Mako Steel Blog

How to Choose a Self Storage Builder

Posted by Caesar Wright on Tue, Sep 03, 2013 @ 08:23 AM

Key Things to Look for in Your

Self Storage Builder

Self Storage Builder

You have done your homework, selected the site for your new self storage building and gotten financing figured out. Now, you are ready to hire a Self Storage Building Company.  Choosing a Self Storage Builder can be a daunting process. After all, your future prosperity depends on a well-designed building that presents the image you want while providing the income potential you need. 

There may be builders that are willing to cut you a deal, but cost cannot be your only consideration – especially if this is your first venture into building self-storage. While it is tempting to go with the lowest bid, contracting with the wrong builder can cause you frustration, time delays and hard cash.  Below are some tips to help guide you in selecting your Self Storage Builder.

Prescreen All Contenders

First, make sure any builder you consider working with is legitimate: licensed, bonded and insured. Check with the Better Business Bureau and professional organizations such a the Self Storage Association. While the law provides some protection from fraudulent or incompetent contractors, it doesn't guarantee honest transactions or quality work. Do your homework. After all, your financial investment is at stake. Look at previous projects that are similar in scale to your project and check references.

Self Storage Experience

Self Storage is an investment that will bring substantial returns over time, and with so much at stake, the experience of your builder should be a top priority. It is not enough to be a great builder - the company you choose needs to be a great Self Storage Builder.

In most types of commercial construction, architects, engineers and designers would design the building and the contractor would construct what is dictated on the approved plans. In Self Storage, there are construction requirements that are specific to the industry that an architect, who doesn’t have extensive experience in Self Storage, would not think to include in the design. 

Drive aisles, turning radiuses, door size, security, lighting, and more need to be considered. An experienced self storage builder will be able to advise you on these issues early in the design process. They can also help you lay out your buildings to maximize occupancy.

Amenities in the Self Storage business can help you attract customers or can be a drain on your budget. An experienced Self Storage Builder will help you determine when it makes sense to invest in certain amenities that will increase revenue opportunities and when not to.

Engineering and Design Services

Work with an experienced Self Storage Builder that offers site design and engineering services and who is willing to consult with you through the entire project - from site development, building design and through completed construction. These services will not necessarily eliminate the need for an architect, but having a Self Storage Builder that can work closely with your architect to design all of the amenities, utilities and structural requirements that are unique to self storage, is going to save you time and money. It is certainly much less costly to make changes on paper than on the job site.

Design to Get Through the Permitting Process

Permitting and environmental processes are not for the faint of heart.  A professional Self Storage Builder, who understands the permitting process and the types of issues that arise that are specific to Self Storage, will help you through the oftentimes arduous process.  

Single Source Supplier

You will save time and money if your Self Storage Builder designs, manufactures and builds the entire project. You want to look for a self storage builder that can offer everything your self storage project requires, such as; multi-purpose self storage buildings, customized structures, movable structures and boat and RV storage buildings and canopies.  By working with one, full-service company for all elements of the project, you will eliminate duplication of efforts and having to deal with all of the brokers, shipping companies and subcontractors needed if you were not using a single source supplier. Ultimately, you will have more control over budgets and deadlines.

Quality Products

While budget is always a consideration, it will cost you more in the long run if the products used in the construction of your self storage buildings are not designed to withstand weather, are not corrosion resistant, or are not designed to resist leaks and other damaging conditions. Make sure that the products your builder supplies are of top quality and designed to last.

Project Management

It goes without saying that you want to work with a company that has a team of professionals running your construction site that will maximize efficiencies, foresee and solve potential problems before they cost you time and money and who will keep you informed at each step of the project.  Experienced Self Storage Builders will have well-honed protocols to minimize surprises and keep a project on track. Don’t just trust your gut feeling. Talk with previous customers to make sure that they had a good experience. Take a tour of facilities that the company has designed and built. Meet all of the key players who will be working on your project.

Customer Service

A company that understands that your success is their success will ensure that your project is completed on time, on budget and meets all of your requirements. And they will be there after that final check is cashed. 

Price

Finally, cost needs to be considered. Get competitve estimates, but make sure you are comparing apples to apples. In order to do that, you will need to understand what materials are being used, how much insulation you will incude, what the finishes will be, requirements for grading the site, and many other factors. Don't be taken in by a low number on the bottom line. Scrutinize the bid to ensure that there won't be extensive change orders and hidden costs later.

Mako Steel wants to be your Self Storage Builder. With over 20 years in the Self Storage industry, our team of experts can guide you through every step of designing and building your self-storage project and our in-house engineering department will provide you with site plans and unit mix designs that maximizes your income potential. Our buying power, high quality products and design efficiencies keep your costs down. Mako Steel's quick delivery system and professional construction crews will have you fully operational and renting fast. We believe that if your self storage project is built quickly, with the best materials and at a highly competitive price, you will build with us again. 

Build with the best. Build with Mako Steel.

Choose the Right Self Storage Builder

Tags: self storage construction