Commercial Paving Contractor
Design Concepts to Consider When Creating a Parking Lot
Your new business needs a parking lot, but you’re totally clueless about where to start. Don’t be ashamed: many businesses have been in the same position as you. And these individuals had to contact a high-quality commercial paving contractor like us at Mid-State Paving & Sealcoating to get the reliable, strong, and high-quality parking lot that their company needed.
When doing so, they had to seriously consider the following elements of parking lot design. Each of these concepts not only dictates how much pavement you use, but also the end cost of the parking lot. Please read through everything here and follow our handy bullet-point lists to better understand the needs of your parking lot and what type you should install.
The Parking Lot Size
The size of the parking lot is likely the most important consideration to make when installing one for your business. Restrictions on the size will vary wildly depending on many different factors. Just a few of these elements include:
- The Property You Own – Simply put, if you don’t own a piece of property big enough for a very large parking lot, you’re going to have to work with the size that you got. However, bigger isn’t always better when it comes to parking lots.
- The Number of Likely Visitors – Some businesses, like restaurants, expect many customers throughout the day. Others, like repair shops, may have more sporadic attendance. Choose a lot that fits your likely customer base.
- The Needs of the City – Business parking lots in large cities often become general parking areas for visitors and residents. Try to take this into account — even if you make your parking lot private — because people who aren’t visiting your business are still likely to park there.
- The Financial Needs – Lastly, you need to make sure that you have the right amount of money to install the parking lot you want. You may have a large piece of property and a high customer demand, but not the money to pay for adding the lot that you want and deserve.
These considerations all fuel the parking lot size debate and make installing one more challenging. However, these concepts are far from the only ones that you’ll have to fully understand when installing a new parking lot for your business.
The Pavement Thickness
After you have decided on the size of your parking lot, it is critical to gauge the thickness you need for your pavement. Like with choosing the lot size, the thickness of the paving materials requires carefully debating a multitude of aspects, including:
- Traffic Class – What kind of vehicles do you anticipate on your parking lot? And just how many will be there every day? For example, heavy traffic with delivery semi trucks can quickly wear down a business parking lot if the pavement isn’t thick enough.
- Subgrade Soil Class – On what type of soil are you placing your driveway? Some types will hold up pavement more readily than others, which can complicate this process. For example, clay and sand offer minimal support and may require thicker pavement.
- Soil Quality – Beyond the soil type, the quality of the ground must also be tested. For example, some types of very dense clay may offer more support than looser types. This will also affect how much water absorbs into the ground beneath your parking lot and how much pools on the parking lot surface.
- Cost Factors – Again, you need to make sure that you balance how much you can afford for parking lot pavement versus your needs. While thicker pavement is typically stronger, it will cost you more, which means a balance needs to be met.
These aspects typically take a professional to fully gauge, so make sure to contact an expert who you can trust to provide your parking lot with the best pavement thickness. This choice can mean the difference between a stable and reliable parking lot and one filled with potholes.
The Location and Angles of Parking Spaces
Lastly, you need to consider the location and the angles of your parking spaces to ensure that your lot is efficient. Poorly designed parking lots decrease traffic flow and make them more congested and frustrating. Considerations to take into account include:
- Typical Angles – Good parking spots need to be at least a 45- to 90-degree angle, depending on the type of business. For example, businesses with high customer volume can use 45-60 degree angles because they are easier to enter and exit. By contrast, 90-degree angles are necessary for very busy places.
- Typical Number of Spaces – The toughest thing about breaking up a parking lot is creating an appropriate number of spaces. For example, you need to balance the number of parking spaces with extra amenities, such as cart holders, parking gates, and other elements.
- Typical Space Size – Parking lot spaces vary in size for a variety of purposes. The standard size is about 9 x 19 feet to provide easier accessibility. However, some spots are larger – such as those for delivery trucks or handicapped vans – or smaller – for compact cars.
- Typical Accessibility Needs – Accessibility for handicapped purposes is essential for any business. Therefore, you’ll need several appropriate parking spaces, ramps – if necessary – and adjusted curb structures to keep the parking lot as accessible as possible.
All of these extra considerations must be made to ensure that your parking lot is easy to access, appropriate for multiple uses, and efficient to travel in and out of during the day. Make sure to talk to your professional paving company to learn more about this process.
Get the Help That You Need
By now, you should have a pretty good idea of what type of parking lot you need for your business. However, did you take the time to understand the differences between common paving materials like concrete and asphalt? Not doing so is a huge mistake because you might pick a paving option that isn’t right for you and sabotages your parking lot.
If you still need some help designing and implementing your high-quality parking lot, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Mid-State Paving & Sealcoating right away to get the help that you need. Our experts will work with you to provide the best quality parking lot possible and will adjust the installation method in a way to save you money in the process.