Mini Storage Floor Plans
Single Slope Building Floor Plans
Standard single slope buildings with doors along one side are common. One popular use for single slope floor plans is along a street side of site. Single slope buildings are also common for RV storage buildings. The floor plans are customizable to have end units on one end wall or on both end walls. The length and width of your building are customizable based on your lot size and configuration.
No End Units
End Units One Side
End Units Both Sides
Example: 30×100 – No End Units
Example: 20×80 – End Units Both Sides
Example: 30×165 – End Units One Side
Gable Building Floor Plans (Equal Units)
Equal units are standard in gable buildings with doors along both sides. The floor plans are customizable to have end units on one end wall or on both end walls. The length and width of your building are customizable based on your lot size and configuration.
Example: 20×150 – End Units One Side
Example: 60×240 – No End Units
Example: 40×120 – End Units Both Sides
Gable Building Floor Plans (Non-Equal Units)
Non Equal units are common in gable buildings with doors along both sides. This is common when there are two different unit depths desired in the same building. The floor plans are customizable to have end units on one end wall or on both end walls. The length and width of your building are customizable based on your lot size and configuration.
End Units on One Side
End Units on Both Sides
Example: 50‘ x 150’ Building No End Units
Example: 25‘ x 150’ Building End Units One End
Example: 30‘ x 110’ Building End Units One End Wall
Example: 30‘ x 100’ Building End Units Both Ends
Custom Floor Plans
Custom mini storage floor plans are common when there are unique unit size requests that need to be met. The length and width of your building are customizable based on your lot size and configuration.
30‘ x 100’ Custom Floor Plan
30‘ x 80’ Custom Floor Plan
10‘ x 80’ Custom Floor Plan
20‘ x 100’ Custom Floor Plan
40‘ x 180’ Custom Floor Plan
20‘ x 35’ Custom Floor Plan
Indoor / Climate Controlled Floor Plans
Climate controlled building floor plans are completely customizable. It is common to have 5′ hallways with doors on either side. Climate control buildings can have all units indoors, or a combination of indoor and outdoor units. The length and width of your building are customizable based on your lot size and configuration.
35‘ x 105’ Climate Controlled – Interior Units
30‘ x 80’ Climate Controlled – Interior & Exterior Units
60‘ x 115’ Climate Controlled – Interior Units
70‘ x 150’ Climate Controlled – Interior & Exterior Units
REQUEST A QUOTE
- Name * First Last
- Project Info
- Phone This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
SEARCH BY STATE / TYPE
Featured projects, regency steel buildings.
Address 7631 Shaffer Parkway, Suite C Littleton, CO 80127
Hours M-F: 8:00am-5:00pm (MST)
Phone 303-867-1179 :: 1-800-486-8415 (Be Advised All Calls are Recorded)
Email [email protected]
Inside Self-Storage is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC
- Informa PLC
- Investor relations
This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.
- Register Now
- Article Index
- Case Studies & Whitepapers
- Digital Issues
- Self-Storage TV
See All Resource Center »
- Current News
- Submit Press Releases
See All News »
- Investing & Real Estate
- Management & Operation
- Risk Management
- Profit Centers
See All Topics »
- Buyer’s Guide
- Top-Operators Lists
- Best of Business
See All Directories »
See All Subscribe »
- All Things ISS
See All About Us »
Building Your First Self-Storage Facility: Planning, Timeline, Budget and More
Steve Hajewski | Jul 08, 2016
Building a self-storage facility is exciting and stressful, and going through the process for the first time can be daunting. But it can be less so if you enter it with realistic expectations and proper preparation.
First-time developers often try to skimp on the planning stage. However, this is a critical step that will allow you to minimize facility maintenance and problems as well as allow for future expansion. Following are important considerations for building your first self-storage project, including feasibility, timeline, budgeting, construction and more.
Feasibility and Site Selection
Location is one of the most important decisions you’ll make during the planning phase, and site selection will be driven by the size and type of storage needed in an area. For example, a multi-story facility can be built on a smaller property with a higher land cost than a facility offering boat/RV storage, which requires more, less expensive land to be profitable.
Before designing your project, conduct research to determine the proper size for your first phase and the unit types that will be in demand. If your own investigation indicates there’s a need and economic opportunity to develop self-storage, hiring a feasibility consultant is an excellent way to get a second opinion. A good advisor can help you prevent expensive mistakes and provide valuable insight. Some lenders even require a third-party study. Consultants offer a variety of services, from simple demographic reports to full-blown studies containing recommendations for facility size and unit types.
You’ll also want to evaluate nearby facilities and those in similar communities. You don’t want to overbuild, but you do want to aim for better curb appeal and features than the competition. Nicer sites usually command higher rents and have higher occupancy. Also consider the resale value—what size and features will make the facility attractive to a buyer if you decide to sell?
When choosing a site, check with your city to see which zoning classifications allow storage. Getting a zoning change is difficult and expensive, if not impossible.
Most new developers underestimate the amount of time the development process will take. From the point that you decide you’re going to build a facility to when you rent your first unit can easily be three years.
First, the process of negotiating an offer on a land purchase and gaining approvals to build can be long and arduous. Before you secure financing, you might easily spend 5 percent to 10 percent of your project value on architectural, engineering and legal fees. This design work must be done to create an accurate budget as well as to plan and possibly create the renderings your city might require before granting a permit.
During this stage, your investment is a gamble. Money spent prior to city approval will be lost if the project can’t move forward or the land seller backs out. Depending on the city and state, the permit process alone can easily take a year.
Unfortunately, approvals are often given sequentially rather than concurrently. When I was working on my own project—Columbus Self Storage in Columbus, Wis.—it took three months to obtain the conditional-use permit. Then the state storm-water approval took nine months, and the building-permit application took another three months to clear due to an easement that had to be removed.
Once you have your approvals, you’ll probably want to build as quickly as possible. In reality, you’ll need to adapt to the lead times of your suppliers and contractors. Theses will vary depending on the time of year and how busy they are with other projects. Once your project is permitted, your supplier should be able to identify a potential delivery window. If you’re hiring the erector separately, you’ll need to coordinate with this company as well.
No matter what happens with your timeline, you’ll likely be upset that you can’t build and open your facility as quickly as you wish. If you build in the fall, you’ll find yourself wishing the project would have been ready in summer. If you build in summer, you’ll lament that you didn’t pour foundations last fall.
Budgeting and Financing
In the end, it’ll all work out, but during construction, you may find yourself on edge as you make monthly interest payments on a project that’s not yet making a dime of revenue. As soon as possible is never soon enough. This is normal. If you’ve budgeted and planned for a period of negative cash flow after opening, this time can be a little less stressful.
As you work through the pre-planning of your project, you’ll likely find you have a few budget lines that were only rough estimates or some quotes that are out-of-date due to timeline changes. Before submitting budgets to your lender, update these items and collect all of the supporting documentation. Have your business and builder’s risk insurance ready to go. Your lender will require this before closing on the loan. You might also be required to purchase life insurance, which may involve a physical exam and, therefore, require some lead time.
If you’re financing your project with a Small Business Association (SBA) loan, be ready to produce statements showing that your down payment funds were in place for at least two months prior. SBA loans make it possible to get into the business with a lower down payment, but they do bring some additional requirements and paperwork as well as a fee that’s typically added to the loan value.
Before closing, your lender will likely require an appraisal of the project. This process can take a month or two, so give your lender advance notice of your desired closing date. Once the appraisal is performed, don’t make significant changes that would affect the projected cost and revenue of the project. Also keep in mind that you’ll likely pay for the appraisal yourself. In my experience, this is $2,500 to $3,000 for a small project.
Finally, keep meticulous records of all payments. Next spring when your accountant prepares your tax return, expenses will be categorized to create depreciation schedules. Keep copies of checks issued, and monitor payment requests compared to the quotes issued.
Site Prep and Construction
While it’s possible—and a potential cost-saver—to serve as your own general contractor (GC), especially on small, straightforward projects, there are advantages to bringing in experienced help. First, it makes sense if you don’t have the experience or time to manage the construction phase yourself, particularly on larger, more complex projects. Second, a good GC may be better equipped to finish the project on time and able to secure subcontractors at lower rates or on a better schedule.
