Crafting before a game starts is very much up to the GM, and there aren't any rules for it. You can definitely take 10 on Craft checks, but whether you can make checks before the game starts or not is up to the GM.
Most of the GMs that I've played with disallow using any kind of crafting rules before the game starts. The amount of money you start with is supposed to represent the total value of stuff that you've accumulated, not a pile of cash that you spend right before the game begins. I wouldn't allow the use of the craft skill rules to make your equipment cheaper for the same reason that I wouldn't allow a character with a magic crafting feat to use that before the game; with the right skills, you can significantly increase your wealth, which is not fair to people who don't take crafting skills or feats.
That said, there is at least nominal support for giving extra wealth based on crafting. There is a guideline in the magic item crafting rules that says that characters with a crafting feat should get 25% extra wealth when they start, to represent the things that they've crafted. Magic almost always costs much more than mundane gear, though, so any benefit that you'd get from crafting mundane gear before the game would be small, and would become mostly irrelevant within a few levels.
If what you're worried about is unbalancing the game by giving your character too much money, don't worry about it. There will be a difference at level 1, a smaller difference at level 2, and by level 4 the amount of extra money you'd get from pre-crafting your gear would be so small that no one will notice it. This counts double for a GMPC in a party where no one else really knows the rules. As long as you're not using your extra wealth to overshadow the other players in some way, you're not going to mess anything up by effectively increasing your starting wealth.