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The biggest risk I have taken as a self serve owner….

Kimberly Berg

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The biggest risk I have taken as a self serve owner is ____________________
Deciding to buy-out my ex-husband 10 years ago. I'm not a plumber, electrician or welder, but I LOVE my car wash, my customers and the industry. Income was flat and we were heavy in debt. Since then, I've been able to fix it up nicely and now it's making 3x gross. I just paid it off this year! :)
 

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Etowah

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Deciding to buy-out my ex-husband 10 years ago. I'm not a plumber, electrician or welder, but I LOVE my car wash, my customers and the industry. Income was flat and we were heavy in debt. Since then, I've been able to fix it up nicely and now it's making 3x gross. I just paid it off this year! :)
Great looking wash. I really like the bright blue and yellow.
 

Rfreeman

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Deciding to buy-out my ex-husband 10 years ago. I'm not a plumber, electrician or welder, but I LOVE my car wash, my customers and the industry. Income was flat and we were heavy in debt. Since then, I've been able to fix it up nicely and now it's making 3x gross. I just paid it off this year! :)
I don't want to hijack the thread but Im curious what type of vacs those are?
 

jack954

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same question about the vacs as i’ve never seen those?
 

Kimberly Berg

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Great looking wash. I really like the bright blue and yellow.
Thanks Greg! When we replaced the old metal mansard panels in 2006, it was a NO brainer to replace with blue (think water). The bright yellow complimented the blue, and created a energetic, happy vibe! :) Here's a photo of what my car wash looked like when we bought it in 2003. To save money, we re-used the original channel letters on the building. The sign company replaced the gold plastic panels with bright yellow, and converted from neon to LED. Then, we just used the same yellow for the pole covers and vacuums. I'm located on a busy corner, and the combination just "grabs" people's attention while they're sitting at the traffic light! :)
 

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Kimberly Berg

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Those vacuums are either antique Ryko or Mark VII vacuums, I haven’t seen any of those in well over 25 years.
Right you are Randy!! :) They are original Mark VII vacuums, installed when the car wash was built in 1982. The cannisters were structurally sound, but had minor chips and cracks in the gel coat. To save money when we remodeled in 2014, I sanded them down and repaired the fiberglass cannisters, and took them to my local Earl Scheib Auto Paint shop, for a fresh coat of yellow paint. Then, I added a custom decal for branding. I'm located on a busy corner in town, and the yellow vacuums really "pop" on my property.
 

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Kimberly Berg

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I'd like to see it at night. If all those wall packs are LED it may get mistaken as the space station.
LOL! Yes, they are LED wall packs. In 2015, when my monthly electrical bill was reaching $500, I knew it was time to start researching LED lights. In 2016, I had 31 old sodium, metal halide and fluorescent lights replaced with LED lights. I contacted 8 commercial electrical companies but their estimates were OUTRAGEOUS, between $20,000 - $28,000. To save money, I researched the HELL out of LED lights, and had my local electrician install them. He didn't have any sales experience with LEDs, but told me that if I did the leg-work, and gave him a shopping list, he would sell them to me at his cost and install them for $100 each. The final price was around $11,000 for 31 lights. I'm thrilled with the results! The color, brightness and footprint are perfect!! The key is finding the right balance between color and brightness. You don't want the Kelvins too high, or else the color would be uncomfortable for your customer's eyes. The brand is Atlas Lighting Products, made in the USA with imported parts . The 4 wall packs on the front are 6655 Lumens & 4500 K (color). Each bay has 2 wall packs and 2 8' foot linear lights on the ceiling. My car wash is open 24 hours, and customers feel safe, since it's so bright and attractive. Attached is my Shopping List if you want additional details, or contact me with questions. I'm happy to share what I've learned and pay it forward! :)
 

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edredtop

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Deciding to buy-out my ex-husband 10 years ago. I'm not a plumber, electrician or welder, but I LOVE my car wash, my customers and the industry. Income was flat and we were heavy in debt. Since then, I've been able to fix it up nicely and now it's making 3x gross. I just paid it off this year! :)
Your car wash is beautiful!!
I would recommend hardening the area between your coin acceptors and the block for your vacs (unless you're tokens only).
Won't explain it here, but each safe could be emptied in less than 5 min.
 

Kimberly Berg

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Your car wash is beautiful!!
I would recommend hardening the area between your coin acceptors and the block for your vacs (unless you're tokens only).
Won't explain it here, but each safe could be emptied in less than 5 min.
Thank you for the compliment! Everything takes $1 tokens only, purchased with paper bills or credit card. Back in 2013-2014 our Hamilton cash machine was being strung. I noticed the numbers were off (the hopper counter didn't match the cash count). This was before we installed 31 HD video cameras. Not sure what you mean by "hardening" - maybe send me a private message? I have a steel & concrete pole in front of the bay vaults. Each vault has 2 steel plates & 3 locks (LAI & American). Welded 1/2 pipe to protect the locks.
 

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MEP001

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He probably means the pipe leading from the coin box to the safe. Crooks will break the pipe and run a hose down into the vault to vacuum out the coins. I had that very thing happen about a month ago at a wash I look after.
 
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