Every brick-and-mortar company needs a parking lot. However, every business’s needs are different.
Parking lots need to reliably sustain various weights, weather conditions, and more, depending on where they’re located and the type of traffic they see daily.
A plaza parking lot often sees far more abuse than a simple small business lot. So, we’re going to focus on that throughout this guide. However, the talking points largely remain the same.
Today, we’re going to go over 5 crucial tips for building a plaza parking lot you need to consider and how you need to plan it out.
Let’s get started.
1: Design and Layout
This is easily the most crucial aspect of your new lot. While the other considerations we’ll discuss will significantly impact your lot’s long-term use and how financially viable it is, the general design and layout are the foundation for those things.
Before you start contacting anyone, building anything, or moving forward with the project, you need to have a solid idea of how your lot should function to facilitate easy and logical use.
Key design concepts are:
- Logical: The lot should make logical sense from a customer’s perspective.
- Ease of access: Entering and maneuvering the lot should be easy.
- Safe: There should be room for cars to maneuver safely without harming pedestrians or having accidents.
- Capacity: At a minimum, the lot must accommodate your building’s maximum capacity.
Look at the amount of space you have, determine the best layout for parking spots, and plan out routes for entering, exiting, and separating areas for deliveries and customers, in a way that makes sense.
You don’t want customers to be blocked from spots by semis every time you get a delivery, and you don’t want tons of confusion or cramped conditions that can cause accidents.
2: Load Expectations
Your lot’s expected maximum load must also be taken into account. The more weight that will be on your parking lot, the thicker the pavement needs to be.
This can be a complicated factor to determine, too.
If you’re operating a relatively small strip mall and need to accommodate 50 cars, your lot will have dramatically different load requirements than a B2B shipping business.
3: Accommodate for Wheel Stops
Wheel stops are barriers that prevent guests from pulling up too far and rendering the space in front of them useless to other guests. They also prevent accidental collisions caused by impatient drivers pulling through the spot instead of backing out properly.
These are crucial, but many companies, even large prominent businesses, fail to accommodate them.
By adding wheel stops, you’ll mitigate your company’s risk, maintain an orderly lot, and create a more professional-looking exterior.
4: Work with Right Angles
It can be tempting to pave every bit of ground you have available for maximum lot capacity. However, it’s better to create your lot with right angles.
While you lose a small amount of space, you create a more visually appealing and professional-looking lot, every bit of paved area is usable, and you reduce your costs slightly, by not paving every odd corner or hill in the available space.
This also makes the lot function more effectively. Customers only need to navigate a big square instead dealing with unusable space.
5: Avoid Inclines and Elevate the Perimeter
Both of these fall into the design of your lot, but they deserve to be discussed separately.
First, you want to avoid inclines. Having a flat, level, lot is crucial to ensuring customers can park easily and safely.
While cars are equipped to park on inclines, you’ll always have to worry about someone not using the available parking brakes or parking properly, and that produces risks, and then you also have to worry about inclines producing slip hazards for customers when they exit their cars.
You do need to elevate the perimeter of the parking lot, though. This adds visual differentiation to the lot that makes it look more professional, and it’s a safety concern. An elevated perimeter adds a barrier between roadways and your parking lot, and it keeps customers from overshooting parking spaces, driving over the grass to avoid backing out, etc.
The talking points we’ve covered are the most common considerations, but there are others you should know about when building a plaza parking lot.
Namely, you need to consider the legal requirements in your municipality. Depending on where your lot will be, the function of the lot, and a number of other factors, there might be several regulations you need to meet to ensure you stay on the right side of the law.
Then, you must consider the weather in your area. If you receive a lot of rain or snow, advanced sealants are necessary to preserve your lot.
Of course, you also need to look at your budget.
Luckily, you don’t have to do this all on your own.
While you should develop a good understanding of your needs, experienced sealing contractors, such as Seal Canada, have the resources necessary to help determine exactly what you need in your plaza parking lot without all the guesswork and calculations.
Contact us today to explore the perfect parking lot solution tailored to your commercial property’s needs.