Depending on project size and complexity, you may be required to have an engineer of record. This could be an independent engineer you hire or a service from your architect. The role of this person is to ensure your project is being built correctly and according to the plans that were approved by your city and state. He should carefully review foundation forms and structural connections.
When your building materials arrive, take inventory of the shipment. If a shortage or shipping damage has occurred, report it to the driver and manufacturer immediately. Damage should be noted on the trucker’s bill of lading when you accept the shipment to facilitate possible claims against the shipper.
Speaking of materials, don’t take for granted that everything will be available at a moment’s notice. Construction materials can sometimes be out of stock. When creating your budgets, ask vendors how far in advance you need to order. On my current project, I’ve been informed that some decorative fiber-cement panels need to be ordered 10 weeks in advance. You don’t want to store—and pay interest on—materials longer than necessary, but you also don’t want a project to be delayed because of a shipment. Don’t let a simple issue prevent you from getting a certificate of occupancy.
Before You Open
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of construction, but don’t forget to prepare for the operational side of the business. For example, most successful storage businesses use management software. You’ll need to research, choose and install a program that meets your future needs. You’ll also need to set up a facility website and prepare a rental agreement at least a month or two before your opening day. There’s also launch marketing, staff hiring, a grand-opening event and a whole host of other important items to consider.
Throughout the process of building my own facility (the second-phase foundation forms are being assembled as I write), I’ve often felt the best summary of the process is “hurry up and wait.” I’ve learned that planning ahead, communicating with my subcontractors, and listening to those who have gone through this before—even when they tell me something I don’t want to hear—can make the process smoother. Proper planning is the true foundation to a successful self-storage project, whether it’s your first, tenth or one hundredth.
Steve Hajewski is the marketing manager at Trachte Building 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 also owns a self-storage facility in Wisconsin and is a frequent contributor on Self-Storage Talk, the industry's largest online community. For more information, call 800.356.5824; visit www.trachte.com .
More information about text formats
- Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>
- No HTML tags allowed.
- Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
- Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Self-Storage Development and Zoning Activity: January 2023 Mar 03, 2023
Self-Storage Development and Zoning Activity: March 2023 Mar 02, 2023
How to build your own storage facility
Storage Building Central – Build Your Own Storage Facility
If you are considering installing a storage facility to start your business, then you are one of the many Americans that are taking this leap of faith. It is clear that self-storage buildings can be a profitable solution when you are starting out on your own in business, especially when you see that steel storage buildings are cheap and easy to install. However, as with most things in life, there is a more complicated backstory that you will need to consider. In fact, it can be a complex process with you needing to make significant decisions right now that will have a ripple effect for the lifetime of your new venture.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Before you spend your money on self-storage buildings, take a moment to check out some of the main pros and cons so that you feel well-educated on what you are getting yourself into:
Over the past five years, many people have had to declare bankruptcy than over the past twenty years. The main reasons for this are choosing the wrong location, building too big, and poor rental income. The main reason these people have failed is not that the business premise is wrong but more because they have not taken the time to plan and prepare before jumping in.
Interestingly, over the past four years, there has been a limited amount of prefab storage buildings being installed, which has given the existing companies time to fill up. This also means that there is now an opportunity to install metal storage buildings in locations where there is a good demand. If you are interested in trying out this self-storage business model, then we have shared some of the most important aspects that you need to consider across the rest of this article.
Finding Out Everything You Need to Know About Storage Facilities and Building Them
Starting any new self-storage business comes with a number of risks, and this is as true for storage facilities as it is for any other entity. It can also be hard to find the best and most accurate information in a world that is filled with unchecked online sources. To help you get started, we have compiled the most up-to-date and on-point set of steps that you can follow so that your business is ready to go and is set to thrive.
Work Out Your Costings
The first thing you need to do is take an honest look at your finance and work out how much you can afford to spend and invest in your self-storage business. Armed with that information, you can then work out the size of the storage building you can afford and the location of your new business. Remember, you need to consider the ongoing costs before you manage to fill your facility, as this is often where people fail.
Create Your Feasibility Study
Creating a feasibility study will help you analyze if your project will work in the area you have selected. These studies take into account the economic, legal, technical, and scheduling aspects that will need to be considered before you can commit to starting your business. The more detailed this study, the less likely your business will fail.
Write Your Business Plan
The biggest mistake anyone can make when going into self-storage business is to avoid writing a business plan. Your business plan will not only set out your ideas, costings, and projected earnings, but it will act as a document that can be shared with investors, banks, and other financial agents when you are looking for financial support. Plus, a good self-storage business plan will help you work out the kinks in your plan so that your new venture has a greater chance of success.
Choosing the Right Storage Building
When all your plans and finances are in place, it is time to select the right storage building for your venture. Contact an expert supplier like us at Storage Building Central. We can work with you to choose the right storage building and the right costings so that you stick to a budget and maximize your potential earnings. Plus, with our design experts on hand, we will help you to maximize every inch of your new build.
Developing Your Build into a Storage Facility
With your storage building ordered and installed, you will then need to begin developing it into a storage facility. This means getting the inner space constructed, thinking about branding, and setting up security so that your potential clients feel confident that you can meet their needs.
Finding Finance for Your Storage Building
If you are unable to finance your storage building or need ongoing investment to maintain the building, then you will need to turn to banks and potential investors to get the capital you need. There are many different options available, and you are more likely to be successful if you have a thorough plan and timescale to share.
Choose Storage Building Central for Your New Storage Facility
If you are ready to enter the storage building business, then the advice we have provided should stand you in good stead. Remember to take the time to plan your costs, map out your proposal and find the best location before you part with any cash.
Then, when you are ready to build, get in touch with us here at Storage Building Central to order your self storage buildings . With over twenty years of industry expertise, our team is on hand and ready to help you create the business you have been dreaming of.
We take pride in delivering at speed and have the best materials in the trade so that you end up with storage buildings that will last for many years to come. If you are ready to start your journey, then we are here to help. Call us today at +1 (844) 315-3151 to discuss your needs – we cannot wait to hear from you!
LOOKING FOR A PRESS BOX SOLUTION FOR BASEBALL COMPLEX WITH LOWER LEVEL STORAGE.
Hi Claude! Sorry for the delay in response. If you still are in the market for that press box solution give our building specialists a call at +1(844)315-3151 so they can go over details with you. Thanks!
I’m interested in exploring the demographic aspect. Would it be better to need more units or have some empty? Any ideas for a happy medium. How Mom and Pop can a facility be?
Hi Chelsea! Thanks for dropping us a line! Please give us a call at 1-844-315-3151 so our building specialist can go over details with you and make sure you are on the right track.
- Metal Homes
- Shop Houses
- Quonset Hut Homes
- Airplane Hangars
- Dog Kennels
- Riding Arenas
- Horse Barns
- Quonset Hut
- 30x40 Metal Building
- 30x50 Metal Building
- 30x60 Metal Building
- 40x60 Metal Building
- 40x80 Metal Building
- 50x80 Metal Building
- 50x100 Metal Building
- All Standard Sizes
- Design Center
- Design Ideas
- Color Visualizer
- Floor Plans
- Floor Plan Maker
- Custom Buildings
- Build Process
- Metal Building Prices
- Quonset Hut Prices
Metal Warehouse Buildings
Modern, durable, and economical storage for less.
Prefab metal warehouses are the #1 choice for flex warehouses, distribution centers, and storage facilities due to their economical and fast construction times, design flexibility, and low maintenance costs. Their modular design also enables square footage to be increased quickly & efficiently. Apply for quotes and let our experienced U.S. manufacturers assist you in configuring your new warehousing facility.
Get Four Quotes
How it works, why choose a metal warehouse.
American-made, I-Beam steel framing, custom-engineered in factories across North America.
Fast, efficient construction enables metal warehouse buildings to be up and running in less time than other construction methods. Pre-engineered metal buildings are a modern, economical and durable solution for flex warehouses, fulfillment centers, cold storage, distribution centers, and even crypto mining warehouses. The strength of steel maximizes inventory storage space with standard clear span widths of up to 150 feet and custom engineered to 300’. Building height is up to 40 ft with unlimited lengths Easily add an enclosed lean-to or mezzanine for administration and office space. Numerous customization options are available. E.g., use insulated metal panels for a more modern aesthetic and to assist with energy efficiency. A more economical option compared to structural steel and concrete tilt-up construction methods.
