Reasons Your Parking Lot Project is Costing You More Than Expected

by TRP Ready Mix on March 15, 2021

Parking lot with cars

Make Sure You Aren’t Overspending On Your Investment Lot

Investors are starting to look past homes and other traditional investment properties. Different options are gaining traction as compelling investments, and parking lots are a new favourite.

If you choose to invest in a parking lot, you’ll want to take the right steps to ensure that your parking lot works for you. Learn what to do to avoid paying too much on your parking lot, and get the return-on-investment you’re hoping for with the tips we’ve included below.

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Here’s Why Your Parking Lot Investment Is So Expensive

You’re Using an Expensive Material

The two most commonly used materials for parking lots are concrete and asphalt. Each choice has its own benefits and drawbacks. In terms of pricing, concrete is more expensive upfront, but could require less maintenance in the future. You’ll want to consider both the immediate costs and the long-term costs of the materials you choose.

READ MORE: The Importance of Sealing & Finishing Concrete

Your Foundation Needs to Be Deeper

During the construction phase, you may choose between a shallow or deep foundation. A shallow foundation is recommended in instances where the soil quality is good or you know there won’t be a heavy load. In other cases, it is necessary to use a deep foundation. You know that parking lots tend to take quite a heavy load – think of how many cars you’ve seen in a packed parking lot! For that reason, you will need to focus on the soil quality where you build. The poorer the soil quality, the deeper foundation you’ll need, and the more you’ll have to pay.

Your Parking Lot is Below-Grade

Your parking lot might not necessarily rest on ground level. If your parking lot is below-grade, meaning it lies flat below ground level, it will be significantly more expensive than either a regular parking lot or an above-grade parking lot. You will have to factor in the cost of the digging that will go into the development of your lot.

The Size of Your Project Has Increased the Price

The size of your parking lot will affect the cost in a few different ways.

The cost of the height of your parking lot is higher than the cost of the width of your parking lot. In other words, it’s more expensive to add levels vertically than it is to make your one-storey lot wider.

If a parking lot has added storeys, it will need a deeper foundation, which only further adds to the cost.

You may find that your cost per square-foot is higher if your overall lot is smaller. While this is normal, you may also find that a large lot has more room for error or weather damage, and therefore could rack up more costs.

Ultimately, it helps to consider the impact of your size choice as early as possible, as changing the size later on could rack up costs that you could have otherwise avoided.

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Geographical Factors are Costing You

The price of your parking lot project likely depends on the region that you build it in. Here are a few ways that might happen:

  • Cost of labour – the price of construction labour differs vastly by city

  • Availability of materials – some regions may have access to fewer materials, making construction more costly

  • Safety – you may experience higher costs in seismic regions, for example

  • Soil conditions – as we mentioned above, pool soil requires a deeper foundation at a higher cost

Your Structural System is Costing You

The structural system of your parking lot is one of the main factors that affects your overall cost. One of the important aspects of the structural system is the framing layout. You may choose short-span or long-span. These differ by where the columns are placed. Short-span lots have one column every three parking spots, while long-span lots have huge distances between columns. Though short-span lots are cheaper, they are less efficient.

Efficiency: An Important Calculation

In the context of a parking lot, the term ‘efficiency’ refers to the amount of space it takes up per parking spot. In other words, efficiency indicates how much a parking spot costs, by multiplying the cost per square foot by the amount of square feet per parking spot.

This measurement will help you determine how much your project is costing you. It’s necessary to consider costs before starting a project, and it’s not a bad idea to revisit these calculations as your project progresses.

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Building a parking lot to be used as an investment property takes a lot of work. In order to get the most out of your investment, it’s important to ensure that unnecessary expenses aren’t being made.

TRP Ready Mix can help you with any construction project, big or small.