When it’s time to look for warehouse space for your business, the search can be overwhelming. After all, choices can range from locations that would be ideal for manufacturing to those that would be great for storage, and even some that would be perfect for distribution. Once you’ve identified your organization’s needs, you’re only at the beginning of knowing the features you’ll want and the qualities of any particular warehouse that you’ll most appreciate.
So what should you look for when seeking warehouse space? And what are the features that will help you make this all-important decision? Let’s examine what you should watch for as you try to find the warehouse space that’s ideal for you and your business.
It’s critical to know upfront what the operating expenses of the property will be and what you will be expected to cover. That could include things like maintenance, taxes and insurance, but it can differ from lease to lease.
Parking areas frequently need maintenance—and knowing whether you’re responsible for those costs is important. Sometimes maintenance and repairs (which can be expensive) get passed along to tenants. It’s also essential to know how you can use the parking lot and whether it suits your needs. If you need space to park trucks or other large vehicles for an extended period, you’ll want to ensure you have that right before signing a lease.
Knowing how a landlord calculates the square footage of the warehouse is important, too, as commercial property owners and property managers may do it differently than you’d expect. What is included in the space you are leasing is critical to knowing you are getting the space and features you need. Something as seemingly small as whether the space is measured from inside a wall or outside, can make a huge difference in the end. In addition, some landlords may include areas under building drip lines. Be aware of these nuances, and you won’t be surprised later.
Understanding how heating, ventilation and air conditioning are delivered throughout the space and what you are responsible for is also essential. If you are expected to install your own HVAC unit, that adds substantially to your costs. In addition, if you’re renting a space where someone else installed the unit, you may be in for some unpleasant surprises if they didn’t maintain it properly. It’s wise to have the landlord schedule inspection of any existing units and repair them if necessary. Be sure to get it in writing from a certified technician that the HVAC unit is in good working condition.
How much juice will you need to do the job right? Knowing whether the electrical power is sufficient to meet the needs of your business can make or break a deal, so be sure to hire an electrical engineer or comparable expert to take a good, hard look at the building. Find out later that there isn’t enough power for you to do your work, and you’ll get zinged.