Building The Parking Lot Your Business Demands

Whether your workplace is in need of parking space, and you’re the only one who can provide it, or you’re looking to start your own business as a commercial parking lot, there’s a lot of work and planning that goes into creating the lot itself.

Here, we’re going to look at some of the major factors that you have to think about building the parking lot, as well as how you can ensure that you’re getting your investment’s worth out of it.

How you’re Going to Charge for It?

If you’re building staff parking, then they may be entitled to use the lot as part of the perks of the job but, otherwise, if you’re allowing others to use the parking,  too, or you’re opening a parking lot for a commercial space to be used by customers, then you might want to incorporate how you’re going to make money from it as a goal in the business plan. You can operate a toll booth, be it manner of automated, or you can have visitors sign up with a card to ID them, billing them to subscribe to use the parking lot’s services. You need to maintain a healthy cash flow to ensure that you’re able to pay for the maintenance that the space requires.

Choosing the Right Place for It

Buying the site, especially a site that’s close to the building that the lot is supposed to service, can be one of the costliest aspects of the whole project. You want to make sure that not only is it well situated, but that’s accessible to the traffic and convenient for people to use. You need to also keep an eye on local zoning to make sure that the site can legally serve as a parking lot. When determining the size of the space, whether it’s a parking garage or a parking lot, you have to think about how many people it’s going to serve, as well, to ensure that you have enough space to keep up with demand. Of course, you can look at the option of buying a parking lot, which can help you skip a few steps, too.

Paving your Lot

Of course, you have to build the parking space within the lot itself. There are different options, with some like finished concrete being more popular for interior car lots. Meanwhile, asphalt parking lot paving tends to be more popular for exterior spaces. You want to make sure that you’re working with those who are used to working on spaces that see a good deal more traffic than, say, the average residential driveway. Get a good idea of how many square feet of parking lot you plan to build, as that’s how these projects tend to get priced.

Marking the spaces

It’s a fairly minor cost, up front, but you’re going to want to make sure that you’re marking the space available to each vehicle. You can hire professionals to take care of the job of marking the parking lines. You have to consider the width of each vehicle, as well as what spaces you’re going to need for disabled drivers, as well as if you should have any spaces set aside for larger vehicles, be they industrial or things like trucks. You might also want to consider safety features, such as bollards, that mark the end of a parking space, as well as ensuring that cars cannot go over their space and onto walkways.


Parking lots require drainage. The rain can get in or can slip off of cars, and they can have leaks, spills, and more, you want to make sure is able to get out and away from the building, or else it can start affecting the interior materials. It’s also very likely that whatever local government you’re working with will have specific requirements for how good your drainage needs to be. For parking lots that see a lot of traffic, especially if there’s a chance of heavy vehicles coming in, you’re going to want commercial grade materials for a heavy-duty trench drain. The ability to drain effectively is matched only by the resilience and reliability of the materials in terms of importance.

Maintaining your Lot

One of the reasons that you might want to make sure that you have a payment system set up is that it does, indeed, take some work to maintain your parking lot. On a regular basis, you’re going to have to take care of things like sweeping, power washing, and cleaning the area around the paving or asphalt. Less regularly, you’re going to have to invest in things like sealing up cracks, seal coating the road surface, as well as repairing and repaving the surfaces. You can outsource this work to others but, depending on the size of the space and how regularly you have to take care of it, it may end up more cost-effective to hire someone to do it in-house.

The Entrance

This is, in part, related to the topic above of how you’re going to get people to pay for the parking lot. However, your lot is going to need an entrance. The most accessible option is to have no gate, and to either not charge customers or to have parking meters set up for the customers to pay when they’re done. Otherwise, you’re going to need a parking lot gate, which can either be manned by a member of staff to collect payments by hand, or an electronic gate that works automatically with an in-built payment system. You have to consider the costs that you’re willing to tolerate vs. the risk of people paying, which is something every parking lot is likely to deal with at some point or another.

Securing your Parking Lot

You need to consider whether or not your parking lot is going to need some form of security measure. The gates mentioned above can serve as one, but it is true that parking lots can be a target of crime, due to the fact that people using them can be somewhat isolated at times, and the fact that the assets stored within; the vehicles, can be of a particularly high-value. Certain investments, such as improving the lighting and visibility, can act as a deterrent to crime, but you may want to consider installing CCTV systems in the area, or even hiring a live security guard to monitor the area. If you have a gate, they can double as the gate’s operator.

Does it Require Staff?

During the tips provided above, we have mentioned the notion of hiring people more than once. Depending on the size of the parking lot and how heavily trafficked it is, you might want to consider if you’re willing to pay the costs of employment to have it manned. Staff can serve as gate operators, toll collectors, as well as security personnel. What’s more, you may also want to look at hiring a member of staff to maintain the parking lot. If you have a large parking lot that requires fairly regular routine maintenance, then it may be more cost-effective to handle the costs in-house than to pay to outsource them each and every time they arise.

With the tips above, you should have some direction to help you in building the commercial parking lot that your business requires. Of course, you’re going to have to make specific plants to suit the circumstances of the space available to you, but you should be thinking about the above-mentioned aspects regardless.

Brian Wallace

Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading content marketing agency that makes the world's ideas simple, visual, and influential. Brian has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present, joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019-present and became an SMB Advisor for Lexmark in 2023. He is the lead organizer for The Innovate Summit scheduled for May 2024.

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