Getting Started with Mini Storage Building Projects

For a PDF Version of this Article, Click Here For new property prospectors and existing expansion sites

Typically you can get 35% to 40% under roof of property purchased after set backs are configured. Example: 43,560 square foot lot or 1 acre you can get 15,250 square feet + or – under roof.

  • Research your property and other self storage and mini storage existing competitors in your area. (demand, sizes that rent most, charges per unit sizes, climate control , RV and Boat storage units available)Also as a general rule you don’t want to be more less than 10 miles from your competitor unless you have something to offer he doesn’t such as climate control and Boat and RV mini storage and unless their facility remains full.
  • Check zoning for new property for mini storage or self storage applications, like water run off issues, that is, if retention ponds are required.
  • Check with local highway departments for deceleration or turn off lanes from main highways, that may be required for the property. The Highway department may require that you pay for these lanes.

Once you have found a suitable property, your next step is building layouts.

Lay out your standard mini storage buildings at least 20′ preferably 25’ from each other accommodating turning radiuses for moving vans to make corner turns and enable two moving trucks at a time to pass between the mini storage building units.

Standard mini storage size buildings are;

  • 20×100
  • 30×150
  • 40×100
  • 8’6” or 9’6” eave heights.

Unit sizes are typically

  • 5×10
  • 10×10
  • 10×15
  • 10×20, or 10×30 units.

Back up single entry buildings, ie 20×100 are all 10×20 units against property lines.

Try to line up buildings perpendicular to property entrances for less vandalism and view of most units from the road.

RV & Boat Storage Units

For RV and Boat storage buildings, the distance for turning radius should be at least 35′ to 40’ from existing structures.

The typical unit in these buildings would be 12’ wide to 15’ wide and 20′, 25′ and up to 60’ deep for motor homes.

Big boat storage units can typically have;

  • 11’x12′
  • 12’x14′
  • 12’x14′ openings.

Typical size buildings would have higher eave heights up to 16’ with bigger doors to accommodate RV and larger boat storage.

Sizes range from 30’x50’x12′ to 16’ to 60’x200’x16′ and up, again depending on size units you choose for each unit.

Once you have established demand and sketched out preliminary site plans, you would typically take all of this information to a site civil or architectural engineer.

The engineer will take care of layout, grading, drainage of water run off, and other necessary accommodations needed to get the building permitted and site plans submitted to the city.

Mini Storage Cost Considerations

That cost factor could determine the layout of buildings and sizes and whether you want to pursue to project. Typically, our mini storage systems with wedge anchors and doors (no slab, no erecting) can run anywhere from $7.60 a square foot to $14.00 a square foot depending type of mini storage building, i.e., climate control , standard, or Boat and RV types, snow and wind loads, choice of roof systems, i.e., screw down versus standing seam snap lock (with no fasteners showing), insulation, doors, and firewalls or gypsum board required for fire code.

This cost would include only the building materials, no erecting and no foundation costs. (which can cost sometimes more than the building materials!) Of course costs can vary among different areas in the country. Costs can be considerably lowered the more you do yourself. Generally speaking the mini storage packages, erected and foundations should cost together, around $18.00 to $25.00 a square foot or less for general square foot cost figuring for banking and budget purposes. Again the more you do yourself the less the costs.

Once this is done you contact mini storage systems suppliers, and erectors if available.

Concrete & Construction

Local concrete foundation companies for cost of slabs typically 12”x 18” or frost line deep, footer with 2 to 4 runs of rebar, 4” slab 3000 psi concrete slab with wire mesh vapor barrier and 4” gravel saw all monolithic pour. A sample of building slab 30×100 would be 30’3”x 100’3” slab with 1 ½” wide x 1 ½” deep notches outside building dimensions and set backs on door sides to typically 1 1/2” x 8 1/2” inside slabs to prevent water from getting in.

Grading and water retention companies for site plan prep estimates, fencing, lighting, and security.
For existing mini storage site customers, we can match or come close to existing manufacturer buildings and doors on your site. Photos and existing site manufacturer help us to match or come close to colors and panel profiles of existing buildings.

We would be glad to price your mini storage systems, whether you are a one time buyer or contractor.

We have the best pricing on the internet, comparing apples to apples. Our mini storage systems and repeat customers say it all. Pricing, quality and customer assistance throughout the entire mini storage project and help on aftermarket issues, if needed.

We give multiple building discounts for turnkey contractors needing quality mini storage systems. We will refer you as a turnkey job company for sites in the area you want protected, when customers call us and want turnkey work.

Turnkey, meaning you can do site work slabs and erect the buildings for the prospective customer and use our mini storage systems.


Please do no hesitate to call us at (540)297-1300
Monday-Thursday 9am to 5pm
Friday 9am to noon EST
You can also fill out our estimate form or email sa***@bu********.com with questions.

Thank you for considering Austin Building Systems, Inc.
for your mini storage, self storage projects.

Nancy Thomas and Phil Austin

Mini Storage Buildings

Austin Building Systems has been a leader in providing mini storage buildings for the auto, boat, RV and mini-storage industry for over 35 years. Available in a variety of designs, colors, materials and weather ratings to suit your particular needs.

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