Layout Site


Now that you have identified a property, it's time to figure out how to utilize the land to maximize the net rentable square footage. Your Trachte regional manager can assist you in assuring the best use of your property. Here are some important considerations to discuss with your regional manager:

Do I want all drive-up units?

Drive-up units are the easiest to rent. The building costs are the lowest and the design is the easiest to construct. Because so many buildings are needed to achieve the desired number of units, you'll need a lot of land to develop your site. Example site plan.

Should I build wide buildings to maximize the layout?

By eliminating driveways, this design can easily achieve 20% more rentable square feet per acre. The interior hallways can be climate-controlled to attract higher-paying customers. Example site plan.

Do I want climate-controlled units?

Climate-controlled units will get better rental rates per square foot. They can also differentiate your project from the competition. The amount you build varies on your climate. Typically, the more humid the area, the higher demand for climate control. Example site plan.

Should I build multi-story buildings?

A multi-story building will provide you with more rentable square footage which could offset high land costs or make optimal use of a small property. An elevator is recommended for all two-, three-, or four-story buildings. Each building will need at least two stairwells for proper fire exits. A sprinkler system is required for three- and four-story buildings and may be required for some two-story buildings. Example site plan.

How wide should my driveways be?

The optimal distance between buildings is 25' (minimum 14' for a one-way drive) but the International Building Code allows for a 20' wide drive. If you are considering boat/RV storage, greater widths may be necessary.

Site Mix Options

The layout and unit mix of your building will vary depending on the population and location of your facility. For example, use one-story buildings in small- to medium-sized towns and multi-story buildings in highly populated areas were land is limited.

Below are illustrations of diversified self-storage portfolios. These examples can provide ideas on how to layout your site to meet your market's specific needs.


Example 1

The site factors to consider in this example include a 3.2-acre development in a rural area with small town demographics. The land is flat and your market will be a primarily household. A recent market analysis revealed that your nearest competition does not offer climate control at its facility.


Example 2

In a relatively affluent urban/suburban area, you may have a 5-acre development with flat topography and an easement on the rear of the property. Since the property is located near a business park, there will be a strong demand for office space and small business units.


Example 3

Perhaps you have a 5-acre development with a steep grade at one end and an easement on the side. There is a resort area nearby and generally it is a strong business environment. The new business center under development will add even more growth potential to the area.


Example 4

In an urban area where ground expansion is limited and rental rates are high, consider a multi-story facility that combines standard storage units on the lower level with a climate-controlled upper level. This flexible mix will accommodate the diverse needs of urban customers.

Avoid the 7 most common mistakes of site layout. Be sure to consider the following:

  1. Layout the entire property even though you plan to only start with one building.
  2. Incorporate an office into the design even if it will not be built right away.
  3. Plan for a controlled access gate system with keypad even if you do not install it until later.
  4. Consider regional climate effects of your site, i.e. snow and ice concerns.
  5. Include a retention pond if one is needed.
  6. Seek approval from the fire marshal on driveway widths and turn-around distances.
  7. Plan ahead to allow for future building additions and enhancements.

Receive a Free Site Plan

Free of charge, Trachte will develop a preliminary site plan for you. The site plan will provide a general idea of how your site will be designed. Once you have settled on a plan for your site, hire an engineer to design an engineered site plan. An engineered site plan will illustrate grading and water drainage and exact floor heights of foundations with precise dimensions of steps for each building. This plan is required in most communities and helpful when working with your building supplier.

Ready for the next step?
With any new business, you need to Develop a Business Plan.