- Fast construction time to occupancy
- Reduced material & construction costs
- Modular by design for ease of expansion
- Increased energy efficiency
- Design flexibility
- Low maintenance
- 100% recyclable
- 1/10th the construction waste
- Improved fire resistance
- Custom manufactured to YOUR specs
- A green building solution
What's Included in a Warehouse Kit?
Each steel building kit includes the primary steel I-beam framing, pre-cut and drilled, plus all secondary framing and fasteners. Roofing and siding are painted (with a warranty), with the number, size, and location of door and window openings to your specs. Detailed plans and assembly instructions are included.
Warehouse Packages Include:
- 1:12 roof pitch (2:12-6:12 available)
- Tapered steel I-Beams (primary framing)
- All roof purlins & wall girts (secondary framing)
- Two framed door openings (add extra if required)
- Engineer stamped erection & anchor bolt plans
- Pre-painted 26-gauge metal roof & wall panels *
- All nuts, bolts, clips and fasteners
- Detailed construction manual
- Pre-drilled, numbered parts
- Complete trim package
- Sealants & flashing
- Structural warranty (30-50 yrs)*
- Paint warranty (30-40yrs)*
*Vary by supplier
- Customizable to suit any application
- Designed to meet your local building codes
- Certified to 160 mph wind & 110 (psf) snow load
- Precision engineering for a weathertight structure
- Red-oxide primer baked onto all components
- Low maintenance, with 30+ year warranties
- 100% usable, column-free space
- Easily expanded for future growth *
- Fast construction times
- DIY friendly
* if future expansion is a possible requirement, be sure to specify 'expandable end walls' when placing your order.
Items not Included:
- Interior finishing
Popular Warehouse Sizes
View by ...
2,400 Sq Ft Warehouse
A 40x60 steel building is ideal for a light industrial operation or expanding e-commerce business. The 2,400 sq ft of clear-span floor space is easily configured to suit your storage needs best. All warehouses are custom manufactured, with loading doors, walk doors, and windows positioned where required.
A 50x100 pre-engineered warehouse offers 5,000 square feet of clear-span warehousing space that can easily be expanded. These prefabricated structures are a durable and economical storage solution compared to other construction options. Their design flexibility allows for many exterior design options.
The Construction Process
How to Build a Warehouse
Written by Alexander Newman
So, you are planning a new warehousing facility. Great! You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we help you understand the process of procuring a warehouse, from what factors to consider to how to erect the structure.
Typical Sizes and Factors to Consider
The most important first step in procuring a warehouse is to make sure you carefully consider and understand your space and layout needs. These needs include both present and possible future requirements. Building a warehouse where your equipment doesn’t quite fit is a waste of time and money. You need to think carefully about the required size and layout and then think some more.
Most warehouse-type buildings are relatively small – up to 20,000 sq ft – but some are much larger than that. Typical uses include: racking & distribution centers, light manufacturing, grow houses, cold storage, flex warehouses, and data centers. The larger the structure, the more flexibility in space usage it offers, but at a cost of not only higher purchase price but also larger annual heating and cooling demands and property taxes.
Some questions that you need to ask yourself are:
- Will I have a fixed equipment layout? Conveyors? If yes, it is best to start with the layout provided by the equipment manufacturer or process consultant and build the structure around it rather than selecting an arbitrary size and trying to fit the equipment inside. You will have more design flexibility if you don’t have fixed equipment.
- Will I have storage racks? If yes, how high? The higher the racks, the more important it is to have a flat and level concrete floor. The layout of tall racks needs to be coordinated with the bay spacing (see below).
- Will I have deliveries by truck? If yes, you’d need to make provision for loading docks, overhead doors, and perhaps material-handling systems to transfer the delivered loads inside.
- What size items will you be storing? This will help determine the sizes of the door openings and the interior aisles.
- Will you need overhead cranes to move the contents? If yes, what kind and capacity? This will affect the framing costs.
- Will the facility be heated and cooled? This will help determine the amount of insulation and HVAC equipment weights.
- Will there be people-occupied spaces (offices, break rooms, bathrooms, etc.)? If yes, you will need to consider where to place these areas within the building, ensure proper fire exit paths are provided and extend the utilities there. Most will need those spaces.
If you are unsure how to answer some of these questions or you have some unusual circumstances, you might consider consulting an architect experienced in warehouse design before proceeding further.
Height and Clearance Considerations
Many warehouses of metal building construction use primary frames that span over the entire width of the space. This clear span design allows for maximum flexibility of space utilization, but it also means that the framing sizes are rather deep. Intermediate columns might be cost-effective for very large warehouses or those with heavy overhead cranes.
The clear height of the structure (the distance from the floor to the underside of the framing) will depend on the height of the proposed equipment or storage racks. Many smaller warehouses have an average height of 20 ft, but the recent trend is to have bigger clear heights, particularly in larger buildings. A good safety margin on height will come in handy if the equipment or rack sizes increase in the future.
The depth of the framing is not precisely known at the order time before the framing is designed. Thus, it is wise to make conservative assumptions and let the building supplier know the minimum clear height.
Again, don’t choose the building by its eave height (the height of the side walls) – specify the minimum clear height inside. Please note that because of the roof slope and frame taper, the clear height along the sidewalls is lower than near the center of the building. For this reason, the tallest equipment is best located in the middle of the span.
Typical bay spacing in steel buildings is 25 feet, although many suppliers provide other bay spacings, such as 20 ft. Because the deepest part of the structure is where the primary frames are, bay spacing and frame layout should be coordinated with the proposed equipment locations.
See our article on planning a building project for additional details on sizing, bay spacing, and framed openings.
As explained in Step 2 below, warehouses typically have wall openings for doors and windows. The overhead door sizes will depend on the size of the items that will be moved through them. The minimum sizes of the windows are primarily determined by the amount of natural light that is desired, while personnel door sizes are rather standard.
Each wall opening has to be framed, so the building manufacturer will need to know the number and sizes of the openings to give you an accurate quote.
As a general rule, a steel buildings eave height should be at least two feet above the highest framed opening to allow for the depth of the framing.
Loads, Codes, and Permitting
Most locales in North America have a building code enforced by the local building department. Prior to construction, you or your contractor will need to obtain a building permit. The department will explain to you what are the required fees and submittals for obtaining a permit. Typically, you will need to submit a stamped engineering plan provided by the kit supplier, a foundation plan stamped by a professional structural engineer, and a site plan showing the grading and utilities for your new structure.
The local building code will specify the minimum loads that the structure should be able to resist, including snow load , wind load , live, seismic, and other applicable loads. See our article on permits, codes loads for more information. Also, see our page on building codes by state for local codes and contact details.
Site selection is the process of finding an available site suitable for your needs. Since warehouses depend on truck deliveries, reliable road access is a must. The site should also have all the required utilities available for an extension to your building. See our construction site selection section for additional discussion.
The site you select should have competent soils that can support your building’s foundations. Foundations on sites with poor soils might require large footings or expensive deep foundations, i.e., drilled shafts or piles. Therefore, a preliminary site investigation is a must. This investigation will determine whether the soil at the site is buildable (capable of supporting a building), whether the soil is drainable, etc. See our article on construction site preparation for an explanation.
Engaging a Structural Engineer
It is possible to procure a steel building on your own, as long as the building is rectangular and does not contain nonmetal walls or roofs, interior drywall finishes, cranes, very high racks, and other special situations. Any of these “complications” would likely require a licensed structural engineer experienced in specifying pre-engineered metal buildings (not all engineers are).
The engineer would specify the custom requirements your building needs so that the building manufacturer can design the structure accordingly. Please understand that you will likely need to engage an engineer to design the foundations anyway, so you might as well engage the engineer at the outset.
Designing a Warehouse: Hire an architect vs. working directly with the building supplier.
Buying a building kit directly from a supplier is possible if it doesn't contain any special features mentioned above. Simply specify your required design information in the quote request form on our site.
If you need to order a large building (50,000 sq ft +), or if it will have some of those “complications,” an architect’s assistance can be invaluable. Remember that for larger structures, you might also need the services of HVAC, plumbing, fire protection, site, and other engineers; the architect would be in a good position to coordinate their work.
