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 Floatation Therapy Forum. Have a DIY Tank Question? Want Help with Your Float Center? Ask Here.

  1. Carrie Nations
  2. Floatation Centers
  3. Sunday, March 17 2013, 12:12 AM
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Hi fellow floaters!


I'm in the process of trying to open a float center, and finding a proper space is presenting a challenge. I'm assuming that most people just starting a float business lease their spaces; what has everyone's experience been like finding a space with showers? What services have you used to find your space? How customizable have you found leased commercial spaces to be? How important is location in terms of foot traffic/visibility, or do you rely more on word-of-mouth/marketing to pull people in? I feel like the right space is make-or-break for a float business, and so far what I've found has left much to be desired. I'd love to hear your experiences!

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The $250 was just for the architectural rendering. My landlord installed the wall. I would estimate the cost of the support wall to be at least $300. Mine is about 8 feet tall and 8 feet long. It's made out of 2x4's and is not dry walled.

If the building is on a cement slab, that will support the weight without a doubt. If you are on a first floor, hopefully you will have access to the basement underneath to put a support if necessary. If you are on a floor other than the first, you will definitely need to know from an architect that the building can support a tank or two.

I can't speak for your city, but where I live, the city would not assess the building for structural integrity for businesses. It is up to the business to do that on their own with a architect and then pass that information on to the city. This is a cost of doing business which the business owner is responsible for. All in all, it was one of the smaller bills in my project. My city gives permits for construction, plumbing, and electrical. The business or individual then must find contractors to do the work. Once the electrical and plumbing are roughed in the city inspects and gives their okay to continue. Once the project is complete they will do a final inspection.

My float tank cost about $11,000 without shipping charges. The construction of the room including plumbing and electrical was more than the cost of the tank. My plan is to have a second unit in 18 to 24 months.

Starting a business isn't cheap. Good luck.
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. Floatation Centers
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We had a berm installed around the tank and a drain installed inside that area. If the tank leaks, the water will go down the drain.

I had an architect come in as required by the city. We installed an extra support wall under the area where the tank sits. He charged me about $250. We also did not have building plans as this building is over 150 years old. He drew up a diagram of the tank room and the area in the basement where the support wall is located.

If the floor can support a water bed, it can support a tank. The architect said the floor probably would have supported the tank without the extra wall, but when you engineer something, you over engineer it. The city is happy, and so is my landlord.

What kind of structure are you putting your tank in??
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I don't know what kind of structure yet. I want to have the city come look at the property we are interested in.
  1. Jeri
  2. more than a month ago
He charged you $250 to put up a wall or for the drawings/consultation? Thanks for responding so quickly!
  1. Jeri
  2. more than a month ago
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. Floatation Centers
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@Christine

You said ...
Bringing in a big tank full of water can be scary for landlords. My landlord needed to be assured that in case the spa leaked the water would be contained and directed down a drain.


How did you assure your landlord? I called structural engineer. They wanted building plans and at least $500. I didn't want to pay them $500 to tell me that I the floor wouldn't handle it. Also the landlord doesn't have any building plans.

What's my next move? Should I be calling someone different?

Thanks!
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. Floatation Centers
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Caleb Accepted Answer
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It is leased.
Couldn't find any place with showers. Built our own rooms and showers in to the space.
Didn't use any services to find it. Did talk to a couple of different realtors.
We have plenty of freedom within our space (no TI allowance, it was all on us).
We went for some foot traffic. Our shop is in a semi-rural area of Idaho. We put it between a popular coffee shop and massage/hairstylist places.
The biggest contribution of our location is that it helps people feel like it's normal. In our area, I figured that would be the hardest thing to overcome.

Overview: we found a place that felt right and renovated it to fit our needs.

Word of mouth has been the biggest driver of business so far.
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  1. more than a month ago
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I am a massage therapist and started my practice with massage, then I added a far infrared sauna, next I moved my practice to accommodate a floatation spa. The floatation part of the business is growing, but massage is my bread and butter. I can speak for my area only. If I didn't have my massage practice, at this point I could not carry the business with floatation alone.

Currently I am getting in 20 to 25 massage appointments and 3 to 5 floats per week.

I recommend starting with a business plan. When you have a plan, you can share it with prospective landlords. Your landlord has a stake in your success. If you fail, you won't be able to pay your rent.

Bringing in a big tank full of water can be scary for landlords. My landlord needed to be assured that in case the spa leaked the water would be contained and directed down a drain.

Consider getting a massage therapist or two in your space. They can help pay your rent and also bring in more people who will want to float.
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  1. more than a month ago
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