There are a lot of reasons why someone might need a portable storage unit, from moving home belongings from one place to another to storing extra inventory for a business. If you need extra storage space long-term or often ship goods, especially for a business, you may want to buy your own shipping container. But for many projects, it makes more sense to rent a container rather than purchase one. Here, Porta-Stor will look at some common questions to consider when going on the hunt for a portable storage container. Hopefully we can help you make the right decision on the best portable storage rental for you!
Do I Need a Permit?
The first thing you need to consider when renting a portable storage container is the delivery location. Once you know where you need the temporary storage solution, you can find out if there are any permits required from the city to park the container. Every city, county, and area has different requirements when it comes to permits. In most cases, if the container is temporary, you will need to acquire a temporary use permit. Be aware that if you're renting a shipping container for use in a residential area, the rules tend to be more strict, as many people don’t want to stare at a steel box across from their homes. Most permits have a 90-day use period, and placement must be 5 to 15 feet away from the property line.
What About Delivery Fees?
Most portable storage rental places will charge a delivery fee, as well as a pick up fee. When you start shopping around, make sure you’re aware of these fees. They could be set up to be due separately or built into the payment plan. Delivery fees are usually charged by the mile from the storage location, and this can really shoot up the cost if you can’t find a rental place close to your drop-off location. This kind of charge is often presented at a flat rate up to ~60 miles, and then the cost increases by a fixed amount per mile after that. If this is the case, try to look for locations for rental that are as close to you as possible without going outside the 60-mile radius. This will provide a lower cost for you and make the rental even more worth your money and time. Luckily for you if you’re in Santa Barbara, Ventura, or Los Angeles county, Porta-Stor provides free delivery and removal!
How Long Do I Need the Container?
When you’re considering a portable storage rental, it’s very important to know how long you’re going to need the container. Based on the company you use, some offer a better rate if you rent long-term, while others have a better rate for short-term or rent-to-own options. If you’re unsure of how long you will actually need the container, ask the supplier if they offer a month-to-month payment option, and decide if that will work with your budget. Most suppliers can be flexible with a contract, based on how long you need it, but be aware that costs can change over time based on the market value of the containers themselves.
What Size Container Do I Need?
Knowing what size portable storage container you need to rent is important for a few reasons. You must have enough space for everything you need to store. You also need to figure out whether or not the container will fit on location (and make sure the doors will open!) Here’s some more information on shipping container placement. Lastly, the size can affect the cost you will pay for the shipping container rental.
Most containers come in one of two standard sizes of 20 feet or 40 feet. If you’re looking for a customized size or an odd shape, it will probably cost you more, as the container needs to be cut and welded together. There are some suppliers that offer an extra wide container of 10 feet across instead of 8, in the event that you have large equipment that will not fit the 8 foot clearance. If you’re unsure of what size you need, most suppliers have years of experience with container sizes and can help you find the right one for you and your business. Here’s a handy guide for determining container size for packing up household belongings. You can also check out Porta-Stor’s sizing options for roll-off containers here!
What Custom Options are Available?
There are several features that can come customized for rental containers that you may want to consider, based on your project.
For starters, there are several types of doors that can be put onto these containers. There’s a standard single opening door, double doors split in the middle, double-entry doors that let you access both ends of the container, and rolling doors (similar to a garage door) can be installed.
There are also custom office storage containers. If you need extra portable office space (for example, on a construction site), this is a great option. Having the office space right there on-site while also having more accessible storage will make your job more efficient and easier to handle.
Some suppliers will also offer a premium lock that’s stronger than the standard lock that come equipped with most containers. This is something to consider based on what you’re storing, your location, and who will have access to the container. This can cost extra, but if it’s something you need and can be added to your budget, then ask about premium lock options. For most purposes, Porta-Stor recommends the Master Lock Magnum.
Another possible feature you might need to consider is climate control. If you live in an area that gets particularly hot or cold and need to store heat-sensitive items, you should look into your climate-controlled container options.
What Other Problems Should I Consider?
There are times when the rental cost of a container might seem too good to be true, and that could be due to the condition of the container itself. Make sure you thoroughly inspect the container you rent for dents, rust, and other problems that may cause issues if not repaired or replaced. The rental of a storage container is an important decision, and you need to make sure that it’s in good enough condition for you and your business before you pay the company.
Each business or home storage project is unique, and what each one needs in a portable storage rental will differ. That’s why it's important to take your time, shop around, and ask all the right questions, so that you ensure that you’re getting exactly what you need when you need it. This is an important investment that needs to be thought out carefully and thoroughly.