I’ve been asked many times, how long does it take to construct a car wash. The time to build a car wash will vary depending on how well organized you are, the size of the project and location of the project. Expect to spend 6-8 months in permit and design phase and another 4-6 months to completion. Weather and labor availability tend to present the biggest hurdles. Look to your equipment supplier for recommendations on experienced project manager and/or construction firms to minimize headaches during this period. If you ask some of the car wash distributors for site evaluation forms they will readily give them to you. Keep in mind that they will tend to be over optimistic in their projections but you can use them to analyze individual locations and compare them to each other. Check their websites as many of them have them online worksheets available.
Especially with the first project many things come up that an inexperienced operator may pay too much for because you won’t know better. A lot of guys will tend to focus on one aspect of the construction they feel is really important but tends to matter very little so they over spend money and time. A great resource for the new and experienced is attending the International Carwash Association (ICA) workshops that are being given at the various regional trade shows throughout the U.S.