6 Things to Consider When Building Storage Units

6 Things to Consider When Building Storage Units

Prefab metal buildings provide a blend of efficiency, predictability and performance that self-storage developers find appealing.

Many entrepreneurs view self-storage buildings as a license to print money. You simply erect some metal buildings, attract a few clients and the cash will flow in. If only it was that easy.

There are many considerations that need to be carefully weighed before committing to such an endeavor.


1. Market Saturation

If you’re looking to set up shop in a town where numerous storage unit companies already exist, you might find it difficult to earn enough of the market share to make your operation viable. Researching your competitors will help you determine whether there’s a need for your services. Some of the questions you might want to answer include: 

  • What capacity are competing companies operating at?
  • Are there specific storage services not currently available (ie. climate-controlled storage etc.)
  • Is there an area of town that’s underserviced by storage companies?


2. Accessibility

People who use self-storage do it because it’s convenient. A big part of that is having easy access to their belongings. That means not having to:

  • Drive halfway across town to reach their storage units
  • Complete a 50-point turn to get out of the parking lot
  • Navigate a bunch of small side roads to reach your premises

Finding a lot that’s approachable from both directions and provides easy onsite maneuverability will be appealing to clients.


3. Customer Type

Understanding your target market will help determine the mix of storage units you want to build. If you’re surrounded by lakes, campgrounds and other outdoor recreation areas, you might want to consider offering storage for boats and RVs.

Conversely, if you’re located in an urban centre, you may choose to cater to clients living in apartments and condos by offering smaller storage units for their excess clutter.


4. Zoning Bylaws

Every municipality in BC has its own zoning bylaws. In order to determine the optimal unit coverage for your lot, you’ll need to determine: 

  • Setbacks
  • Easements
  • Building code requirements

Additionally, the topography of your site will also affect the size and type of metal buildings you erect.


5. Building Type

Most self-storage developers prefer pre-fabricated buildings to structural steel and other construction methods. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Quicker delivery and build times
  • More accurate cost projections
  • Ease of future expansion
  • They’re lighter and, therefore, require less foundation

Additionally, prefab metal buildings are designed to deliver continued performance over many years, with minimal maintenance. For more on this, read: Why Do Pre Engineered Buildings Last So Long?


6. Landscaping and Security

Attract clients. Deter intruders. With the right landscaping and security measures, that’s exactly what you’ll do. Planting nicely mulched garden beds will add curbside appeal to your operation, while fences, security cameras and gated entranceways will help keep the bad guys out.


If you’re looking for the most efficient way to build a self-storage compound, talk to Metal Structure Concepts to find out what makes our metal buildings the preferred option in BC.