Warehouse Design Considerations
There are many design possibilities open to you when ordering a prefabricated warehouse from one of our suppliers, from a variety of roof and wall styles to door choices and exterior finishes. Some of these are discussed next; for an expanded discussion, see our article on custom metal buildings.
Warehousing facilities typically need a ventilation system and heating and cooling. Together, the equipment for fulfilling these needs is known as an HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) system. A licensed mechanical engineer generally designs the system.
A fire-protection engineer should also be engaged if there is also a need for fire-protection equipment, such as fire sprinklers. If you will be working with an architect, he/she will help you determine whether your proposed structure needs fire protection measures and what those might be.
While small HVAC equipment, such as suspended fans that weigh less than 50 lbs, could be incorporated into the structure without complications, supports for larger equipment need to be specially designed. In particular, your building manufacturer needs to know the weights and locations of any rooftop HVAC equipment. (Your mechanical engineer or contractor should provide these.)
A variety of methods can support rooftop HVAC equipment. Lightweight units, such as large fans, are most commonly supported on prefabricated curb boxes designed to fit with the selected metal roofing profile.
Heavy HVAC equipment, such as cooling towers, is generally supported on structural steel frames on legs. The legs bear on top of the primary framing, and the equipment frame beams span the distance between the primary framing. If you need any of these supports, most likely, they will NOT be provided by the kit manufacturer, and you will need to have them procured or fabricated locally.
If your warehouse will need fire sprinklers or other fire-suppression systems, have their design, locations, and sizes determined by a fire-protection engineer BEFORE you order the building kit. Water-filled sprinkler pipes will hang from the purlins; these pipes sometimes exert a lot of weight on the roof purlins – hundreds of pounds in the case of sprinkler main lines. To deal with this extra load, the building manufacturer may provide doubled-up or heavier purlins at the points of pipe support attachments.
If you know that you’ll have sprinkler pipes but don’t yet know their layout, the manufacturer would have to design the entire roof framing for an additional loading – typically ranging from 5 to 10 lbs/sq ft, known as “collateral load,” to account for the weight of sprinkler pipes. Sprinklers should NEVER be added to a prefabricated building after the fact without an engineering assessment, as the extra loading might severely compromise the building's structural integrity.
Most warehouses are supplied with shallow-slope (such as 1:12 pitch) roofs with Galvalume coating. No other special paints are generally needed. If you desire other roof types – for example, you wish to match the appearance of adjacent structures – read our section on roof styles and profiles . Our article on color and color schemes for metal buildings discusses the possibilities of using various roof colors.
Considerations for Solar Panels
If you plan to place solar panels on your building to reap the cost benefits of solar power, you are in good company! Steel warehouses with shallow-pitch roofs and large surface areas are good candidates for installing the panels.
However, solar panels add some weight to the roof, and your building supplier should be advised of your plans. Mention that you plan to install solar panels on the quote request form.
The majority of warehouses and other commercial and industrial buildings utilize basic metal siding, such as PBR metal panels. These panels are included as part of the warehouse package; they provide the lowest cost and are adequate for most cases. Sometimes, another cladding option is desirable for architectural appearance or complementing nearby buildings.
For more information on the available siding options and on nonmetal wall materials, see our article on siding options.
These facilities are one example where special wall materials are needed. Insulated metal panels (IMP) are common in these structures to provide the maximum insulation value. IMPs consist of two layers of metal with rigid insulation sandwiched in between. In addition to IMPs or other high-insulating wall options, cold-storage facilities typically require thick layers of rigid insulation on the roof and even under the floor slab.
While cold-storage facilities have some of the highest insulation requirements, insulation is needed for almost all steel-frame buildings, with small shops and unheated garages being the likely exceptions. Warehouses, in particular, are generally insulated to maintain the optimal temperature and humidity for the contents and to provide a pleasant working environment.
The most common type of insulation used in metal warehouse buildings is fiberglass blanket insulation. It has the lowest cost and is easy to install. It has the added benefits of being both fire and sound resistant. See our article on insulation options for steel buildings for an in-depth discussion of various insulation types used in steel warehouses .
Common Door Choices
In addition to regular personnel doors, warehouses and industrial buildings typically include overhead doors of various sizes and designs. The width and height of the door will be dictated by the size of the vehicles and the loads that pass through.
Typical door sizes range from 8 ft x 8 ft to 32 ft x 24 ft. See our article on door options for a discussion and illustrations of various types of doors. The most common door types used in warehouses are sectional (garage-type) overhead doors and roll-up doors.
Loading Dock Sizes and Options
If you expect your warehouse to be served by truck deliveries, you have two options for moving the loads from the trucks inside. The relatively light loads, such as cardboard boxes that can be handled manually, you might not need any loading docks; the boxes could be wheeled on dollies via truck ramps. For heavier loads on pallets that need a forklift to move, you might still get by without having any loading docks if you have experienced forklift operators capable of handling such loads.
For large warehouses, as well as for factories and retail stores with frequent truck deliveries, having loading docks is essential. The layout of the docks should be coordinated with the aisles between the racks if you have those. The width of the docks should allow tractor-trailers, which are 8.5 ft wide, to fit easily. Accordingly, the truck bays should be at least 12 ft wide and perhaps even 14 ft wide. The average loading dock height is between 48 and 52 inches.
Facade Systems, Mansards, and Canopies
In addition to basic metal walls and roofs, some commercial buildings can gain architectural interest from various facade systems, including mansards and canopies. Warehouses are utilitarian buildings that rarely employ these. Instead, they use simple, low-pitched gable roofs ending flush with sidewalls.
For those seeking a more refined appearance, here are some design ideas:
- Add eave extensions from 2 ft to 10 ft long
- Include a self-supporting end wall canopy from 3 ft to 10 ft long
- Increase the pitch (slope) of the roofline
- Select a sloped or vertical fascia
Illustrations of some of these design options are included in my book “Metal Building Systems: Design and Specifications,” 3rd edition (McGraw-Hill, 2015).
Both manufacturing facilities and warehouses frequently use cranes for material handling. If you think you will need cranes, determine the type, capacity, and location of the cranes BEFORE placing your order. Like sprinklers discussed above, cranes should NEVER be added after the fact (or at least not without detailed structural analysis), as this might severely compromise the building's structural integrity.
There are many crane types available, the most common for smaller warehouses is the monorail . The monorail crane runs along the bottom flange of the monorail beam, which is suspended from the primary steel framing. Our suppliers DO NOT include cranes of any type with the framing kit – you would need to talk to a crane supplier about purchasing both the crane and the monorail beam.
Our suppliers MIGHT provide the supports for the monorail beams, which requires beefing up the roof framing and increasing the overall rigidity of the structure. This is why you must convey the crane loading information from the crane supplier to the supplier before the building is designed and fabricated. at the factory.
Future Expansion Considerations
If there is a reasonable possibility that you would expand the operations in the future, it is wise to plan for the expansion BEFORE placing your order. Pre-engineered buildings can be lengthened if anticipated in advance by adding additional bays. To do so, the supplier must be advised to provide EXPANDABLE END WALLS (at least at one end where you might expand the building).
In that case, the manufacturer would provide an interior primary rigid frame at the designated end wall rather than just the end wall framing (girts and girt supports). When it’s time to expand, the girts, girt supports, and wall siding at the end wall are removed, and what used to be an exterior frame becomes one of the interior frames.
Naturally, the structural engineer designing your foundations should also be advised to provide the same foundations at the end wall(s) as at the interior frames rather than smaller exterior foundations otherwise needed there.
There are other ways to add space to a prefab warehouse, but ordering an expandable end wall is among the simplest and most economical options.
Warehouse Offices, Partitions, and Mezzanines
As discussed above in Step 1 , you need to decide whether there will be spaces within the warehouse that are occupied by people. These spaces include offices, break rooms, and bathrooms. Most warehouses need these finished spaces with drywall or masonry partitions, suspended ceilings, and HVAC, plumbing, and electrical services.
If you plan to have finished interior spaces, you need to decide where these will be located and incorporate proper fire exit paths to the space, as well as extend plumbing, electrical, and heating utilities to service these areas.
