The UK has seen an explosion of self storage facilities in the last five years. Awareness amongst the general public and business has grown significantly as well. The public and business realise the effectiveness of quality, secure, short to medium term self storage for many reasons.
This article primarily deals with value self storage where insulated steel units are used rather than premium self storage where buildings are split into various different sized rooms. Much of the comment below applies to both sectors of the self storage industry; however, the difference in price between the two can differ greatly. One can expect to pay as mush as double the rent when storing in a building.
Business Self Storage / Commercial Self Storage
Business is never idle. It is the survival of the fittest out there, adapt or die. New or start up businesses require as low a cost base as possible. Self storage is one area this can be utilised to maximum effect. A new or start up business owner is able to rent the smallest space required, generally for a short period normally a month at a time. This means no commitment to long term leases on what would almost certainly be a much larger space than may be required for some time until the business is far more established. This saves on rent and of course rates, also electric water and insurance. New businesses can use the flexibility of self storage. If a business requires more space it is easy to just rent an additional unit. This makes any seasonal variations of the space requirements of a business easy to manage.
Established businesses have additional reasons that self storage may be appropriate for them. They may require self storage due to a re-location plan. The flexibility of self storage can be beneficial, rather than committing to expanding ones own premises or indeed moving to a larger commercial unit with all the cost implications that it will bring with it. Some business for what ever reason may need to downsize. Downsizing a business from a commercial unit to self storage has the benefit of making the business more flexible.
An established business may have been operating from home for some time. Self storage can be self storage a first step in separating the business from family / home life.
Nationally based businesses often have satellite storage requirements that are too small to justify taking on the lease of a commercial building. Self storage depots which are normally conveniently located to the motorway system have long access hours and are secure. They provide the ideal location for employees to access goods and equipment.
Household Self Storage / Domestic Self Storage
Householders have rapidly begun to fully appreciate a flexible and secure local self storage facility and in recent years have taken advantage of the many self storage facilities that have opened.
The recent housing boom has contributed to the awareness of self storage among domestic users. Many families have moved on more than one occasion during the last few years, capitalising on the rise in house prices. Self storage makes a quick move flexible and cheaper than traditional removals company storage, the potential to start the house move immediately after contracts are signed and not have to wait until the day of completion is seen as a distinct asset; as is the ability to de-clutter a house to make it more attractive to a potential purchaser.
Some astute house sellers have also moved into rented accommodation waiting for the inevitable downturn in the housing market. Self storage has meant they have been able to tailor the size of their storage requirement. They will often rent a larger unit on selling their house and later scaling down to a smaller unit when they have found a suitable property to rent which they have furnished themselves.
An economic downturn can mean self storage appeals to people who decide a move is not appropriate but they wish to ad extra living space to their house or simply just do it up. Temporarily removing the furniture makes any house extension or renovation project so much more practical.
Todays’ world is so much more transient than the past. Families re-locate around the country or emigrate. Couples separate, self storage can often be a neutral way of dividing the household goods, and of course couples marry, often combining families, the contents of two houses now having to squeeze into one. This often means space in the family home is at a premium. Having access to a local, secure self storage depot has been a tremendous help to many families in the throws of divorce or a new marriage. It gives the opportunity to rationalise what is to be kept and what has got to go! Smaller units are frequently rented on a more permanent basis for items that are seldom required or items that are required on a seasonal basis.
For those lucky enough to have the time and funds to take an extended break to travel the world, self storage provides a safe, reliable answer. Often deals can be done for storing long term by paying 6 months or a year in advance and taking a less favoured unit on a first floor level. Couples whose children are leaving home often look to downsize the family home to something more manageable find self storage useful for the same reasons.
A check list for comparing self storage companies.
1. Is the compound totally fenced?
2. What form of security system is used to alert a security company of a potential intruder?
3. Is the CCTV actually recorded?
4. Is the CCTV system viewable remotely?
5. What are the access and office hours? ( Access and office hours will differ where there is the facility to access the site when the office is closed)
6. Is the office open 7 days a week?
7. Are locks supplied or do you have to provide your own?
8. What is the surface of the depot? Hardcore or compacted ground can be walked into units making them messy
9. Is an insurance option available through the self storage company?
10. Is a dehumidification service offered? If the day you move in it rains all day!
11. Is a fork lift service available for commercial customers? Normally for a small fee per lift.