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Tricky Business: Self-Storage Site Layout

George Gray Comments
Posted in Articles, Development

Planning your self-storage site layout can be tricky. It can make or cost you money. Your key factor is to remember you are building your storage business for the marketplace and your customers, so don’t make decisions based entirely on construction costs.

Build Your Team First

Building a team of experts knowledgeable in self-storage is vital to the successful development of your new site. Don’t fall into the trap of believing your architect or contractor knows all about the demographics of your area or all about the self-storage industry. By the time you eventually find out they were making reasoned assumptions, it’s only you who will be left holding the bag. Find a specialist to consult, and conduct a feasibility study yourself to better understand the area demographics.

All of the different members of your technical team will be helpful in their respective areas of expertise but do your own research, find out about local competitor sites, and develop your own understanding of how your new self-storage business can find its place in the market.

Zoning, Codes and Regulations

Building codes and zoning need to be researched and are different in every city. Some locales will allow you to build with a basic site plan and with manufacturer’s drawings. This is becoming rare, so if you are building in a major city on a main road in either single-story or multi-story, get ready to complete a long list of requirements.

Elements of a Good Site Plan

A great deal of consideration goes into a good site plan, including:

  • Building setbacks
  • Distance between buildings
  • Size of buildings
  • Fire walls
  • Fire routes
  • Water drainage
  • Maximum site coverage
  • Parking spaces
  • Water supply, services
  • Electrical services
  • Hallway lengths
  • Fire sprinklers
  • Natural space requirements
  • Security-camera angles

These items will be needed to complete your site layout and could be taken care of by your manufacturer, architect, engineer or design/build company.

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