Your building supplier should be advised of the fact that there will be finished areas within the warehouse because buildings with gypsum-board partitions must be made much sturdier than one without them. Otherwise, the normal sway of the building, which is harmless to all-metal roofing and siding, might damage brittle drywall or masonry finishes. For this reason, it is unwise to add such finished areas to buildings that have not been designed to hold them.
Sometimes warehouses include mezzanines to increase storage areas. A structure with a mezzanine should also be designed and manufactured to a higher degree of stiffness, similar to a building with drywall partitions. Our article on structural add-ons provides additional discussion on mezzanines.
Foundations and anchor bolts are NOT included in the building package. Foundations for steel buildings are different – and generally more complicated – than those for conventional structures, so you will need to engage the services of a licensed structural engineer experienced in their design (many structural engineers are not).
Foundations for metal frame warehouses (as well as for industrial, commercial, and community buildings of moderate and large sizes) are more substantial than those for sheds and other small structures. These foundations include:
- Tie rods + column footings
- Moment-resisting foundations
- Drilled Shafts.
See our guide to metal building foundations for descriptions and illustrations of these foundations. DO NOT use common but unreliable systems, such as hairpins and haunched slabs, in combination with unreinforced or lightly reinforced slabs on grade. While widely used in the past, these two designs do not comply with today’s code requirements. Hairpins should only be used in mats and heavily reinforced slabs without joints.
In addition to foundations, metal warehouses will need slabs on grade and perimeter foundation walls or grade beams extending below the frost line. All of these elements are also designed by a structural engineer.
A set of foundation drawings prepared by a licensed structural engineer will most likely be needed to obtain a building permit.
A typical warehouse has a concrete slab on grade . The design factors, such as thickness, reinforcement, and concrete strength, are determined by the intended use of the warehouse. These factors include the presence of hard-wheeled equipment on the floor, the frequency of its use, the loading, etc.
If your warehouse has tall storage racks, the floor slab must be finished extremely accurately so that it’s both flat and level. Otherwise, your racks will be visibly leaning, reflecting any waviness in the floor. Your structural engineer will prepare a set of criteria to ensure that the floor will be adequate for rack support.
How to Buy a Warehouse
This is where we can assist with your project. Provide details about your project in our quote request form. We will then match you with the FOUR vetted building suppliers, who will provide competing quotes for your warehouse kit.
There are a few steps to take when you choose a supplier:
- First, you will place a deposit with the supplier (typically 20-30%). This deposit will secure your spot with the factory and allow them to begin the engineering and design process.
- Next, you will sign a contract with the supplier. Once the contract is signed, the factory can begin fabrication.
- Finally, you will receive a set of engineering and foundation plans (typically 2-3 weeks later). These plans will be stamped by an engineer licensed for your state. Some suppliers charge extra for foundation plans, so be sure to ask before finalizing your purchase.
With engineering plans in hand, you can solicit quotes from local subcontractors or general contractors for erecting your structure. You (or your general contractor) can also begin the permit process with your local building department.
Read and reread the discussion above before you submit your form, and include any custom requirements in it, to avoid costly change orders.
After it is confirmed from Step 1 that the selected site is buildable, steps to start the site preparation can be taken. The specific steps in these efforts include surveying, additional soil testing and analysis, site clearing (including any required demolition), and preparing a site plan (typically needed to obtain a building permit).
Once you have the building permit, construction activities can start. These typically begin with grading, soil preparation, and running services to the site . See our article on site preparation for a description of these steps. Because warehouses often have substantial sizes, site preparation activities can be quite involved.
Access Routes and Parking
Another aspect of site preparation involves extending access roadways to your site, which includes most of the steps listed above, such as site clearing and possible demolition. You should also prepare a level area where construction vehicles can park and where the components of the metal building kit will be off-loaded and stored until their erection.
Pour Foundation and Place Anchor Bolts
After the foundations are designed – and a permit has been secured, you can start placing the foundations. The process will start with another accurate survey of the site to mark the future column locations. This will help ensure that the foundations are where they need to be. Because warehouse foundations are more complex than those for smaller metal structures, skipping the survey is unwise. Foundations placed in the wrong locations might require costly demolition, rework, and schedule delays.
Yet another – and even more accurate – survey will be needed to establish anchor bolt locations. This step is usually done after the formwork for the foundations is in place so that the bolt locations could be precisely marked on the sides of the formwork.
See our article on foundations for steel buildings devoted to designing and constructing foundations and anchor bolts. Also, read the section in Step 2 , Foundation Plans, for specific requirements that apply to warehouses and other commercial and industrial buildings.
This is the big day: Your kit building package is being delivered to the job site! To ensure the delivery and unloading process goes smoothly, you must prepare.
Construction of warehouses, like other larger steel structures, typically involves the services of professional contractors. Ensure that your agreement with them includes the off-loading and staging of the many materials you will receive. The manufacturer does not supply labor or lift equipment to help you unload the truck once it arrives; that is your responsibility.
Necessary equipment could include a crane, forklift, pallet jacks, and so forth, depending on the size of your warehousing facility and the layout of your construction site.
The process of kit delivery, off-loading, and two inspections is described in our article on preparing for delivery.
Metal Warehouse Construction
Detailed erection plans will be included as part of the kit package. The process typically starts with erecting the columns or an entire preassembled primary frame. The anchor bolts placed in Step 4 will help keep the columns in place, but using appropriate erection bracing is a must. The erection process then continues to frame rafters, wall girts, roof purlins, etc. It is described in detail in our guide to constructing metal buildings.
Warehouses are more difficult and complex to erect than simple small sheds and the like. The services of professional steel erectors experienced in metal frame building construction are highly recommended.
Insulation and Interior Finishes
As described in Step 2, Insulation , warehouses are generally insulated to maintain optimal temperature and humidity of the contents. The most common type of steel building insulation consists of fiberglass blankets. This type of insulation is installed during erection. Roof insulation is placed between metal roofing and purlins, while wall insulation is sandwiched between wall siding and girts.
One exception is the finished areas, such as offices, break rooms, and bathrooms, within the warehouse space. Finishes, insulation, and suspended ceilings for these areas are typically installed after the structure's shell is in place.
Step 2 Office space, partitions, and mezzanine (above) include some considerations for constructing finished spaces within warehouses. For additional discussion, see our guide to building interiors.
HVAC, Plumbing, and Electrical Work
Mechanical (HVAC), plumbing, and electrical components are generally installed after the steel frame has been erected. They are typically provided by licensed sub-trades, following the engineering designs for their respective trades.
However, some supports for these components must be incorporated into the roofing or framing, so they must be installed during building erection. Such supports include roof curbs and frames on legs for HVAC rooftop equipment, as discussed in Step 2 HVAC systems . The coordination of installing these supports is best done by a general contractor experienced in the construction of steel warehouses.
Similarly, some plumbing components, such as water and drainage pipes, must be in place before constructing the slab on grade.
Various inspections are carried out throughout the construction process. At some critical stages, an inspection could occur as frequently as once daily. During these inspections, a so-called punch list is developed and kept current. The punch list documents some (hopefully) minor issues that still need to be resolved. After an issue is taken care of to your satisfaction, it is removed from the list.
A final inspection verifies that all the punch-list items have been satisfactorily addressed and that your warehouse has been constructed in accordance with the design drawings and any special directives issued during construction. If you have engaged the services of an architect and various professional engineers, all these professionals should participate in the final inspection or perform their own separate inspections.
The local building department's inspector will conduct their own final inspection to verify that the structure and all its components have been assembled properly and operate as intended. A successful final inspection will allow the department to issue a Certificate of Occupancy. The final inspection (or inspections) will give you peace of mind, knowing that your new warehouse is safe and ready for operations.
How much does it cost to build a metal warehouse?
The average cost to build a metal warehouse building is $30 per square foot. Warehouse costs largely depend on design complexity and the level of finish required. The cost for a basic 5,000-square-foot warehouse starts at $125,000, while a 20,000-square-foot warehouse could be around $600,000.
For a more detailed look at the various costs associated with building a warehouse, see our warehouse cost guide.
Typically, the prefabricated kit can be engineered in 4-8 weeks from the time of order. It will take 3-6 months to construct the warehouse structure. Factors that will extend the build time include size, permitting, site evaluation and clearing, and design complexity.
