Inside Self-Storage

SEP 2018

Inside Self-Storage (ISS) is an information source for industry owners, managers, developers and investors covering news, trends, facility operation, finance, real estate, construction, development, marketing, technology, insurance and legality.

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Other Considerations When preparing the grading plan for a self-storage property, it's a good idea to map out underground utility and bollard locations. Each building typically has cameras and lighting, which requires separate conduits. Gates, keypads and lighted signs will also require conduits. Automated gates will need concrete foundations, which should also be mapped. Excavating and installation of these features may be done by your grading contractor and could be part of the bid. During the planning and bidding process, consider where topsoil will be stored or disposed. On most properties, a layer must be scraped off and replaced with free-draining fill (aka gravel), which means the topsoil has to go somewhere. Most developers plan to cover the entire property with storage units and driveways, so the topsoil must be hauled away. Your grading contractor may include this in his bid. Local materials suppliers or farmers might be willing to haul it away at no charge, or if you're lucky and timing works out, you may even be able to sell it. If you're developing the property in phases, you'll need to decide how much prep you'll do on the land for later development. If you can bear the cost, it's best to do all the grading up front, and possibly the later-phase paving and foundation. This reduces wear and tear when you add on and avoids more mess. Work with your civil engineer and city staff well in advance to understand all the obstacles you'll face. Comprehensive planning will help you reduce the number of design changes, potentially saving you time and money. Jamie Lindau is a self-storage owner and the national sales manager at Trachte Buildings Systems, which designs, manufactures and erects a full line of pre-engineered and customized steel self-storage systems, including single- and multi-story, portable storage, interior partition and corridor, and canopy boat/RV. He presents Trachte's free "Building Blocks of Self-Storage" seminar in more than a dozen cities throughout North America every year. For more information, call 800.356.5824; visit Moove In Self Storage in Quarryville, Pa., was built on a site with a 24-foot elevation change. Two of the buildings use the "two-story into a hill" design, with each accepting a 10-foot grade-level change. Each of the four driveways is pitched to handle an additional foot of change. The foundation of this development in Madison, Wis., shows a longitudinal step ready to accept a steel building.

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