Inside Self-Storage

JUN 2019

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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Stay on top of what's happening in the industry and get links to the in the industry and get links to the latest news, feature stories, videos, latest news, feature stories, videos, and more straight to your inbox. and more straight to your inbox. SIGN UP TODAY! insideselfstorage.com/newsletter Subscribe to Our FREE Weekly Newsletter. change the type of gate you'll need. In many cases, you may need a vertical-lift instead of a sliding gate. This costs a lot more, but it may be the best type for your site. The Foundation You're now ready to pour your foundations. Have your site surveyor stake out the corners to ensure you're setting the building in the correct spot. I know this costs, but ensuring all the structures are properly located and at the correct floor height is invaluable. During construction, you may run over the grading stakes. It costs more to have your surveyor come out again, but it minimizes slipups. I'm also a firm believer in verifying the foundation dimensions before you start to pour. A typical mistake is the concrete contractor doesn't have the correct building width. He might have taken the dimension from the outside of the form, not from where the concrete will stop. What frequently happens is steps inside buildings might not be in the right spot or at the correct height compared to the final site-plan layout. Paving and Bollards Once your foundations are poured, you can conduct final grading and possibly install your binder course of asphalt paving. Many people do this later once the building is up, but others still pave before the building is installed so the asphalt contractor doesn't hit it. Whichever the case, install all bollards before paving. Typically seven feet long, they should be a minimum of six inches wide and three to four feet into the ground. Always put bollards on all four corners of your buildings, on all sides of your keypads, and at the corners of your gate. I've also started to put them at all my recessed hallway openings. Many customers seem to back into these areas, so it's good to protect them. If you're building large boat/RV-storage units, you may want to put bollards in front of each door jamb. This can be expensive, but it'll defend your building against damage. The Of ce One of the biggest regrets many self-storage owners wind have is they wish they'd built a nicer management office. It's important to put all the extra money you have into making your office as beautiful and spacious as possible. The additional design touches always pay off in the long run. Also, make sure there's a heated unit next to your office to store equipment, the electric cart and maintenance items. This will be help keep your site clean and in good working order. The Buildings When the actual buildings are installed, verify that they're going up according to plan. Do a proper walk-through with your installer to ensure all doors are working, the wall panels aren't missing any screws, etc. Remember, it's easier to fix any issues up front than find out about them after you've started renting units. In buildings with hallways, create an area to accommodate moving carts. Otherwise, they'll be left in the corridors and can become an obstacle for tenants. It's also wise to pull a separate permit for every building. This is so you can get a Certificate of Occupancy for each. When you have one building complete, you can start renting. Keep in mind, this might not be possible in all jurisdictions. Some will require you to pull a single permit once all buildings are done. You've been working for many months, if not years, to open your self-storage facility. While you won't be able to prevent all mistakes during the building process, being aware of what could go wrong can minimize them. 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 www.trachte.com. LEARN MORE Learn more from author Jamie Lindau in the videos "Self-Storage Building and Design: Case Studies of Success," "Self-Storage Site Layout for Maximum ROI and Minimum Headaches" and several others, available in on-demand and DVD formats exclusively at iss-store.com. June 2019 I ISS 31

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