Opinion: The Most Overrated Self Storage Facility Amenity

Peter Soto | May 15, 2015 @ 11:38 AM

The opinions and ideas expressed in this article are the author’s own. StorageFront.com claims no responsibility for the views presented in the following piece.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the perfect storage unit. Some are straightforward, like deciding how much stuff you’re going to store and what size you’ll need. If what you’re storing is sensitive to heat or moisture, you may need to look into climate control. If you need to access your unit at a moment’s notice, 24-hour access might be at the top of your list.
If you want a unit that is easy to get to, you’re probably looking at a unit with drive-up access. By design, units with drive-up access are on the ground floor. You won’t have to worry about hauling your belongings through winding hallways and upstairs.
At first glance, drive-up units seem like a no-brainer. But wait! Below are five reasons drive-up access might not be what you are looking for.
Drive Up Access Self Storage Units

Easy Access

One of the things that makes drive-up units great is how easy they are to access.  But is that access really worth it? Think you’re going to access your unit multiple times a week? Think again. You won’t. Unless you’re using your storage unit as a place to keep inventory for your business, equipment for a club that meets regularly or something similar, you probably don’t have a reason to go to the facility. And if you are using it for such purposes you probably want an indoor unit for heighten security and better protection from weather (see below).

Hostile Habitat

Drive-up access requires units to have at least one side facing outdoors. Combine that with roll up door technology and you’ve got a recipe that does not equal climate control. If you’re storing items that are sensitive to heat, cold or moisture, drive up access probably isn’t in the cards for you.
Thermostat

Uninvited Guests

The vast majority of drive-up units use roll up doors. As part of their design, roll up doors have an opening at the top that allows the door to be hidden when the unit is open. When closed this space is large enough to allow a variety of small objects to enter. Depending on the age and upkeep of your chosen facility, these doors may be even loosert due to wear and tear.  In dry climates outdoor units have a higher chance of letting dust and dirt into your unit. In wetter climates it increases the chances that you might get mold. Just another reason an indoor unit, even non-climate controlled, could be a better solution for you.
Dust can enter your storage unit through the roll up door.

It’s Expensive

Remember that easy access we were talking about earlier? That’s prime real estate in the mind of the self-storage consumer and you’re going to end up paying about 15-20% more than you would for the same unit size upstairs. Over time that premium adds up. It’s your job to decide if a couple slightly inconvenient trips to the self-storage facility(because, face it, you aren’t coming back as much as you think) are worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Do you have strong feelings on self-storage? So does Peter. Email him directly at peter.soto@storelocal.com or let him know in the comments.