Case Study: Simply Self Storage, Orlando, Fla.

When Simply Self Storage decided to build its new offices and corporate headquarters in Orlando, Fla., the company wanted a look that reflected its services. The storage firm turned to U.S. Door & Building Components to achieve that look. The new corporate headquarters was custom designed with metal self-storage interior and roll-up doors from the door and hallway supplier.

"We had previously installed our self-storage doors and metal interiors into a Los Angeles architectural showroom. That experience gave us the expertise to transform a commercial interior that matched the needs of Simply Self Storage," says Charles Cordes, vice president of U.S. Door. "Office visitors, who are considering an investment in a self-storage facility, can actually test drive our doors and visualize our hallways in their buildings before buying them."

The Design, The Look, The Means

Simply Self Storages new headquarters consists of 3,800 square feet of offices, a reception area and conference room. The interior is in stark contrast to the previous corporate headquarters, which was outfitted in a very traditional Midwestern style. "It was quite a change for our office employees, but everyone seems to be really embracing it," says Jared Farmer, vice president of development.

"No other interior designs were considered," adds D.J. Hobek, director of marketing for the storage company. "We wanted our investors and customers who walked in to know were a self-storage business."

Each private office was designed with a standard entry door and a Royal Blue Model 501 self-storage roll-up door. The Model 501 doors come with a high-performance polypropylene wear strip and are manufactured using hot-dipped galvanized-steel components. This wear strip reduces friction during use, making it quiet and easy to operate, both important characteristics when being opened and closed in an office environment. The wear strip also minimizes paint scratching that can occur during high-cycle operation of a rolling-type door.

The conference room is outfitted with the Model 502 roll-up door that features an electric operator to provide maximum opening convenience and effortless operation. As company meetings are about to start, the roll-up door is raised with a push of a button. The Model 502 has a galvanized steel barrel surrounding a "dead axle" spring assembly. The barrel provides even lifting along the width of the door opening and a protective barrier against field mishandling. The Model 502, along with the other self-storage doors in U.S. Doors product line, is tested to meet 60,000 cycles. The doors are available in sizes up to 12-by-12 and in 22 different colors.

Using a floor plan provided by Jared Farmer, the U.S.Door design department engineered the required metal frames for personnel doors to securely fit into their structural pier and header system. The matching frames create a continuous self-storage look throughout the entire office space.

The hallway system was built around flush, polar-white, 16-gauge structural piers and headers. The structure is considered one of the strongest hallway systems available to the self-storage industry, according to U.S. Door. Chamfered corners, diamond plate aluminum kick plates and corner guards protected the steel components from any damage as objects were moved into the office.

Credit Where Credits Due

"We knew what we wanted. The custom doors and hallway systems vary from 5 feet to 8 feet wide," Farmer says. "You get a much more open office feel, which gives you the sense of working in a larger office compared to those with traditional 3-foot-wide doorways." The aesthetic look and the atmosphere the U.S. Door products create is something he enjoys every work day.

The designs provide a practical benefit as well. With the roll-up doors in an open position, communication is better in the office. Also, on move-in day, other benefits became apparent. "When we were moving furniture in and out, the roll-up doors made it very easy to move in, especially the large desks," Farmer says.

As visitors arrive at Simply Self Storages office, a reception desk similar in height and appearance to a self-storage rental and retail area is to the right of the entrance. A TV monitor behind the receptionist displays appropriate images for visitors seated in the reception area. Instead of the usual office art on the walls, one conference room has a display of a roll-up door, similar to those seen on the exterior of storage facilities. Staff at Simply Self Storage can point to those doors to better illustrate winning tips and strategies first-time developers need for success.

Other elements were installed throughout the interior to reflect the look and feel of a self-storage facility. Even the stained concrete and the unfinished black ceilings provide realistic features often seen in a storage facility. These finishing touches were provided by the other contractors who worked side-by-side with U.S. Doors installation team.

"U.S. Door did an excellent job of coordinating work with the other tradesmen, such as the carpenters and lighting contractors," Hobek says. "The professionalism of U.S. Door from the initial call to the punch list shows in the finished office interior."

Simply Self Storage, a wholly owned subsidiary of OB Cos., is a property management company specializing in existing self-storage operations, ongoing acquisitions and development of new facilities. Many of Simplys projects involve joint ventures with landowners and developers.

U.S. Door has been an international supplier to the self-storage industry for more than 30 years. In addition to supplying roll-up doors, it offers a complete portfolio of related products, including hallway and corridor systems, swing doors, lockers, EZ Access wicket doors, relocatable buildings and mezzanine systems. Products are available with factory-guaranteed installation.

For more information, call 407.859.6770; visit

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