A Modern & Economical Approach to Designing your Self Storage Facility

Posted by msmessenger on Apr 22, 2021 12:00:00 AM


“Storage Evolved” is the tagline from Get Space, a real estate development company headquartered in Washougal, WA that shied away from “traditional” looking self-storage buildings and found an economical approach to creating beautiful modern facilities.  

“We wanted to be a company that was coming at this from a beautiful perspective and target beautiful locations” Daniel Lyman, Managing Partner of Get Space.

Typically the first consideration in developing any new self-storage facility is always location, location, location. You want to have a self-storage building that is located where potential customers need it and will see it. But what will they see?

With self-storage facilities moving into metropolitan areas, business and retail malls, and even, in residential areas, how your self-storage building looks can be just as important as where it is located. 

Design your self-storage building to attract customers – lots of them. 


Metal exteriors are still the first choice for most self-storage builders. Steel self-storage manufacturers have responded to market demand for attractive choices in siding with a wide variety of colors and metal panel profiles. Different panel designs can be combined in a variety of ways to create interesting textures. Metal panels can also be combined with other materials to create innovative self-storage designs that incorporate a variety of colors, textures, and finishes. 

Get Space started its development endeavors by targeting locations in prominent areas.  With an exposure of this kind, it was very evident that they needed to construct a building that would make a visual impact. They did not want to re-invent the wheel or see their budget sky-rocket for aesthetics, instead, they focused their efforts on the use of metal paneling with the intent of designing facilities with materials that are best suited for building storage.

They investigated various metal types, spans, thicknesses, widths and came up with an aesthetically pleasing look that is anything but mundane.

The use of metal paneling for aesthetics capitalizes on a durable product that maintains its looks. Galvanized finishes resist rust and corrosion. Metal panels are also designed for ease and speed of installation making them the most cost-effective, easy to maintain, and long-lasting choice for a self-storage building. 


“With every project that we did, we said what did we learn from this one, what can we apply?” Daniel Lyman, Get Space. The first consideration was cost. Will investing in aesthetics translate to a successful ROI?  

Get Space’s first developed facility in Hillsboro, OR reached 70% occupancy in just 7 weeks. The Get Space team was on to something.  

It became evident that learning how the building materials work together and using them to their full potential would lead to a prosperous build. In keeping this strategy, the Get Space team collaborated with the builders at Mako Steel and said, “Tell us what we can use and we will figure out how to make it look great.” A partnership was born…

The “Piano Key Building”

 This job as it was laid out on the site plan, was a four-sided structure with one side longer than the others creating a trapezoidal shape.  Because it was so plain, the Get Space team decided to have fun with the design.  They used a computer-generated program to create a random algorithmic pattern across the building, telling the builders which colors to do in which order.  It created the “piano key” building, rhythmic in theme, attracting the potential customer.


Put images or ideas that you like in front of your design team.  Show them buildings or elements of facilities that you like.  If you need to, create a collage of ideas and have the design team put it together. With this approach, it is very important and far easier to work with experienced builders who can provide you with the knowledge on what you can and cannot do.  

Reach out to Mako Steel for a custom analysis of your building design. We examine and optimize projects to provide alternatives that can save you time and money. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Click Here to watch Daniel Lyman from Get Space discuss his approach