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Teri L. Lanza,
Vice President

Tony Jones,
Contributing Editor/Store Manager

Amy Campbell,

Self-Storage Talk Member Asks What You Would You Do Differently in Building Process

By Teri Lanza Comments
Posted in Blogs

Though most people try to adhere to the mantra "Live life with no regrets," self-storage operators know it's important to look back on their past decisions and contemplate, "What could I have done to improve?" Asking this question is not an exercise in self-torture but rather a way to make sure previous errors in judgment don't reoccur. In terms of planning, designing, laying out and building self-storage facilities, everyone can learn from everyone else's mistakes. It's this thinking that inspired member Steve Hajewski to start the thread "What Would You Do Different?" on Self-Storage Talk, the largest online community in the industry.

Hajewski's question has received several responses. MisterJim444, a consultant who's worked in the industry for more than 20 years, says he still sees clients who lay out the property so that the office is inconspicuous and isn't accessible on the public side of the security gate. In MisterJim's view, this creates a locked-off perception of the office and the management, which can scare away or flat out prevent new customers from walking in. Member Tall Terri has a similar criticism at her facility, saying the office is just too far away from the units and the parking lot.

Member and facility-owner Madman would have implemented a drive-through loading bays at his facilities in British Columbia. Member ShaneinSD listed passenger-frieght combo elevators, as opposed to frieght only; wider roll-up doors; corrugated metal instead of wood; and a separate entrance for the manager's residence. Other bemoaned decisions include hiring a sub-standard contractor, electing not to go with dual-entry gates, and going for inexpensive instead of drainage-friendly roofs, I'm sure even the newest, most-modern facilities have their flaws, and the obvious, should-have-been-done-differently mistakes should be pointed out so they can either be corrected or prevented at future facilities.

Do you have any of your own pre-facility-building stories to share? Are you about to embark on the process and could use a few tips? You're welcome to jump into the discussion, read others' posts and react. Though you must be a registered member to post in the thread, registration is a free and easy at It can't hurt to reflect and share. After all, there's another mantra that's just important to live by: "Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it."


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