Oct 30, 2015
1:01 pm

Top 3 Secrets To A Shiny New Successful Carwash


Independents increasingly look to CTM to help with custom planning and design.

CTM has been designing carwashes from day one.  All in, we’ve probably helped build well over a hundred car washes – serving motorists from Vancouver Island to Ontario. The majority have been designed as part of our contracts with Canada’s major service station chains. Our role in these projects was to implement each company’s existing carwash design guidelines, using carwash packages and equipment that was already in place.

Recently, we have been involved at the ground floor – helping a new group of clients design and develop their own carwash programs from scratch.

Parkland Industries (FasGas) and Husky approached CTM to help them develop and refine existing design guidelines in order to create national standards. It has been an exciting partnership. In both cases, our client assessed their needs and sourced much of the equipment. From there, CTM’s engineering and design team provided templates to be used in construction. We delivered a complete set of blueprints: structural, mechanical and electrical. As you would expect, water delivery and disposal/reclamation is a major design component – and an area where CTM’s experience shines through.

Now, a growing number of independent retailers are seeking out our expertise for their own one-off car wash designs. In these cases, CTM plays an even more active role: making recommendations around the building, equipment options and site-specific research.

Three things to consider when building a carwash:

If you’re an independent retailer interested in adding a car wash to your operation, we’ll sit down with you to discuss the various design elements and considerations that will be vital to your success.

1. Building design, location and structure: The first thing to consider is what type of carwash do you want to build: an automatic touchless wash or a self-serve wand-wash? How much space do you have on your property? What footprint will the car wash occupy? How will a car wash impact traffic flow? How will you tie into municipal infrastructure for water and wastewater? 

Our understanding of applicable building codes and zoning bylaws will ensure your car wash is properly designed and located so it will be built right the first time.

2. Car wash equipment: Depending which route you decide to go, there are a wide variety of options around equipment. From the mechanical systems to the foams and waxes.

The choices can be daunting. The good news is that we will support you through the process to ensure you get the right equipment with proven systems designed for:

  • Customer demographic (vehicle types)
  • Wash application options (wash use preference)
  • Building or facility space requirements (optimum performance vs. spatial limitations)
  • Water and energy consumption & efficiency
  • Ease of use, maintenance & durability

3. Supporting Infrastructure: There are a number of secondary requirements that are necessary when building a car wash. Among these:

  • Municipal service infrastructure (water availability/ treatment requirements etc.)
  • Heating and ventilation systems
  • Payment terminals

Some of these items are optional. They can add to your initial costs, but will pay off over the lifetime. We’ll go through the options and make recommendations based on short and long term considerations.

Is a car wash right for you? What will be required? And how long will it take (from planning to permitting to putting that first car through)? Let’s sit down to answer all of your questions before moving forward on a shiny new car wash that that will be the talk of the town.

Carwash Customers