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    Ask This When Building a Smoking Shelter

    As laws that limit exposure to secondhand smoke become more and more stringent across the United States, more companies are opting to build an outdoor smoking shelter to address the issue. Outdoor smoking shelters can be constructed with a variety of materials and designed in various ways, but all address the secondhand smoke issue in a similar way: they provide a nearby place for smokers to have a cigarette without compromising the air for nonsmokers. Having a smoking shelter on the property can be a great benefit for both clients and employees of an organization; for this reason, a smoking shelter may be viewed as an investment in an organization’s future. When meeting with contractors about building a smoking shelter, ask the following questions to ensure the shelter you end up with works best for your needs. 

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    What size of shelter do we need for the volume of traffic we see?
    Business owners should observe the number of people stepping to the street to have a cigarette at various times throughout the day and week. Knowing these numbers will help the company they’ve selected to build the shelter choose a size that best accommodates their traffic.
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    What style of smoking shelter do you recommend for our space?

    There are a variety of layouts and styles of smoking shelters on the market; the right questions can help a business owner compare and contrast options and make an informed decision. Some of the main factors affecting a decision include volume of traffic, outdoor space, and cohesiveness with existing structures.

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    Is our outdoor space adequate for this smoking shelter?

    Although most smoking shelters are compact, outdoor space must accommodate the shelter, the foundation, and an appropriate entrance. The shelter should be somewhat near the main structures but there must still be plenty of space between the shelter and the main campus.

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    How long will the project take? When will construction begin?

    The length of time it takes to construct a smoking shelter varies greatly depending on size, materials, number of labor staff, and weather/seasonal considerations. Asking this question in the preliminary stages can help a business owner choose the contractor who can complete the task in a reasonable amount of time.

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    How will construction affect our daily activities?
    For most businesses, this is a primary concern. Business owners should take measures to learn whether deliveries will be able to continue as scheduled, waste management vehicles will be able to access facility dumpsters, and employees and clients will have access to adequate parking during the construction process.
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    What is the warranty and return information?
    One of the most important questions is, "??How long will it take to fix it?" Once employees and clients have grown accustomed to the convenience of a smoking shelter, structural issues (following a bad storm, for example) may result in frustration and impatience.
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    Will this smoking shelter look good on our campus?

    A primary concern for many business owners is the appearance of a smoking shelter. Discussing this concern early in the process can ensure that both the business owner and the contractor are on the same page and can assist the contracting in understanding the business ownerâ??s vision.

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    How much will it cost, and how much is required in advance?
    As with most other factors, the cost of the project can vary significantly between models and contractors, but most contractors will require a deposit in advance. Learning about the cost in advance will help business owners choose the company who can offer the best value as well as prepare financially for the project.