Parking Lot Design 101

One of the most important spaces in any commercial property is the parking lot. If your business goals include creating something remarkable and functional for people without spending way too much, you need to be hands-on with your parking lot’s design. Unfortunately, this is an aspect that a lot of business owners tend to gloss over, causing them stress and breaking their banks eventually.

It’s true that it takes a ton of effort to design your own parking lot, but it’s a lot cheaper, not to mention smarter, than relying on somebody who doesn’t have a practical understanding of how your business works because otherwise, it might just turn into a shabby, poorly-constructed outdoor space. Here, allow us to give you instructions to avoid having to deal with that and get the most out of your parking lot paving project.

1. Know who’s going to use your parking lot.

Before you get right into the heavy work, you have to think about who you are designing your parking lot for. It should serve a specific purpose. Ask yourself: Will it be packed with customers on weekends or will it be a loading dock for your goods and daily supplies? These things matter because they dictate the parking lot size, pavement thickness, and parking space angles.

Once you’re certain about what your strategy is for your parking lot, you are ready to get to the next step.

2. Get the measurements.

Knowing the measurements is a big deal. First, it lets you count the number of parking slots you can install in the entire lot. Keep in mind that you still need to take into consideration the building code requirements. Also, if you are planning to add other objects to the lot, your measurements should be your guide. Typically, 9×19 ft is the standard size for public parking slots, but you may need bigger spaces than that.

The property’s legal documents already include its dimensions, but we advise that you personally inspect the whole area for precision and accuracy. You can bring a measuring tape of your own.

3. Draw a parking layout.

There are a lot of factors that affect your overall layout, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that they are pretty straightforward. Much of it has to do with creating an environment that is safe for cars as well as pedestrians. There are a lot of software programs that can help you with this. Now, here are the things you need to consider when creating the layout:

  • Placement of slots. The key to optimizing your lot is to ascertain where vehicles can park and where they simply cannot. Installing a parking space just about anywhere in the lot or without careful thought might just cost you more space than necessary. Worse, it may even cause accidents.
  • Traffic signages. Speaking of accidents, you would want to avoid them by putting up signs that regulate traffic. These are basic ones like stop, slow down, or pedestrian crossing.
  • Markings. Painting the parking floor with markings is paramount to ensure safety. One of the most important markings are the arrows that lead vehicles towards the right path. This eases the traffic flow and prevents vehicles from making wrong turns. Of course, it goes without saying that you also need to mark parking spaces to differentiate whether they are for handicap use or not. Without proper indications, you might cause major accidents.

4. Choose your material.

Contrary to popular belief, choosing the right material for your pavement is something that bears so much gravity. As you may already be aware, two materials that are in the lead right now are concrete and asphalt. Generally, both are durable and long-lasting. They also provide both curb appeal. 

There is no denying that concrete surfaces give you more aesthetic freedom. They can be painted in a wide range of colors and patterns. With asphalt, on the other hand, the standard palette is black and gray. There is really not much you can do about it since asphalt needs to be rolled and compressed but that’s exactly why people prefer asphalt to concrete. It is better at hiding stains and other types of damages. Plus, your parking lot surely doesn’t need to have any grand designs!

In addition to that, you will also save a lot more with asphalt. Besides, this asphalt paving company in Durham, NC, can offer you commercial paving services that are not only top-notch but are also suited for your budget.

And lastly, asphalt is so much easier to repair and clean. There are even DIY ways to keep it firm and maintained. That is, if the damage is minor. Otherwise, you need to consult or get in touch with professionals.

5. Proceed with the project.

Once you’re all set and done with the preparation stage, it’s time for you to contact your contractor. Make sure to tell them your plans clearly before they start the project. With that, you are now on your way to building a parking lot that fits your business model!