installing bar studs, joists, sheet rock, and laminating everything insde. The below photos show the store with temporary bulbs. The permanent lighting will be used after we've finished painting. We've been told it will look dramatically different by Tuesday. These photos below are the last we will see of the "open" ceiling.
Rebuilding the Lighting, Wiring & Ceiling Line. - 9/1/11
The last four days have involved the building and creation of the new ceiling line as well as installing the foundation for our new recessed LED lighting. Our contractor projects that we should have the lighting and basic wiring completed in a few days and we will then move on to the next stage of construction.
Store Demolition - 8/28/11
While we've been planning our remodel over the past several years, the demolition of the store happened in two days on Saturday the 27th & Sunday the 28th. We started immediately at the close of business on Saturday, and our challenge was to have the store ready to be open on Monday morning. Althought we were without finished walls, a floor, or conventional lighting, we did manage to open on time for normal buisness. The construction team was able to strip away and demolish every aspect of the old store that would hinder the creation of the new one. With the exception of a stray day or two, Topper will be open during it's normal business hours throughout the renovation.
Here are just a few pictures showing the first two days of our remodel.
The above picture is our former store front as it existed Friday, August 26th. While the store certainly had its time and place, it was built in 1990 and a renovation was long over due.
The picture below is a picture of the store window from Russ's office... All the walls that were marked red, (there were about 12 of them) were knocked down as soon as business closed on Saturday. Aside from the store, the entire back portion of the ground floor will also be remmade and we will also create a private viewing room.
Russ and I each got to take the first swing of demolishing the back wall of the store. Given how long each of us have been waiting for the creation of the new store, we were both pretty amped up about it. Russ took the better swing and looked like he was hitting a line drive as he broke through our former back wall.
The picture above is from the perspective of where our back wall used to be.
Aside from making the new store deeper and adding a private viewing room, the entire ceiling line had to be changed so that we could have three rows in the new store. From the perspective of when you walk in, the the new store will have watches down the left hand side, a center area for fine jewelry, and bridal jewelry on the right.
The above picture features our 1990s design ceiling line.
That line is now a memory and the new ceiling line will be straight across.
The above picture shows the store on Sunday Night as the crew neared completion of the ceiling line demolition.
The above photo shows our cases at 8:00 A.M. on Monday the 29th about two hours before we opened. A special thank you to all our guests who visited the store in the final days of August.