The most common sizes for modern warehouses include:
5,000 square feet (50' x 100')
10,000 square feet (100' x 100')
20,000 square feet (100' x 200')
50,000 square feet (100' x 500')
Codes, loads & permits.
Cost to Build a Warehouse
BuildingsGuide makes finding reputable manufacturers of prefab buildings in America & Canada quick and easy so that you can choose the best vendor for your needs and budget.
Since 2004, over 200,000 buyers have saved an average of 28% on their new structure using our multiple quote service.
Compare & Save
- Tell us about your project
- We match you with vetted suppliers
- You receive four competing quotes
- Select the most suitable supplier
- Start your project
- CCPA Compliance
Mini Storage Floor Plans
No matter what industry you work in, manufactured steel buildings are an economical way to organize and grow your business.
If you are looking for ways to expand your mini storage company, Peak Steel Buildings has mini storage floor plans ready to go that will help you meet the local demand for storage units.
Price Your Floor Plans Today
- Date to Build * Date to Build ASAP 1-3 months 3-6 months
- Building Type * Building Type AGRICULTURAL HORSE ARENA AIRCRAFT HANGAR COMMERCIAL & RETAIL MINI STORAGE WORKSHOP & GARAGE PARKS & RECREATION CHURCH & WORSHIP GOVERNMENT INDUSTRIAL & WAREHOUSE HALLWAY SYSTEMS GROW ROOM
- Build Zip Code *
- Width * Width 30' 32' 34' 36' 38' 40' 42' 44' 46' 48' 50' 52' 54' 56' 58' 60' 62' 64' 66' 68' 70' 72' 74' 76' 78' 80' 82' 84' 86' 88' 90' 92' 94' 96' 98' 100' 102' 104' 106' 108' 110' 112' 114' 116' 118' 120' 122' 124' 126' 128' 130' 132' 134' 136' 138' 140' 142' 144' 146' 148' 150' 152' 154' 156' 158' 160' 162' 164' 166' 168' 170' 172' 174' 176' 178' 180' 182' 184' 186' 188' 190' 192' 194' 196' 198' 200' More than 200'
- Length * Length 50' 52' 54' 56' 58' 60' 62' 64' 66' 68' 70' 72' 74' 76' 78' 80' 82' 84' 86' 88' 90' 92' 94' 96' 98' 100' 102' 104' 106' 108' 110' 112' 114' 116' 118' 120' 122' 124' 126' 128' 130' 132' 134' 136' 138' 140' 142' 144' 146' 148' 150' 152' 154' 156' 158' 160' 162' 164' 166' 168' 170' 172' 174' 176' 178' 180' 182' 184' 186' 188' 190' 192' 194' 196' 198' 200' More than 200'
- First Name *
- Last Name *
- Phone This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Self-Storage Unit Layouts
Don’t have time for a full design process? Want to get your new storage units open as fast as possible? We have self-storage unit layouts ready to go in the following configurations:
- RV & Boat Storage
Prefabricated steel buildings come complete with everything you need to assemble the structures. Adding doors, windows, fixtures, and other elements is a breeze. A good crew can put your new mini storage facility together in a day.
Peak Steel Buildings enjoys working with each customer to design just the right structure for their unique needs. You can even customize your storage units. Let us help you create just the right mini storage layout to complement your existing structures.
Start Your Mini Storage Design Phase Today with Peak Steel Buildings
If one of the configurations above does not meet your needs, call our Peak Steel Buildings team of experts today at 706-342-9795. We will work with you to create a mini storage floor plan that fulfills all of your wishes.
Everything You Need to Know About How to Start a Self-Storage Business
From Alaska to Alabama, roughly 50,000 self-storage facilities are scattered around the country. That’s about the same number of McDonald’s, Starbucks and Subway locations across the U.S. combined . These facilities are the foundation of the U.S. self-storage industry , which was projected to generate $37 billion in revenue in 2019.
At each of these self-storage facilities, people pay rent — usually by the month — to store their stuff in units of various sizes. They could be stashing furniture, art, appliances, TVs, documents, holiday decorations, wine, vehicles, boats or RVs. Many small businesses rely on self-storage units to keep business equipment, inventory and supplies. Some customers even have converted self-storage units into high-end “man caves” and “she sheds.”
Each of those self-storage properties is not only a warehouse for our wares — every facility also is a small business. And it can be a lucrative business, at that. By one estimate, the typical profit margin of a self-storage business in the U.S. is 11%. That’s well above the profit margins for many other types of small businesses; for example, the typical profit margin of a restaurant ranges from 3% to 5%.
Given those numbers, starting a self-storage business sounds pretty appealing, doesn’t it? It sure does. However, anybody looking at starting a self-storage company must look beyond the profits and weigh the practical considerations:
- How much will it cost to start a self-storage business?
- What kind of research and planning do you need to do before starting a self-storage business?
- Should you buy an existing self-storage facility?
- Should you build a self-storage facility from the ground up?
- How will you manage and market your self-storage facility?
Those are big questions, of course, but then starting a self-storage business is a big undertaking. Follow along as we guide you through what it takes to start a self-storage business.
How Much Will it Cost to Start a Self-Storage Business?
Before scouting locations for a self-storage facility — no matter whether you’re looking at buying an existing facility or building a new one — you’ll need to crunch some numbers.
At the outset, you’ll need a good sense of how much it’ll cost to get into the self-storage business. The numbers will vary widely based on a variety of factors, such as location, acquisition costs, land costs and facility construction costs . (We’ll get into the details later.)
Not only must you think about the costs to purchase or develop a facility, but you also must examine where the money will come from:
- Do you have enough liquid assets to buy or develop a self-storage facility on your own? Can you afford to earmark those assets for a self-storage facility?
- Do you need to take out and acquisition or construction loan?
- Do you need to recruit self-storage investors to help finance an acquisition or development deal?
After you’ve come up with answers to those questions, you’ll need to figure out how much it’ll cost to operate the facility once it’s yours. Are you and your family going to run it on your own? Will you have to hire staff to operate it? Would it be best to leave the operations side to a third-party management company? Do you need to install self-storage management software such as SiteLink ? In the end, how much time do you want to spend running a self-storage facility?
Remember, a self-storage facility is more than a structure. It’s a business.
To get into the storage business, you’ll almost assuredly need to carve out millions of dollars to purchase or construct a facility, and to cover various operating expenses, particularly payroll and taxes. A report released in early 2018 by commercial real estate company CBRE shows real estate taxes accounted for 28 percent of all self-storage operating expenses, with on-site and off-site management costs eating up another 38 percent of operating expenses.
What Kind of Research and Planning Do You Need to do Before Starting a Self-Storage Business?
Once you’ve done some high-level thinking about starting a self-storage business, it’s time to do some research. All of that research will go into a feasibility study that will, as its name suggests, tell you whether the business idea is feasible. You might be able to do this study on your own, but you’d be better off hiring a self-storage consultant to perform it.
Whichever route you go, you need to answer a critical question:
If I build it or buy it, will they come?
In other words: if you invest money in a self-storage facility, will you generate enough revenue to cover debt service and operating expenses, and still make a profit?
Performing market research is crucial. This exercise will help you pinpoint the demographics of the customer base within a one- to five-mile radius of the facility. A three- to five-mile area is the typical size of a market for a self-storage facility.
You’ll want to nail down the median income in the market area (self-storage renters tend to be in the middle-income and upper-middle-income brackets), along with the median age (self-storage tenants are normally in their early 20s to mid-50s).
In addition, you’ll want to review the following aspects of your proposed market area:
- Current population (anywhere from about 20,000 people in a rural setting to 100,000 or more in an urban setting, as a general guideline).
- Projected population growth (more people means more prospective tenants).
- Daily vehicle traffic (the majority of self-storage facilities depend heavily on drive-by traffic to attract customers).
- Competitive landscape. Which self-storage facilities already are operating in the area? What is their occupancy rate? Are there any facilities that are under construction or are planned within the trade area?
Other components of the feasibility study normally will include an overview of the self-storage industry; long-range projections for rental rates, income, expenses and property value; and details about the storage project’s zoning.
Writing a Business Plan
Every business should have a business plan. Simply put, a business plan can help propel a business toward success, letting you realize your goals and manage issues that might arise. Most lenders will want to see a business plan before extending a loan.
