If buying the land, input the land cost plus any closing costs into this field.

If the land is already owned, either input your outstanding debt or its present value to determine your return.

If you don't have land costs now, enter an estimated cost into this field. You can then determine how much you can afford in your given market.

Select a coverage rate appropriate to your site. Many developers underestimate the size and cost of stormwater retention features. Check with your local building department to determine your local requirements.

Rentable Square Feet:


Calculated field: Estimation of rentable sq feet based on land size, coverage type, and building type.

Gross Square Feet:


Calculated field: Estimation of rentable sq feet based on land size, coverage type, and building type.

Development Expenses
(Or enter in detail below)

These costs vary widely depending on what part of the country you are building in and how large of a facility you are building.

A small site that has no office or fencing will cost $28 to $35 per sq. ft excluding land.

A small site that has an office and basic security will cost $34 - $44 per sq. ft excluding land.

A single story site that includes an office with a manager apartment, climate control units, and an up-to-date security system, will cost $43 to $55 per sq. ft. excluding land.

A multi-story site that includes an office with a manager apartment, climate control units, and an up-to-date security system will cost $58 to $78 per sq. ft. excluding land.

*Please note the above costs are simply estimates; actual costs will vary.

To budget a site in greater detail without the need to create a detailed site plan, explore this subsection.
Building Package (building, doors, roof) and labor

The following average building materials and labor costs are intended to help clients quickly prepare a rough budget to determine if a project is economically feasible. Trachte offers a wide array of optional features which may increase or decrease your actual cost.

Typical building costs:

• Single story, 30 to 40' wide, exterior access, low pitched standing seam roof or high pitched with screw down roof: $8 to $10 per sq ft.

• Single story, wide construction, with interior halls, insulated: $10 to $13 per sq ft.

Grading and excavation

Grading and excavation costs can vary greatly, especially if the property requires a pond. A grading contractor, city engineer, or civil engineer that is familiar with the land may be able to give you a rough idea of what work is required, or speak with owners of nearby recently developed land to learn what work they performed and at what cost.

For a basic site without a pond, grading work will likely include removal of topsoil on building and paved areas, and application of proper fill material.

Foundation (concrete)

Most standard single story projects can be built on a floating slab foundation. Budget $4 to $5 per square foot for floating slab.

Buildings that require a trenchwall or frostwall foundation, budget $5 to $6 per square foot. For example, buildings with HVAC systems in northern climates need this.


Typically asphalt drives range from $2 to $2.50 per sq foot. Concrete driveways range from $3 to $4 per sq foot. For a facility with all drive up units, you'll have paved square footage roughly equal to building coverage. Wider buildings will result in less drives.

Electrical, HVAC if equipped

Contact local contractors for estimates.

Fencing, gate with access control, security cameras if equipped.

Add a number to budget for these items if applicable. Prices may vary significantly depending on your preferences. Consult local contractors for bids on these items.

Office and finishing

If your facility will include an office or other finish work not provided by Trachte (brickwork, accents, etc), budget for it here.

Permits, engineering and loan fees

This field should include engineering, architectural costs, local and state permit fees.


$ 0

Calculated field: Total cost per sq foot, includes all costs except land.

Total development costs (excludes startup cash)

Calculated field: Gross project square footage x Estimated development costs

(Or enter in detail below)

Input the data you gathered from your competitive analysis. For instance, if a 10' x 10' (100 sq. ft.) unit rents for $60/month, $60/100 sq. ft = $0.60 sq ft/month, $0.60 x 12 months = $7.20 sq ft/year. Input $7.20 into this field.

For a more conservative approach, input the rental rate for a 10' x 15' unit.

If considering climate control, add additional rental income for these premium units.

Calculate an annual average below by entering local monthly rates
10x10 Unit Rate

Enter the rate you intend to charge for a 10x10 unit. Call local existing self-storage sites to determine going rates in your area.

10x15 Unit Rate

Enter the rate you intend to charge for a 10x15 unit. Call local existing self-storage sites to determine going rates in yoru area.

Average Annual Rate Per Sq. Ft.

$ 0

Calculated field based on rates entered above.

Gross annual income

$ 0

Calculated field: Gross income at 100% occupancy. Average rental rate per sq ft x rentalable sq ft.

Management Expenses
(Or enter in detail below)

Operating expenses vary greatly depending on how you manage your property.

If you plan to operate a small facility from your home or existing business, your expenses will average 20-25% of gross annual income.

If you plan to operate a facility with an office and a manager present, your expenses will average 25-35% of gross annual income.

If you plan to hire a management company, your expenses will be 35% - 40%.

Property Taxes

Enter the anticipated annual property tax bill for the property. Contact your local city hall to determine mill rate and multiply times your estimated fair market value for the property when completed.

Site Operation Expenses

Enter an amount to cover annual operation expenses including insurance, marketing, landscape maintenance, plowing, accounting expense, pest control, and utilities.

Employee or Management Firm Expenses

Enter the annual employee costs and/or cost of third party management.


$ 0

Calculated field: Based on the expenses above

Annual operating expenses

$ 0

Calculated field: annual income x operating expense ratio

Loan Information

Input the interest rate for the loan of the self-storage project.

Input the amortization schedule of the loan. Typically 15, 20, or 25 years


Typically a maximum of 80% for conventional loans, or 90% for SBA loans. Owned land qualifies as equity for lenders.

Additional Info for Break Even and Valuation Calculations

A typical self storage project rents from 1000 - 2500 sq ft per month depending on location and market. Insert your projection in this field.

Capitalization rate (or "cap rate") is the ratio between the net operating income produced by an asset and its capital cost (the original price paid to buy the asset) or alternatively its current market value. The "cap rate" a buyer is willing to pay determines the price he is willing to offer for a property based on its income stream. Typical cap rates vary by the type of property.


This figure will be used in predicting facility value.

Clear Form


Break Even

Occupancy Level Total Gross Income Annual Debt Service Total Operating Costs Cash Flow ROI

This project will break even in 0 months at

Operating cash during rent up
Total cash required (deposit + operating cash)
Amount to be borrowed (does not include startup operating cash)
Estimated project value at stabilized occupancy

The benefits of depreciation are not taken into account in the above ROI calculation.

View Monthly Cash Flow Estimate


Cash-Flow Analysis

MONTH Projected % of Occupancy Effective Income Operating Expenses Capital Required w/o Mortgage Mortgage Amount Capital Required