Making Room for Profit: Facility Expansion

Posted by Poppy Behrens on Jan 18, 2010 12:00:00 AM


By Jim Ellis

ABCO American Inc. There’s an old saying: Good things come to those who wait. If you’ve been waiting for the right time to expand your existing self-storage facility, your wait is over. With prices at their lowest in years, now is the perfect time to take the next step in growing your self-storage business with a metal building.

Experienced industry professionals know that metal buildings can be the perfect solution for self-storage developers. More affordable than traditional construction, metal buildings offer the pricing needed to make an expansion economically feasible. With less money required upfront, owners can realize a better return on their investment and a quicker path toward success.

The Price Is Right
Steel prices are currently at historic lows. Traditionally, automobile manufacturers have been the largest purchasers of steel in the U.S., but the economic downturn has caused many American car companies to slow their production and reduce the amount of steel they need to buy each month. This drop in demand has resulted in lower overall steel prices for all buyers, including self-storage developers. In fact, prices are significantly lower than they were just a few years ago.

If you were priced out of an expansion in the past, now is an excellent time to call for a new bid on your construction project. Prices are at low levels not seen since 2006. Today’s metal buildings cost an average of 30 to 50 percent less than traditional wood construction, which gives self-storage professionals an easy way to maximize every development dollar.

In addition to the lower price of steel, the manufacturing process can help contain costs for metal buildings. Using pre-engineered metal building components, metal building manufacturers are able to assemble each section of your expansion project assembly line-style. With the factory protecting the building from the elements, the process is much more efficient than traditional building, which is often subject to logistics issues and weather delays. The indoor, assembly line process provides for much greater consistency and control.

Costs can be further contained by choosing a metal building professional who is also a manufacturer. This eliminates the middle man and helps ensure you are always getting the best bottom line price. Packages are also a good way to maximize your dollars. Look for self-storage kits that are bundled with all the components necessary to build a successful self-storage expansion.

Although less expensive than brick and mortar buildings, developers who choose metal self-storage buildings don’t have to sacrifice quality for cost savings. Today’s metal self-storage buildings are built to the highest standards. Engineered to last a lifetime, steel buildings are durable, strong, and secure.

While ongoing maintenance can be an issue with wood construction, metal buildings are virtually maintenance free. They require almost no upkeep and are weather and rust resistant—a perfect solution for a self-storage business in any climate.

High Standards, High Quality
Developers can be assured that prefabricated metal buildings are designed to the highest standards and will meet each and every local code in the municipalities where they will be erected. Today’s metal building suppliers can offer self-storage developers a certified product. Many companies include all of the drawings owners and operators will need for all stages of the permitting process, including plans that have been signed, stamped, and certified by a structural engineer who is licensed and registered in every state in the nation.

If you are envisioning a more customized product, don’t hesitate to consider a metal building. With continued innovations in the steel manufacturing industry, metal self-storage building suppliers can now offer developers a wide variety of size and color options. Today’s steel buildings are made to order at the lowest possible price for every customer.

Along with design and color options, many other custom choices are available, including aesthetic design and style elements. Unique additions like wood and stucco facades are possible for self-storage owners and operators who want a custom, wood-built look. Metal self-storage buildings also come in a wide variety of roof and wall systems that can meet the individual needs of each developer’s projects. Other options like climate-control capabilities are also available. Almost any vision can be realized with a metal self-storage building.

Perfect Timing
Now is the right time to take the next step. Self-storage professionals who are interested in learning more about the benefits of expanding their facility with metal self-storage buildings should contact a metal building supplier, like ABCO-American, for a quote. Those who have been waiting will be rewarded with a custom design created especially for their individual self-storage business.

If financing is an issue, some metal building suppliers can help self-storage owners and operators obtain the funding they need to green light their building and expansion projects. With credit tightening at banks and lending institutions nationwide, this is a great benefit, especially in light of the current economic environment.

Once the decision is made to expand your self-storage facility with a metal building, you can expect a quick turnaround time. On average, the construction timeline for metal self-storage buildings is significantly faster and more efficient than traditional wood construction methods. This means self-storage developers can get their buildings up and running quickly, minimizing the time it takes to make the new storage units operational and maximizing potential profit.

When choosing a building supplier, shipping locations should also be considered, especially if the developer wants the fastest possible turnaround time. Self-storage owners should look for a supplier with several shipping locations throughout all regions of the United States. With many shipping centers, the metal building supplier can contain delivery costs while ensuring that the product is delivered quickly and efficiently.

Now that the price of steel has dipped to record low levels, adding new units to a self-storage property has become exceptionally affordable with metal buildings. A project that was too expensive just a few years ago may make financial sense today thanks to the industry’s new lower pricing for metal products. This gives developers an unprecedented opportunity to revisit their expansion plans and rerun the numbers.

Take advantage of this economic downturn and expand your business today. Although many industries have suffered during this recession, demand for self-storage has remained consistent and is actually growing in many areas. Owners and operators can meet the ever-increasing customer demand for storage by expanding their current self-storage business, making room for more renters, more profit, and more success.

Jim Ellis is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for ABCO-American, Inc., and has been with the company since its inception
in 1989. He specializes in metal building and metal self-storage building sales, marketing, construction contracting, and commercial real estate financing.