Purchasing a storage building is usually an outgrowth of growth. We expand our families, move to
different environments, or just want to hang on to things. As the short-term solution of renting an off-
site storage facility turns into a long-term problem as things pile up while rent is paid with no return. At
some point you decide you need a separate place to put things that is secure, nearby, and in their own
The first consideration is the quality of the building. There is a common conception that all storage
buildings are alike. You will find that there are large differences between buildings. Materials,
construction quality and detail, and hardware are all a factor. Distance between studs (24” vs 16”)
flooring (composition vs plywood), walls (smart board vs particle board) are all elements to look for
when considering a building.
Second is design. We are talking about wood buildings because if you are storing personal items in a
small unvented metal building, you are surely toasting your belongings in the summer heat. Personal
papers, heirlooms, and sports equipment all deteriorate rapidly when stored in extreme heat, which is
typical of a metal building. Venting is key. Look for a wooden building with continuous venting at the
eaves and the ridgeline. Many manufacturers offer only a small plate on the end of each of the eaves,
which is typically not enough to provide adequate venting. Also, the quality of the exterior materials has
a large effect on the survival of the storage contents. Inferior materials will allow greater temperature
swings inside the building.
Third, dealer financing is usually available for storage buildings, and most dealers offer rent-to-own
financing. This is a no-qualifying program that does not check your credit. It is key to understand that all
rent-to-own plans are not the same and some carry penalties for early payoff. Ask questions about the
payoffs, as there are significant differences between dealers as to how the payoff is handled.
Finally, service. You should purchase a building from someone knowledgeable in the industry that can
answer questions and service the customer. The process of buying a building, getting it safely delivered,
set up properly and level can be challenging. Make sure you choose to purchase from someone who is
capable and expresses a willingness to help you along that journey. It will make the difference between
a happy purchase and an aggravation in the back yard.
Quality, Design, Financing and Service are all elements of a successful and stress-free purchase. A
storage building is usually a $3000+ purchase that can give you decades of service if bought right. Take
the time to do your homework.