Car Wash Investor Guide

Planning Your Carwash Building


Placing the Building on your Property

The carwash structure should be placed on the property to maximize the
income potential of the wash. The layout of the wash should include:
1. Space on the entrance side of the wash for vehicles to line up for
each bay (vacuums may also be located in this area).
2. Adequate turning areas on both the entrance and exit side (if a
drive through) of the wash.
3. Space for a detailing area (drying and vacuuming).
4. A vending and change making area.
5. An open exit lane.

Don't be discouraged if your property doesn't have room for all of
these features. Many carwash lots don't. PELCO can assist you in
planning the best possible layout for your property.

Types of Carwash Structures

The Self-service carwash building consists of a series of stalls or
"bays" in which to wash cars, a vending area, and an equipment room in
which to locate heating and pumping systems. The number of wash bays
per carwash varies greatly from 1 to over 20. The average according to
recent surveys is 5 bays per carwash.

Wash bays should be a minimum size of 14' wide x 25' long. Smaller
bays can sometimes be used where absolutely necessary, however it is
important that customers don't feel "cramped" and that adequate room
is available to work in. Overhead clearance should be 11 feet minimum.
If the wash bays are to be used for washing trucks, the bay width
should be increase to 20' and the overhead clearance should be
increased to 16'.

The equipment room should be large enough to accommodate your heating
and pumping systems and your chemical inventory. As well, it should
provide an adequate work area in which you can maintain and repair
your equipment. The size of the equipment room can vary depending on
the design of the building, but it should not be less than 60 square
feet per bay.

The actual physical layout of your building can vary greatly depending
on the shape of land available. There are currently 3 types of layouts
being used: drive-through, drive-in & back-out, and indoor.


Next Section: Drive Through Carwashes

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