5 Comparisons To Consider When Renting Self Storage

When you rent a storage unit, there are many things you should consider. With the various terms and options that storage facilities have, it can be difficult to determine just what each facility offers. Below are five comparisons of common terms that you should consider before renting a storage unit. 

Gate Hours vs. Office Hours

Gate hours refers to when you can access your unit. Alternatively, office hours refers to when you can access the office staff to make payments, ask questions, and get assistance. Some self storage companies have the same gate hours as office hours, meaning that whenever the gates are accessible, there is someone on site to answer your questions. However, these facilities may not allow you to access your items when it is most convenient for you. Alternatively, some companies have night guards that allow gate access when there is no office staff on site. These tend to be the most secure because gate traffic is always monitored. Finally, some companies allow gate access 24-hours but do not have on-site security 24-hours. These are often the least secure options. 

Automatic Payment vs. Online Payment 

Most companies offer either automatic payment or online payment options. Both are convenient and mean you will not have to visit your unit every month to make a payment. However, automatic payments are set up once and then recur without further action for you. While this can be more convenient, you run the risk of forgetting about budgeting for an automatic payment. Additionally, you will have to remember to update your payment information if you get a new credit card or bank account. 

With online payments, you have to remember to pay every month, but you have more control over the exact timing of the payment. 

Indoor Units vs. Outdoor Units 

Indoor units tend to be more secure and offer better climate control options. This can be important if you are storing old wooden furniture that needs climate control. While some outdoor units offer climate control options, this is not common. However, outdoor units are often drive-up units, which can be helpful if you are storing large, heavy pieces of furniture. 

Walk-Up Units vs. Drive-Up Units 

Walk-up units are often indoor units, but they can also be smaller outdoor units that are along narrow roads. Drive-up units allow you to drive your vehicle all the way to the door of the unit. Some large storage facilities offer indoor drive-up units on the first floor of their storage facility. Again, drive-up units are preferred for most furniture storage solutions. However, if you are storing small, lightweight pieces, then a walk-up unit can save you money.  

On-Site Management vs. 24-hour Management

Many storage facilities boast of on-site management. However, what this often refers to is a site manager who has an apartment located at the storage facility. This may mean that the manager is asleep or going about their daily life while they are on-site. While you may be able to get in touch with the manager in case of emergencies, you may feel bad about waking them up in the middle of the night or interrupting a daily meal. 

Alternatively, 24-hour management often refers to 24-hour office hours. This means that there is someone available in the office to answer your questions 24 hours a day. It also allows you to change your storage unit or make a payment at any hour without feeling like you are inconveniencing anyone. However, 24-hour management may add to the overall cost of your storage unit. 

Before you make your final decision about a storage unit, make sure that you understand the terminology and know what features are best for your needs. For more information, contact a company like Allen's Transfer.