Self-storage facilities often look great when they’re new, shiny and clean. But over a number of years, they may need an upgrade for any number of reasons, including wear and tear from heavier-than-expected use, changing storage needs requiring a different configuration, or changing market conditions demanding updates to stay competitive. Thus, the owner of a facility can look to self-storage refurbishment for numerous benefits, including an increase in occupied rental units, greater tenant retention and potentially higher rental prices.

DBCI Blog: Self-Storage Refurbishment

Doors that Make a Difference

One of the first things to look at for any self-storage refurbishment project is the size, condition and suitability of the roll–up doors in the building. Light-duty commercial doors have sometimes been used initially in situations where heavy-duty commercial doors or wind-certified roll-up doors are more appropriate. This is particularly true when the amount of usage is increased or the environmental conditions the facility is exposed to are more severe—like tornadoes and hurricanes. Similarly, when the size of the doors installed don’t suit the current access needs, new ones of the appropriate duty class are warranted.

Hallway Systems and Unit Partitions

Beyond the doors, the enclosing elements of rental storage units may also need attention. Storage spaces can be enclosed quite effectively by using non-load-bearing, corrugated or flush metal partitions as interior dividers between storage units. Roll-up door manufacturers can provide these in the form of durable metal hallway systems, which can be used along the sides and fronts of units to create dividers, surround door openings and effectively create hallways leading into or around storage units. Similarly, non-structural metal unit partitions are also often used to separate rental units from each other. Any of these partitions can be efficiently and economically integrated into a refurbished storage facility by working with a manufacturer who can help create the ideal unit mix for your business and supply a complete, integrated set of metal components.

Self-Storage Components and Accessories

Once the primary functions of doors and partitions are addressed, there are many smaller self-storage refurbishment details that can make a big difference in the appearance or operation of a facility and help gain tenant interest and trust. Protective features that resist damage can be added, such as door kickplates, corner guards, column wraps and wall wainscoting to keep the facility looking good over time. Similarly, security features help convey that a tenant’s stored goods are safe, so options such as burglar bars or mesh panels can be added to fill in any partition openings, which are commonly found between the top of the partitions and the ceiling. Further, adding horizontal mid-span bars that reinforce the partitions could prevent any breaches or damage there, and a range of locks and latches available for roll-up doors can be a vital part of any refurbished facility seeking to ensure security.

Sometimes, specialty considerations come into play. For example, if an existing building is not up-to-date on handicapped accessibility, adding this accommodation may help with additional rentals. More importantly, if the size of the facility is increased to more than 200 rental units, the Americans with Disabilities Act will require that a certain percentage of units are accessible. Fortunately, roll-up door manufacturers can help with this, too, by providing an accessibility kit.

Another specialty consideration for upgrading a facility is the increasing popularity of wine purchases in the United States. The actual and aspiring sommeliers among us often need a place to store all of that wine, and what better place than a self-storage facility? Here, the concern to address is temperature control and protection against other conditions. Adding wine lockers with faux wood-grain options that conceal their strong galvanized steel construction can increase the market appeal of the storage facility and increase the tenant base.

Putting it All Together

Overall, the key to a successful self-storage refurbishment project is to work with a manufacturer that specializes in self-storage products, including metal roll-up doors, modular metal hallway and wall systems, and even metal mezzanine systems, where the existing interior building heights allow it. To learn more about the many different ways available for self-storage refurbishment, contact your local DBCI representative.