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What to look for in storage units as a new contractor

There is a ton of research that goes into what makes a perfect storage unit and as a contractor, what should stand out to you. A storage unit is a big investment; therefore, the stakes are higher when it comes to their development. As exciting as the project is going to be, there is no denying the fact that the client has taken a leap of faith and you should prove it to be worth their troubles.

All of this might sound overwhelming, particularly to a new contractor! Hopefully, this post will help you gain a better perspective on the matter. Keep on reading!

To begin with, it would be fair to say, whether you’re a new contractor or have taken the responsibility to build a self-storage unit yourself, it’s crucial to understand how the construction of a self-storage unit works. Here are some factors you must take care of when looking for a storage unit.

looking for land

Many people have the misconception that owning land makes the entire procedure easier and cheaper for them, which isn’t the case at all. Even if you have the land, the question to ask is whether or not it is well-suited for the project. Would you buy the piece of land you own from someone else to build it into a storage unit? If the answer is no, proceeding to work with that piece of land will actually prove to be more costly for you.

Whichever your prospective area is, you need to understand the market potentials of it. You then may need to lease or purchase land.

conducting a market analysis

We couldn’t stress this enough! Conducting a market analysis is absolutely crucial to moving forward with any project. A market analysis will give you a better understanding of the viability of your storage unit. It will also give a better perspective of the competition, occupancy potential, and any special requirements such as climate-controlled facility.

Comparing prices is crucial as building a storage unit is not, by any means, a cheap investment. Budget is the main concern of most clients. A contractor should be able to provide competitive estimates and price differences to get an overall better picture of the price point.

When it comes to cheaper or higher rates, make sure your client knows that for cheaper rates, they will only be paying for labor and materials, whereas a more flexible budget will get them professional services, higher quality materials, etc. 

checking the zoning requirements

The land you need to buy will solely depend on how big of a storage unit you have decided on a building. Another aspect which weighs on the area of land is whether your storage unit will be a single-story or multiple stories. Multiple story storage units will require less land. Furthermore, it is recommended to do more than 30% of premium temperature-controlled footage as it is all the hype these days.

A major aspect to take care of is the zoning regulations in the area. Make sure that every part of the process abides by the law.

partnering with a construction company

When it comes to building a storage facility, not everyone has the required expertise on every step of the process. For a new contractor, there is no shame in admitting that or taking assistance from a construction company. There’s a lot at stake with a project; the last thing you would want to do is mess it up. 

With the kind of capital invested in this kind of project, it’s best not to take any risks and always plan for the worse. By partnering with a construction company, you will not only be able to execute the task at hand well but might just be able to gain some insight on the matter.

tips for new contractors

Hiring a contractor is a tough job for a client, and the abundance of general contractors in the market only makes it harder. It is quite a process to investigate, research, and choose the best contractor for this job. As a new contractor, you would want to get maximum experience under your belt to secure a better position for yourself in the construction industry. Here are some tips and tricks;

  • Having a professional attitude towards the project from the beginning will gain you great experience and respect. A possible way of doing that is by creating a tentative timeline of your project. Consider all the factors which might get delayed and keep track of every progress you make according to your plan.
  • Don’t neglect a market analysis and feasibility analysis. These will help you gain a better perspective of the competitive rates, land values, etc. and help in making a better case for yourself. 
  • Create a contract which clearly states details on the scheduling, timelines, rework, any deviations from plans, or schedule plus the compensation. This minimizes the chance for any miscommunications and misunderstandings as you have everything pre-discussed and on paper.
  • Clients prefer contractors that have years of experiences; therefore, it’s great to partner up with a construction firm to get a better understanding of the workings of storage units and gain some experience.
  • You are most likely to be called for an interview when you get called on by a client. It could be a major deciding factor on whether you get hired for the project. Thus, bring your A-game to that interview and make sure the client feels easy to communicate with you.
  • Some contractors are of the mindset that they’ve worked on construction projects, so developing a storage unit will be the same, which is wrong. It is a unique real estate project which sometimes simplifies operations and at times complicates others. You can’t judge your capacity to work on such a type of project based on prior experiences in other niches.


In summary, it’s concise to say that the construction industry is competitive, and for a new contractor, there are tons of challenges. The best advice is to acquire experience working under an experienced contractor or construction firm. Furthermore, take a professional approach from the beginning; don’t skip on market analysis as it might be risky to do so and make sure to have great communication with your client.

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