Choosing a Self-Storage Facility in Edmonton
If you are living in Edmonton and need to store some extra belongings, where do you start? Although moving and transportation companies may be able to provide some warehousing or storage options in the Edmonton area, this is generally only for shorter periods and you will not be able to access your items on a self-serve basis. Renting a storage space from one of your local Edmonton self-storage facilities is going to be a better bet.
Renting a storage unit can be a great option if you are:
- Staging your home to sell in Edmonton’s hot real estate market
- Moving to, from, or within the Edmonton area
- Renovating your home
- Storing excess business inventory or business records
There are many self-storage facilities to choose from in Edmonton. Here are 10 things to consider when choosing which facility is right for you.
First, consider the company itself. Have you ever heard of them? Do they have a good reputation in the Edmonton area? When you visit their website, is it professional? Can you read real testimonials left by other Edmontonians? Not all storage companies are created equal, so do a little homework before choosing yours.
Second, where is the storage facility located in Edmonton? If you’re going to be accessing your storage unit on a regular basis, you’ll want to select a facility with a convenient location. Think about the main traffic arteries in Edmonton and which ones you travel on a regular basis. Rivers are a natural boundary and bridges can be a source of traffic congestion, so choose a facility that’s close to either where you live or where you work, or along your regular commute.
Third, how much storage space do you actually need? If this is the first time you’ve used storage, it can be difficult to gauge. Not to worry, however. Any professional storage company in the Edmonton area should be able to help assess your storage needs. Here are a couple of things to consider. Are your storage needs going to change over time? If so, you might want to upsize or downsize in the future? Ask your prospective storage company if they charge a unit transfer fee. Also, when deciding how to pack your space, try to pack any items you might need near the front – either that or rent a slightly larger space and leave yourself a little aisle to the back!
As there is no standard in the self-storage business, you’ll find a wide variety of practices in the Edmonton area. Some storage facilities in Edmonton have very restrictive access hours, while others may offer extended access (5 am to midnight), or 24-hour access with special permission. Be sure to ask in advance - you’re paying for your unit, so you should be able to access it!
Security is an important factor to consider when renting a storage unit in Edmonton or anywhere else for that matter. Again, some self-storage facilities offer better security than others, so choose a facility that takes security seriously. Some storage facilities in Edmonton offer extensive security features including a fully fenced perimeter, computerized gate access, video surveillance, and individual door alarms. Ask your prospective Edmonton facility what they offer.
Regardless of how many security features your self-storage facility offers, theft is still an unfortunate reality. Ask yourself not if but how you are going to ensure your property while it's being stored. Does your local Edmonton storage facility offer insurance? Reputable self-storage facilities will. Even if you already have a homeowners or renters policy in place, read the fine print for exclusions or limitations as many policies do not cover goods in storage. Even if yours does, consider what the claim would do to your ongoing premium. Some self-storage facilities in Edmonton offer standalone insurance that you can easily add to your unit rental.
The Time Frame
For how long will you need storage? Most storage companies in Edmonton rent by the month and some will rent by the week - you need to consider which one is the best for you. Consider checking with multiple storage facilities in the Edmonton area to see what’s out there. Be wary, however, of weekly storage rental options that only refund unused weeks of rent instead of monthly rental options that will actually refund your unused days.
Having a storage unit can be a great thing, however, make sure you’ve given due consideration to the climate. Edmonton has harsh winters and freezing cold temperatures for many months of the year. Depending on what you are storing and for how long, you may wish to consider a heated storage unit. Your local Edmonton self-storage professional can provide some guidance in this area to help you decide. Look for a storage company in Edmonton that provides heated storage and keeps your options open!
If you can, check out your prospective Edmonton storage facilities in advance and ask for a tour. Check out drive times while you’re at it and evaluate the facility when you’re there. Does it have good curb appeal? Facilities that are well maintained outside generally have management that cares. Is the site clean inside? Is the office well organized? A personal visit can go a long way to informing your choice of self-storage company.
..and Finally, the Cost
Self-storage rental rates will vary from one city to another. Edmonton is no different, so be sure to check out your local rates. Here are some of the obvious (and not so obvious) fees and charges you’ll want to ask about when checking around:
- Does the self-storage facility charge an administration or setup fee when you move in?
- Do they require a security deposit?
- Do they refund unused rent? Some Edmonton facilities will and some will not. Many place special restrictions on rent refunds (ie. you must move out before the 15th of the month), so be sure to get the scoop beforehand.
- Do you need to come in and pay every month or do they offer multiple payment options, including the ability to pay online?
- Do they rent by the week or by the month? If they rent by the week, they will likely price their units on a four-week basis. Keep in mind that four weeks is not the same as one month. Even though a four-week rate may look more cost-effective, you’ll be making thirteen payments every year, not twelve. So be sure to do the math, as this could end up costing you more in the long run!
- Will you need insurance and if so, how much does it cost?
If you are looking for a storage unit in Edmonton, there are many self-storage facilities to choose from. Not all are created equal, however, and many offer extra features and conveniences.