How To Decide Between A Storage Unit And A Backyard Shed

We’re going to say it. Most of us have too much stuff. We could declutter, donate or downsize, but renting a storage unit or buying a backyard shed are practical solutions. Each option has pros and cons, so keep reading to determine which makes more sense for your needs.

Calculate The Overall Cost Of A Storage Unit Vs. A Shed.

Cost is the first component to consider when choosing between renting a storage unit and buying a shed. According to, the average storage unit is $180 per month. That’s $2,160 per year. When you rent a unit, you also pay sales tax, administrative fees and a monthly storage insurance charge.

In contrast, storage sheds are a higher up-front cost, but they are yours forever. For reference, Valley Structures’ 8×10 ft barns and cottages start around $2,500. Just like buying a house, rent-to-own and traditional financing options are available too. Sheds also increase your property’s value, whereas storage units give you no additional equity. When comparing costs, sheds are the better financial choice in the long run.

Determine How Long You Will Need Extra Storage.

How long you need the extra space is the next consideration. A storage unit may be the most cost-effective if you’re moving or renovating and only need to store things for a short time, like less than a year. A storage shed makes more sense if you’re looking for long-term storage for items you use more often, like tools, ladders and equipment.

Weigh The Cost Of Convenience To Access Your Stuff.

They say “time is money,” so your time and convenience are part of the equation too. A shed is right in your backyard, while a storage unit could be across town. If you don’t have a truck, you will also spend time borrowing vehicles to move things back and forth. Plus, not all storage facilities are available 24/7. On the other hand, while accessible and convenient, owning and maintaining a shed requires additional maintenance time like cleaning, painting and pest control.

If You Need Accurate Climate Control, A Storage Unit Makes Sense.

You can rent a space with climate control for an additional monthly fee. If you need to store valuable furniture, electronics, books, clothing or things at a consistent temperature–a storage unit might be worth it. You can also add heating and cooling to your shed, but that will be another up-front investment to consider. Compare the value of your belongings vs. the cost of storing them comfortably.

Securing Valuables At Home Or Away Is A Personal Preference.

Some people feel better knowing their belongings are at a facility with cameras and access control. Others are more comfortable knowing their valuables are locked on their property, which they can check on often. If you’re worried about security, you can outfit your backyard with motion sensors, cameras, and top-of-the-line locks.

beige shed used as storage unit sitting on sales lot.

Valley Structures Is Your Source of Storage Sheds In Harrisonburg.

Ultimately, only you can decide if a storage unit or backyard shed suits your needs. We think storage sheds are the best value, especially with rent-to-own and financing options, but we are biased. If you’re still unsure, you can start by browsing our extensive shed inventory or stopping by our Richmond, Lynchburg, Harrisonburg, or Winchester locations. When you’re ready to bring a storage unit to your backyard, contact us.

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