No announcement yet.

Starting my first conversion.

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Starting my first conversion.

    I own a shopping center in Hudson Florida that has a vacant Grocery store that I've decided to do a conversion into Self Storage. I don't know much about the industry and am wondering a few things. Who do you think is good to help me with doing a lay out of the space. I have a Contractor in the family to do the install but I need a supplier and don't know where to go. What tips do you guys have? What should I put in that I might not be thinking of now?


  • #2
    First, welcome to the forum pgazz. Second, one of the first things that comes to my mind is if it will be all one story or two stories inside? There are plenty of Santa's helpers here that will be in touch about your concerns. Good luck
    "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"


    • #3
      It would be One story the ceilings are high but they aren't high enough to do two stories. The place has dock high loading docks and we have about two acres of paved space around back that I'm planning on fencing off and doing RV, Boat and Car storage. Boats are a big deal down here.



      • #4
        Hi Paul,

        If you don't have an accurate "as built" drawing of the building, getting a local architect or engineer to measure and draws one up will be the first order of business. Those professionals can also help you with layout, or you can ask your preferred steel conversion/door supplier to work up a plan as well. AutoCAD format is preferred.

        You'll generally want to stay on a 5' grid as much as possible. 5' wide halls are typical. Ideally the layout will work to keep the building columns inside units near partition walls. Typically you can get about 80% of the space to be rentable.

        You may want to consider up front if you will include a rental kiosk now or in the future. These can be built into a breezeway as part of the remodel.

        We produced this video that follows a conversion project from beginning to end, which might be helpful for you.

        Steve Hajewski
        Marketing Manager
        Trachte Building Systems


        • #5
          So, if I understand you right you plan to have them unload items at a dock and then carry or cart in or will it be a drive in facility. If you do the dock unload design will it have a cover for weather? I like the outside storage of vehicles and boats but you could also have drive up units outside as well that mixes with the vehicle storage.
          "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"


          • #6
            Welcome pgazz


            • #7
              No there are Dock high areas in the back but there is also double doors in the front of the building. They would have to cart in from the parking lot or they could unload at dock high around back. Unloading from the front would not be protected from weather. What do you think of that? Does that work or are there issues with that?


              • #8
                I would always prefer to drive inside ad unload next to the unit. If the dock is covered, great, but you still have to unload "up" to the dock level and then still get the items inside. Sounds like you can't unload by driving thru "double doors" up front, since you mentioned it is not covered and that would not make any difference if you can drive thru the double doors. They are walk thru double doors, right? I just always think that the less you have to handle what you are trying to store, by unloading in front of the unit, the better the tenant likes it.
                "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"


                • #9
                  There is an old Walmart near me that is being converted into an a/c only storage facility. Their design is a "drive-in" facility, like Pac has described. It cuts through the center of the building with units/hallways on either side, allowing cars to park and load/unload.
                  Too many freaks, not enough circuses.


                  • #10
                    I think a dcent ground level loading bay is fine. We have that at all our fiacilities... you can also drive your car into the loading bay, but it only fits one car at a time. Also having more then one loading bay is good. All of our buildings have atleast 3. But these buildings service 40-60k sqft. Not sure how big your site is.


                    • #11
                      Welcome Paul,

                      I would put a canopy up front over the double doors with room enough under it for two vehicles to unload at the same time. Not all storage customers will be able to use the loading dock.

                      You should have your Site Plan performed by somebody with experience in the self-storage industry. Not all architects are experienced with the unit sizes involved. You would need a measured drawing showing the inside of the building as it exists to include the exact size and placement of internal support pillars and walls/rooms that are to remain.

                      Please email me if you would like more information.

                      Steve Smith

                      Site Planner
                      Building Outlet Corporation


                      • #12
                        I just want to thank all of you guys for your thoughts. It really does help.



                        • #13
                          I agree with Brother Pac about putting in a drive-through whenever possible if you can get it past the fire marshall. It adds the convenience of drive-up with the temperature-controlled extra income per square foot.

                          See my 4-acre sample at

                          This shows a typical temperature-controlled drive-through building if built from scratch.


                          • #14
                            An indoor facility, that can be driven in to, would need proper ventilation for exhaust gases and one of the concerns is the fluids dropped to the ground, from the vehicles, when they drive in. That is easily addressed with the right coating on the floor and that stuff is tough and wears like iron and can easily be swept/mopped if needed. Automotive repair shops already use this. If it was me, I would have a door at each end, one for entry and one for exit, or two at each end. That way you don't have traffic meeting each other.
                            "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"


                            • #15
                              I think one door at each end is sufficient if the drive is 25 feet wide. This allows passing an unloading vehicle as all legal vehicles are 8 feet wide or less.
                              You would not want two adjacent unloading vehicles blocking the flow.


                              Latest Topics


                              • pacnwstorage
                                Reply to After auction dilema
                                What they did was strip out the good stuff and left the trash for you to take care of. That is exactly why you should charge at least a $100 cash deposit that you can refund when you inspect the unit after they take everything and do it in the agreed upon time frame. I charge $200. I also now do the...
                                Today, 02:30 PM
                              • Penelope
                                After auction dilema
                                We auctioned a unit. We gave them 3 days to clean it out. They asked for and extension. We gave them 2 additional days. They were in the unit the same day as the auction and put their lock on it. Now it is 10 days later. They have not been back in and are not returning calls. Any suggestions?...
                                Today, 01:57 PM
                              • jsparkyii
                                Reply to I had ONE Mad Manager this morning
                                Make it hurt to be a lowlife, lazy, trash leaving thug!
                                Today, 01:02 PM