How to Build a Parking Lot

Are you opening a business or starting a new one? If you are, you must be considering all the facilities that you can offer to your potential customers. Be it a restaurant, a spa, a product-based or a service-based business venture, it should be able to host all the needs of your would-be customers to attract more sales and create more buzz in your local community or city. For instance, nowadays, restaurant owners are not just concerned about serving good food, but along with being meticulous with their menu, they also pay so much attention to the presentation of their food as well as the interior design of their place.

Today, appearances matter a lot. Whether it is food or a service establishment, it is always important to look your best when meeting with customers. It’s not only imperative to have a pleasing and well-maintained interior, if anything, you should also be able to keep a clean and tidy exterior and that includes being able to provide a safe, convenient, and ample parking space for your future clients.

As we know, installing a parking lot entails spending a huge sum of money and since it is a serious business, we understand that getting it right the first time is crucial especially if you have a limited budget and capital. That said, we’ve listed the basics that should give you a few pointers on how you should proceed with a commercial parking lot paving.

Traffic Volume and Composition

One of the things you should first consider before any paving job is to think about what type of vehicles would use your parking lot. Is it a loading area or a parking area for trucks and container vans? Or is it just meant for regular cars and customers who’d like to dine at your place? It’s crucial to check and consider the traffic volume and the purpose for which you will use your asphalt pavement because this will determine the asphalt thickness necessary so that you can make sure that the asphalt would be able to support and withstand the traffic on the surface.

For facilities with regular vehicle traffic and volume, the acceptable minimum asphalt thickness is 4 inches whereas, heavy-loaded areas or industrial parking lots should use 6 inches to 9.5 inches of asphalt thickness depending on the type of traffic.

Base Soil Data

For a paving project to be successful, make sure that your paving contractors collect and take into consideration the soil data when preparing the subgrade. The most critical part of your parking lot is the foundation and thus, you would want to ensure that your subgrade will be sturdy and well-compacted enough to be able to last long.

This step is crucial because the soil quality will also help determine the thickness of your asphalt base. Moreover, poor soil quality will necessitate adding granular materials or like rocks, lime, and other aggregates accompanied by a thicker base of asphalt.

Subgrade Preparation

After a careful evaluation of the soil quality, it’s time to perform a thorough preparation of the subgrade. First, all rocks, debris, weeds, and other types of vegetation including the topsoil should be removed. A soil sterilant is also applied so as to prevent weeds from growing back. Once that is set, the soil is compacted and formed to allow a minimum of 2% elevation to allow proper drainage for standing water.

Proper Drainage

Installing adequate drainage plays an important role in the stability and longevity of any asphalt pavement. Without proper drainage, you risk losing several years off your asphalt’s expected lifespan. To keep your asphalt in good shape, make sure that all drainage provisions are followed such as adhering to a minimum slope of ¼ inch per foot, again, depending on the type of soil you have. It’s important to not forget that you need your parking lot to be elevated enough to drain the water away from the surface. Otherwise, the rainwater will accumulate and permeate through the layers of asphalt underneath causing the material to eventually break down and disintegrate.

Parking Angle

As you browse through different parking lot designs, you’ve probably noticed now that there are different parking angles that you can choose from. Ideally, you would want something that would optimize the space that you have so you can accommodate more customers to your business. The most commonly used ones are 90°, 60°, and 45°. 60° is considered as the most popular one because of the ease of parking compared to the perpendicular parking angle (90°). However, if you have limited space, you can opt for a 90° parking angle instead as it can take in the most number of parking slots for any given area.

Parking Space Dimensions

The stall width for each parking slot may vary depending on the parking angle of your choice but the standard width in the US should be 8.5 to 9 ft. or 2.6 to 2.7 m. However, for angled parking stalls, you have to allow enough clearance for opening doors so you should add a bit more space. Some facilities like supermarkets use a 10 ft stall width since their shoppers would need enough room to load their groceries into their cars. Hence, depending on the type of business or establishment you have, you can go for a wider parking space dimension or a narrower one based on your needs.

Parking Lot Striping

A parking lot isn’t complete without the right markings. Parking lot striping is essential in directing the vehicle traffic in your parking lot. Designated parking stalls should be marked 4 inches wide with white paint. But you should also check out and follow your state’s designated curb markings because not all states have the same curb regulations.

Now that we’ve covered all the basics, we hope that we were able to help you get a jumpstart on your parking lot project. For a durable and expert finish parking lot, you may refer to, an asphalt paving company in Concord NH built to deliver exceptional work at an affordable price point.