Inside Self-Storage Magazine 06/2004: Construction Corner

Construction Corner is a Q&A column committed to answering reader-submitted questions regarding construction and development. Inquiries may be sent to [email protected]

Q: I own a facility in Nebraska and am having the biggest problem with people lassoing surveillance cameras off the building walls. Aside from putting some big ugly cage around each camera, do you have any suggestions? Or can you recommend another type of camera?

Gayle in Lincoln, Neb.

A: There is a wide range of high-quality camera housings available. For your application, you would probably want to look at something in a no-grip design. Picture a half-dome camera with a mounting ring around it. This camera is surface-mounted but doesnt provide any way for someone to easily grip or pull it off the wallwith a rope or otherwise. There is a wide variety of camera options that can fit inside this form factor, such as night vision, vari-focal, etc.

Q: I am seeing more and more storage facilities with self-service kiosks. I would be interested in adding one to our facility, but I want to know what I need to do from a construction standpoint to prepare for one (e.g.,walls, cages, etc.).

George in Santa Fe, N.M.

A: There is no doubt that kiosks, or auto-attendants, are the wave of the future. Not only are they a great convenience for your customer, they are also a good way to reduce your operating costs by hiring less office personnel.

The construction modifications required will vary greatly with the type of kiosk you purchase. Some kiosks are self-standing units that require no construction (mostly for in-office use only). Others are surface-mounted to the exterior of your facility; and still others require a remodel of the wall into which you flush-mount the unit.

I recommend the latter design. Even though it does require some initial construction, it will look cleaner and offer long-lasting service, much like an ATM machine. The wall will help protect the unit from theft and vandalism. Once you decide on the model and get the specifications, contact a local contractor to get an estimate for the work needed to install it. It will likely pay for itself in a short period of time.

Tony Gardner is a licensed contractor and installation manager for QuikStor, a provider of self-storage security and software since 1987. For more information, visit

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