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a solid foundation

September 1, 2002

3 Min Read
a solid foundation

AT 23 YEARS OLD, I'D NEVER LIVED IN MY OWN APARTMENT. I'd lived with roommates, but never had a "room of one's own," so to speak. After college (and one very long summer at home with the folks), I decided to move back to Amherst, Mass., where I'd gone to school, get a job and live like a responsible grown-up.

Unfortunately, I did not have a grown-up budget, and was forced to take a two-room basement apartment in an older multifamily home. It was obvious from the start this was no legally sanctioned appointment. The landlord had rigged this unit with plywood walls and some crude cabinets and other fixtures. But I didn't care--it was cheap, electricity was included, and it was mine.

Early one morning, there was a knock at my door. As I had been up late waiting tables the night before, I ignored the pounding and pulled the covers over my head. Within 60 seconds, the landlord had entered my apartment and begun having a discussion with a service man around the water heater in my "kitchen." I was stunned--and a bit underdressed for the occasion.

I screamed at the landlord that he had no right to force entry to my home, to which he quipped, "This is my house! I have every right!" His tune changed dramatically, however, when I threatened to contact local authorities regarding the legitimacy of the space. (Incidentally, I was asked to leave the apartment the following month to "accommodate a remodel.")

Construction in self-storage is like contracting in any other industry--you've got your reputable companies and your shoddy workmanship. Planning is crucial at this phase, as it lays the foundation for the success of the property. While some may be tempted to cut costs (i.e., corners), this rarely pays off in the long term. (It can also get you into trouble, as my ex-landlord eventually discovered.)

This year's construction issue approaches the topic from all right angles: zoning, site design, negotiating a contract, selecting a construction team. You'll read what you need to start building a facility from the ground up, as well as about the possibilities for converting exisiting properties of a different use and multistory sites. There's information about how to make use of a facility's security system before construction is complete, keeping the site safe from would-be criminals. Finally, you'll read how steel prices are affecting suppliers in the industry and self-storage construction in general.

We hope to see you this month at our fall conference and expo, Sept. 25-27. Orlando is the perfect place for a final summer jaunt and our expo, as always, is the best place to do business--whether you're in the building stages or well beyond. You'll find no shoddy workmanship there.

See you on the show floor,

Teri L. Lanza
Editorial Director
[email protected]
Website: www.insideselfstorage.com

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