Lots of online templates are available for writing a business plan, so you certainly can try tackling it on your own. You also can seek assistance from a nonprofit like SCORE, which offers free business mentoring, or you can hire a writer who specializes in business plans.
Keep in mind that a business plan for an existing self-storage facility will look quite different from a business plan for a proposed facility.
Each business plan should be tailored to your own needs, but a business plan for a self-storage facility usually will feature information such as:
- Mission statement.
- Vision statement.
- Ownership structure.
- Business structure (such as an LLC, or limited liability corporation).
- Staff roles and responsibilities.
- SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats).
- Market analysis.
- Competitive analysis.
- Marketing and sales strategies.
- Pricing strategy. Roughly speaking, monthly rents for a self-storage facility in a high-population area can be anywhere from 50 cents to $4 per square foot.
- Menu of product and service offerings, including a rundown of the unit sizes, like 5×5, 10×10 and 10×20.
- Sources of capital.
- Revenue streams.
- Revenue and expense projections covering several years. Financial modeling will enable estimates of revenue and expenses on a per-square-foot basis.
One factor in making sure revenue projections are met is marketing. While drive-by traffic delivers lots of customers, marketing — particularly online self-storage marketing — can’t be ignored. Self-storage consumers increasingly are turning to the internet as their first stop when shopping for a storage unit.
Any smart internet strategy should ensure your facility can be found on search engines like Google as well as through online self-storage marketplaces like SpareFoot. In addition, your facility’s website should be up to date. Companies like storeEDGE specialize in developing, revamping and maintaining mobile-ready websites for self-storage operators .
How to Create a Self-Storage Business Plan
Should You Buy an Existing Self-Storage Facility?
In terms of buying an existing facility , prices are all over the map, just as the self-storage facilities themselves are. As you might expect, an existing self-storage facility in New York City, NY, likely will go for tens of millions of dollars, whereas an existing facility in rural Iowa likely can be purchased for less than $1 million.
A spot analysis of storage facilities for sale in March 2019 found that asking prices generally ranged from $1 million to $10 million per facility. Some facilities on the market also were bundled for sale as a single portfolio.
Unless you’re a licensed real estate professional, it’s wise to hire an experienced self-storage broker to help you find and eventually buy a facility. A seasoned broker knows the market and knows how to negotiate the price.
If you’re going to be running the facility, you, of course, will want to buy a facility in the region where you live. But if you’ll be handing over operations to a third-party management company, then it doesn’t necessarily matter where the facility is. Just be sure you and your broker have a good grasp of the local market.
Should You Build a Self-Storage Facility from the Ground Up?
This should come as no surprise, but location also plays a big part in the cost of building a new facility . You might be able to put up a single-story, 40,000-square-foot self-storage development in a small town for $1 million or less, whereas a two-story, 80,000-square-foot facility in a more urban setting could set you back $6 million. Keep in mind that these are rough estimates.
As a rule of thumb, you can expect to spend anywhere from $25 to $75 per square foot on new construction. However, that’s merely an approximate range. Again, the location of the facility — including the cost of the land — will dictate the price tag for construction.
Here are some statistics to keep in mind if you’re developing a self-storage facility:
- Facilities range from 10,000 square feet to 100,000 square feet or more.
- The average self-storage facility encompasses 46,000 net rentable square feet (the amount of money-generating space that can be rented by tenants).
- A facility typically covers 2.5 to 5 acres.
What follows are six things to take into account when you’re building storage units:
- What will the mix of units be? If the facility is in a trade area that’s populated predominantly by apartment renters, then you might want to include more small units, such as 5x5 or 5x10. But if the residents of the trade area are mostly homeowners, more 10x10 and 10x20 units might be in order.
- Should the facility consistent only of drive-up units or only indoor-access units? Or should there be a blend of drive-up and indoor-access units. The answers depend on the demographics of the trade area.
- Should there be only climate-controlled units or only non-climate-controlled units? Or should there be a combination of the two? The local climate will come into play regarding this decision, as will your construction budget.
- Should you limit the facility to one building? Or will you have enough room — and does it make sense — to spread the units across several buildings? How much land is available, along with how much demand is projected, will influence the configuration of the facility.
- Should space be set aside for storage of boats, RVs and other vehicles? The answer hinges, in part, on market research indicating how many boat, RV and vehicle owners live in the trade area.
- Should you look at converting an existing structure, such as a shuttered retail store, into a self-storage facility? A number of self-storage developers have successfully transformed unused and often overlooked spaces into tax-revenue-generating, job-creating storage facilities.
Aside from what the facility will look like, another key factor is zoning and entitlement.
A huge issue will be how the property is zoned. If the property is already zoned for self-storage, then that removes a huge hurdle. But if the property needs to be rezoned, then you could devote months or even years to seeking approval for a zoning change.
In some places, government officials and local residents vigorously oppose self-storage facilities, based on the ill-informed notion that these facilities are magnets for crime and traffic, and that they’re eyesores. The reverse is actually true. Self-storage facilities don’t cause a rise crime or traffic, and many modern facilities are being designed to fit into and even accentuate neighborhoods.
Additionally, there’s the issue of entitlement. This involves obtaining approval from government entities for your development plans. As with rezoning, an entitlement case could drag on for months upon months.
All of that being said, keep two things in mind:
- Development of a self-storage facility takes time and patience (and, of course, money). Aside from the zoning and entitlement, construction can be delayed by bad weather, shortages of labor and limited supplies of construction materials.
- Development of a self-storage facility requires expertise. A development team should include seasoned legal, real estate, financial, construction and design professionals. Few people who are new to the self-storage industry can go it alone when developing a new facility.
Financing a Self-Storage Facility
Just as there is with any business, there are some hard truths about self-storage, no matter whether you’re talking about a newly constructed or newly acquired facility.
For one thing, you’ll need money to launch the business and keep it running.
As we mentioned before, the amount of money you put into a facility varies greatly, based on location and myriad other factors. But before you spend a dime, you’ll have to decide how you’ll go about financing an acquisition or a new development.
For instance, will you need to take out a loan? A number of options are available, such as acquisition loans, construction loans and SBA loans. Many of these loans cover terms of 10 to 25 years. Work with a lending professional who’s well-versed in the self-storage industry to point you in the right direction.
To qualify for a self-storage loan, here are four things you’ll likely need:
- A credit score of at least 680.
- A credit history clear of recent bankruptcies, foreclosures and tax liens.
- A cash down payment of 10 percent or more.
- A business track record of at least three years.
Perhaps you don’t need to take out a loan and, instead, have enough liquid capital to buy or build a facility. However, do you have enough money to operate the facility? You don’t want to drain your retirement fund to purchase or develop a self-storage facility.
Or you might consider teaming up with other investors to buy or build a facility. This can be done through:
- A debt partnership, which is a lending relationship that does not assign an ownership stake to the person or entity you are borrowing the money from.
- An equity partnership, with each partner chipping in a certain amount of cash and owning a share of the business.
- A joint venture with, say, a self-storage developer. Each partner owns a certain percentage of the business.
- A syndicate of accredited investors assembled for the sole purpose of buying or developing a facility.
- A tenant-in-common arrangement, which allows at least two people to own a property and enables the relatively seamless transfer of an ownership stake to another party.
Financing Options for Self-Storage Businesses
How Will you Manage and Market Your Self-Storage Facility?
While storage facilities traditionally generate healthy, stable cash flow, anyone entering the self-storage business must realize that this won’t be a get-rich-quick operation.
Generally speaking, the occupancy rates of self-storage facilities range from 70% to 95%. With a facility that’s newly constructed or that’s being repositioned, a new owner often will face a lease-up period of 18 to 36 months before a facility reaches occupancy stabilization. Positive cash flow also could be years down the road.
However, the good news is that the breakeven occupancy rate for a self-storage facility falls well below other asset classes. By one measure, the breakeven point is 40% to 45% occupancy in self-storage , versus 60% or more in the multifamily sector. Furthermore, self-storage facilities boast some of the best shorter-term and longer-term returns in commercial real estate.
When it comes to buying a self-storage facility, one investment number that’s essential to note is the capitalization rate (cap rate for short). “Capitalization rates are always the over-arching consideration for both buyers and sellers in the self-storage industry,” according to self-storage brokerage firm SkyView Advisors.
