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  • Minimum Distance between buildings

    First off I am new to the forum. I am looking to get into self storage. I have a couple carwashes. I bought out my only carwash competition in a small town only to discover they weren't much for competition so I need to do something else with the property. I am looking into putting doors on the existing carwash building and adding a couple more buildings to get started. I also have the opportunity to buy about 4 acres behind my wash for future expansion. The first couple buildings may be a little tight on the lot. I am looking at about 25' between the buildings. Is this distance OK or is it to close?

  • #2
    It all depends on what code in your area is. Are these drive aisle meant to be fire truck lanes? You best bet is to have an architect work on some sort of preliminary site plan. Its really hard to base it off something alas simple as one measurement. turning radius is a big factor also.

    We typically have 30 feet.... so 25 doesn't sound to far off.

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    • #3
      Depending on what the unit sizes on the buildings are, you might want to go more than 30'.

      We have 10X25's across from each other that people put boats and cars in. Even with 35', it gets tight.

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      • #4
        I would think the 30 foot range would be good. I allow no outside storage here and I have 10x30 double door units with boat and trailer in them. If you allow the same width as a regular two lane road, it may be tight depending on the boat and trailer but should be ok. Welcome to the forum Sparkey.
        "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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        • #5
          25 to 30' is common unless you have boat/rv storage. Have a civil engineer, not an architect help you out with site layout and survey work. Local fire and parking requirements may also factor into this, and don't forgot to leave room for snow removal if that's an issue where you build. Wider areas at buildings ends (typically about 35') allow larger trucks room to get turn around.

          You'll also want to consider if it will be worth the investment in land and pavement to get semi-trucks through. It's nice to be able to serve those clients, but not essential.

          Steve Hajewski
          Trachte Building Systems
          608 327-3208
          shajewski@trachte.com

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          • #6
            You can also choose to have different aisles be different widths. Most of my aisles are in the 25' range but a few are larger to allow for backing boats in and semi's

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            • #7
              My facility was built 20 years ago. They built it at that time to handle the big moving trucks. Most trailers back then were 44' to 48'. Those can still circle the perimeter here like a highway. The ones with the problems are the 53' trailers. They can make it but one particular corner is very tight. Literally missing rubbing a bollard by 2"-3". Some drivers are better than others, of course. They cannot enter the facility till they go with me to circle the perimeter and see where they have to go. I have had 2 drivers, in just over 3 years here, that said they would not bring truck on facility. None can pull down the aisles. Two wheel dolly trucks from truck to units in the aisles are no big deal though.
              "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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              • #8
                Thanks for all the great input. Not only am I coming up with 25' between the buildings, I am also working with 25' on the ends of the building to turn the corner. I won't be storing boats, or dealing with semi's with these buildings. I am kind of torn between building the buildings with such limited drive space or doing something totally different with the lot.

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                • #9
                  Hello Sparkey,

                  I am a Site Planner with Building Outlet Corporation.

                  I recommend 25 feet for the longest drive aisles turning onto 30-foot shortest cross aisles. This allows best turn radius for larger trucks and fire engines. If you have RV parking or storage, I recommend 55-60 feet for 90-degree turns and 35-40 for 60-degree slanted storage.

                  Please see my "Site Plan Essentials" at http://www.ministorageoutlet.com/siteplanning.html


                  Steve Smith

                  Site Planner
                  Building Outlet Corporation

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Stevedore View Post
                    Hello Sparkey,

                    I am a Site Planner with Building Outlet Corporation.

                    I recommend 25 feet for the longest drive aisles turning onto 30-foot shortest cross aisles. This allows best turn radius for larger trucks and fire engines. If you have RV parking or storage, I recommend 55-60 feet for 90-degree turns and 35-40 for 60-degree slanted storage.

                    Please see my "Site Plan Essentials" at http://www.ministorageoutlet.com/siteplanning.html


                    Steve Smith

                    Site Planner
                    Building Outlet Corporation
                    Thanks, Your website site plans are very helpful.

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                    • #11
                      I would do 25' between buildings and 30 ' on the ends, I would never do more than 25' between, all of mine are 25' but sometimes I wish they were 22 or 23

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SBAstorage View Post
                        I would do 25' between buildings and 30 ' on the ends, I would never do more than 25' between, all of mine are 25' but sometimes I wish they were 22 or 23
                        I would never say "never". RV storage & parking demands wider aisles.
                        If your local Fire Marshall has to sign off on your Site Plan, the 25-30 will usually work for standard drive-up storage.



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                        • #13
                          Remember it's not just customer vehicles coming on, but moving trucks as well. You might get away with limited space for tractor-trailers, but make sure regular sized moving trucks can get on and off-- if they can't, that's something that will steer people away from you in a heartbeat

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                          • #14
                            Yes Steve is correct if there is RV parking or units but for standard self storage units I would do a little less than 25, the reason is I did all 25 feet between my buildings and if I would of done 22 or 23 I would now have room for another building to increase my rentable square feet on the same amount of land.

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                            • #15
                              Sorry, I don't agree to anything less than 25 feet unless it is at the outside edge of the property. If you have units on both sides of the drive aisle with parallel customers loading/unloading at the same time, 25 feet is barely enough room for another vehicle to pass between them.

                              Remember that maximum legal width for ANY vehicle on the road is 8 feet.

                              If you need to expand, you need to add more land or go up. You don't inconvenience your customers or risk damage to your buildings.


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