Construction corner is a Q&A column committed to answering reader-submitted questions regarding construction and development. Inquiries may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: I see those security cameras everywhere. Are there any special considerations for using them at a self-storage site?
--Glenn in Pasadena, Calif.
There are certain guidelines unique to self-storage. When considering the installation of a video-surveillance system at a facility, there are two approaches: use in common areas only or comprehensive unit/hallway protection. As you can imagine, the system you choose largely depends on your budget, the location of the facility and your clientele. A skilled security vendor can design a surveillance placement that will reduce the number of cameras needed, give excellent coverage throughout the site, and provide tenants an added sense of security. Remember, if your tenants don't feel safe in your facility, you won't keep their business.
We are considering building a storage facility in our area, but we have very heavy snowfall during the winter months. Do you have any suggestions for a facility layout?
--Ellen in Rockland, Maine
Just keep your tenants in mind when figuring out your building design. You would think your area should only have climate-control buildings, but surprisingly, that may not be the case. For example, almost all of the sites in the Mammoth, Calif., are outside units. Mammoth is covered in heavy snow most months of the year. Some outside units cannot even be accessed during heavy-snow periods. Imagine what kind of business--and premium--you would get by being the only climate-controlled storage facility in that area! Design a multistory building that is climate-controlled. Use any outside units for your seasonal clients.
Tony Gardner is a licensed contractor and installation manager for QuikStor, an industry security and software provider since 1987. For more information, visit www.quikstor.com.