As explained by SkyView Advisors, the cap rate is the ratio of a property’s NOI (net operating income) to the value of the property. For example, if a property sells for $1.5 million and its NOI is $120,000, then the cap rate is 8% ($120,000 is 8% of $1.5 million).
“In the simplest terms, the cap rate reveals to an income property investor what percentage [he/she] can expect to earn if he buys the property with all cash,” SkyView Advisors said.
For example, if an investor thinks a property is worth a cap rate of 8%, then he or she expects a cash return of 8%.
In the third quarter of 2018, cap rates for self-storage facilities ranged from 4.5% among Class A facilities to 8.5% for Class C facilities, according to CBRE.
At the end of the day, buying or building a self-storage facility will most certainly consume time, energy and money. However, the payoff can be substantial in a continually growing industry. Evidence of that growth abounds:
- In 2018, self-storage occupancy rates and rental rates in a number of U.S. markets reached record highs.
- Demand for self-storage keeps going up thanks to an array of trends, including the overall downsizing of baby boomers’ households, the general preference among millennials for renting apartments versus owning homes and the sustained mobility of American workers.
- Over time, self-storage has demonstrated that it’s a recession-resistant sector.
In short, self-storage furnishes a wealth of reasons why acquiring an existing facility or building a new facility can open the roll-up door to attractive investment gains.
“Storage facilities need little capital outlay or upkeep, their property taxes are modest, and net acquisitions in that sector have surged,” Forbes.com contributor Brad Thomas observed in November 2017. “And so, in good times and in bad, kind of like marriage, good old storage units are like a trusty … spouse.”
How to Buy a Self-Storage Facility
Thinking about buying a self-storage facility? Here is what you need to know before starting your search. Keep Reading
How to Sell a Self-Storage Facility
It's time to sell your self-storage facility and cash out. Here's what you need to know to prepare your units for sale. Keep Reading
Do You Need a Self-Storage Feasibility Study?
Before you invest in building, find out why you should first invest in a self-storage feasibility study. Keep Reading
Buy Factory Direct with No Middle Man and No Dealer Costs!
1-Story Climate Controlled
Call 800-323-6464 or Request a Quote
Sample Unit Mixes
Several style layouts are available to meet your market demand. Simple designs provide outdoor access units from 5′ x 5′ to 10′ x 30′. Indoor access units use 5′ or 10′ hallways and climate controlled space or standard spaces. Multi-story buildings require an elevator or lift while split-level buildings provide double the floor area ratio using ground level access to both levels.
1-STORY NON-CLIMATE CONTROLLED
Click on the image below to download the PDF
- Self Storage Investing: Why It’s The Perfect Time
- Expand Existing Self Storage
- Comparing Investments
- Conversion System
- Hallway & Doors
- Parts Quote Request
- Self Storage Business Advice
- Site Plan Assistance
- Custom Engineering
- Self Storage Case Studies
- Photo Portfolios
- Color Simulator
- Ask the Expert
- Industry Specialists
- Assembly Manuals
- Architect Resources
- Halls & Doors
Ideal for High Property Value Areas
The Trachte™ Multi-Story Self-Storage System is ideal for urban areas with high property values and dense populations. Naturally, when land is limited, this design maximizes the rentable space needed to achieve a financially feasible project. Additionally, the system can be designed as a stand-alone building or constructed into a hillside.
Trachte’s two, three, and four-story designs can be customized to accommodate stairways, elevators, lifts, hallways, and exterior doors. It features a corridor system to meet your market or city building requirements. Hillside plans also offer the advantage of drive-up exterior access on both levels while achieving symmetry to your facility when land terrains are uneven.
Click and drag thumbnail images to skip back or ahead.
* Other sizes available upon request
Note: Product specifications are subject to change without notice.
Two Story - 1st Floorplan
Two Story - 2nd Floorplan
Two Story Side Elevation
Take your Trachte self storage facility to the next level with the enhancements listed below.
not available in trim
R-Panel Roof Colors
Standard roof finish
R-Panel roof available on Trachte buildings 1″ : 12″ pitch or higher. Galvalume is the standard finish; painted colors are available for a small upcharge.
Standing Seam Roof Colors Other premium colors are available. Contact Trachte for pricing and availability
Closest match to Cedar Red. Premium color.
Harbor / Regal Blue
Closest match to Royal Blue. Premium color.
Evergreen / Classic Green
Regal White / Snow White
Closest match to Iced White
Roman / Hawaiian Blue
Closest match to Polar Blue. Premium color.
Patrician Bronze / Medium Bronze
Surrey Beige / Brownstone
Closest match to Classic Beige. Premium color.
Special order. Premium color.
30 other colors are available. Contact Trachte for further information. Standing seam roof is standard on Trachte buildings up to 1″ : 12″ pitch, and optional on higher pitched buildings. Galvalume is the standard finish; painted colors are available for a small upcharge.
Note: Colors shown may differ from actual colored panel material. For a steel color sample, Contact Trachte .
- Most common door model for self-storage applications.
- Available in custom sizes from 3' to 11' wide x 3' to 10'4" high in 1" increments.
- 944 Specifications
- 944WL specifications
- 944 wind load ratings
- 944WL wind load ratings
- 944/944WL accessories
- Offering the largest of door dimensions, the 988 is most commonly used for boat/RV storage.
- Available in custom sizes from 11' to 16' wide x 8' to 16' high in 1" increments.
- 988 Specifications
- 988WL specifications
- 988WL wind load ratings
- 988/988WL accessories
The “WL” model may be needed when building codes require a specific m.p.h. rating.
Swing doors, both ribbed and flush panel, are available for any interior application.
40-Year* Paint Warranty
Trachte Building Systems’ 40-year* paint warranty provides coverage against peeling and flaking, keeping your facility looking great for years to come. Warranty includes Trac-Rite® doors. All Galvalume® roofs are warranted for 25 years.
3-Year Parts and Workmanship Warranty
Trachte warrants all materials, including Trac-Rite® doors, to be free of defect for a period of three (3) years.
* Some exceptions apply.
Related Case Studies
Franklin Lakes, New Jersey Multi Story
Ballston Spa, New York Multi Story
Omaha, Nebraska Multi Story
Morgantown, West Virginia Single Story, Multi Story
Dubuque, Iowa Multi Story
Quarryville, PA Single Story, Multi Story
Cutchogue, New York Single Story, Multi Story
Radcliff, Kentucky Single Story, Multi Story
Carlisle, Pennsylvania Single Story, Multi Story
Trachte Building Systems
Headquartered in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, we are one of the largest manufacturers of steel self-storage systems in the industry. With 120 years of experience, we’ve mastered the art of developing smart building products designed, engineered, and customized to meet your needs.
314 Wilburn Road Sun Prairie, WI 53590-1469 View Map › Careers › Send Us A Message ›
Technical Help: 1-888-271-HELP (4357) Toll Free Fax: 1-800-981-9014 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM Mon-Fri, CST
Need to contact a specific department at Trachte? View Our Departments ›
Mini Storage Floor Plans ; Single Slope Building Floor Plans · Self Storage Building Floorplan. End Units One Side ; Gable Building Floor Plans (Equal Units) · Self
Building a new self-storage facility is exciting but stressful, and going ... planning your new project, including timeline, budgeting, construction and
Commercial Storage Building Plans Warehouse Layout, Warehouse Design, House Porch ... Self Storage Units, Storage Area, Garage Storage, Locker Storage
If you are considering installing a storage facility to start your ... Plus, a good self-storage business plan will help you work out the
Prefab metal warehouses are the #1 choice for flex warehouses, distribution centers, and storage facilities due to their economical and fast construction
Don't have time for a full design process? Want to get your new storage units open as fast as possible? We have self-storage unit layouts ready to go in the
What kind of research and planning do you need to do before starting a ... Should you build a self-storage facility from the ground up?
Where do you start when laying out a self-storage site? This presentation will cover the do's and don'ts of self-storage facility design.
Simple designs provide outdoor access units from 5′ x 5′ to 10′ x 30′. Indoor access units use 5′ or 10′ hallways and climate controlled space or standard
1/18 Custom design, four story self-storage building with climate controlled and non-climate controlled units. The exterior is cream beige and slate gray