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  • Tim Kuepfer

Storage Shed vs. Storage Unit: Which is Better For You?

The Self-Storage Dilemma

Hello there busy homeowners! Have you ever faced the challenge of clutter piling up and wished for some extra storage space? You are not alone. Many people today work from home or in co-working spaces. This has increased the space pressure points at home and added the need for more storage space to stay organized. A study by StorageCafe revealed that more than a fifth (21%) of Americans currently use self-storage, with another 15% saying they intend to do so in the future. 40% of people who turned to self-storage did so because there was not enough space at home.

Self Storage Statistics

You need more space. But the dilemma of storage units versus storage sheds can leave you scratching your head. We're here to simplify the decision-making process and guide you through the key factors to consider.

Let's dive into the comparison of cost, convenience, security, investment value, personalization, and versatility so you can determine which option suits your family best. We believe that most homeowners are best off buying a backyard shed. But it's not cut and dry. Ready to declutter and make the best choice for your storage needs? Let's go!

Storage Shed versus Storage Unit

Cost-effectiveness: A storage shed is a one-time investment, whereas a storage unit requires monthly rental fees.

Storage Shed:

Many times, price is king in making decisions! By investing in a storage shed, you incur a larger upfront cost for construction. But you can save money in the long run. The price varies depending on the size and materials used. That said, a basic 10'x10' wooden storage shed generally starts at around $4,000. While the initial investment may be higher, owning a storage shed eliminates monthly rental expenses, resulting in long-term savings. Additionally, you can customize and expand your storage shed as needed, without major additional costs.

Storage Unit:

Renting a storage unit provides affordable short-term storage. But the recurring monthly fees add up quickly. The average cost of a 10'x10' storage unit can range from $90 to $150 per month, depending on location and facility amenities. Over time, these fees can add up, making it a more expensive option for long-term storage needs.

Convenience: A storage shed offers easy access in your backyard, whereas you need to travel to a storage unit.

Storage Shed:

With a storage shed right in your backyard, access is a breeze. You can retrieve or store items whenever you please, without leaving your property. This convenience is especially beneficial for homeowners who frequently need to access stored items. Whether you need to retrieve seasonal decorations, gardening tools, or sporting equipment, having a storage shed on your property allows you to quickly and easily retrieve what you need.

Storage Unit:

Renting a storage unit means you'll have to travel to the facility to access your belongings. While many storage facilities offer extended access hours, it still requires planning and travel. This can be practical for temporary storage during moves or renovations. However, the need to travel to the facility and adhere to access hours may become inconvenient over time.

Backyard Storage Shed

Security: Backyard storage sheds need added security, whereas storage units have security measures in place.

Storage Shed

Ensuring the safety and security of your belongings is essential. Storage sheds are situated on your own property which means that you have more control over the security of your belongings. You can add locks, alarms, and other security measures to ensure that your items are safe and protected. Once this is done, you can have peace of mind knowing that your belongings are secure right on your own property. Additionally, having your storage shed on your property allows for easy monitoring and access, as you can keep an eye on it at all times.

Storage Unit:

Storage facilities generally have good security measures in place, such as surveillance cameras, gated access, and on-site staff. This gives you the peace of mind that your things are safe. However, the level of security may vary depending on the facility. You need to consider what protection you need against the weather and pests. Then choose a storage unit accordingly.

Investment Value: A well-built storage shed adds beauty and resale value to your property, whereas a storage unit does not.

Storage Shed:

A well-built and aesthetically pleasing storage shed can enhance the curb appeal of your home and add value to your property. A shed that complements your landscape and serves a practical purpose can be an attractive feature for potential buyers. If well-designed, it can be the focal point in the backyard creating a sense of charm and character. It shows that the homeowner has taken good care of their property making it stand out in the market.

Storage Unit:

Renting a storage unit doesn't add any true value to your property since it's not a permanent fixture. However, getting your property organized and decluttered will increase its value. If you are in the process of selling or moving, a storage unit can be a good short-term solution.

Personalization: Storage sheds can be customized to fit your unique needs, whereas storage unit design options are limited.

Storage Shed:

Owning a storage shed provides the flexibility to customize the space according to your specific needs. You can add shelves, hooks, and racks to maximize storage and create a space that suits your family's lifestyle. This level of customization allows you to create a storage solution that works best for you and your specific items. Whether you need a space for gardening tools, sports equipment, or seasonal decorations, you can tailor your storage shed to accommodate your belongings and make them easily accessible.

Storage Unit:

While you can organize your belongings within a storage unit, customization options are limited. You will need to shop around to find the space that works well for you. Most times, you share the space with others.

Storage Shed

Versatility: Storage Sheds can be used for workshops, offices, or guest rooms, whereas storage units are limited to storage.

Storage Sheds:

One of the major benefits of storage sheds over storage units is their versatility. With a little creativity and customization, you can turn your storage shed into a workshop, a home office, or even a guest house. This added functionality not only provides value to your property but also allows you to make the most out of your storage space. Whether you need a dedicated workspace, a quiet retreat, or extra accommodations for guests, a storage shed can easily be adapted to meet your needs.

Storage Units:

It is no secret that storage units are simply to store items. Don't try to use them for other purposes or you may get in trouble.

When to Choose a Storage Unit:

  • Short-Term Storage Needs: If you require storage for a temporary period, such as during a move or renovation, renting a storage unit offers flexibility and convenience.

  • Limited Backyard Space: If your property lacks adequate space for a storage shed, a storage unit may be a practical alternative for additional storage. However, consider having a custom shed built onsite by a local Urban Sheds craftsman.

When to Choose a Storage Shed:

  • Long-Term Storage Solution: If you need reliable and accessible storage without recurring monthly expenses, investing in a storage shed offers cost-effectiveness and long-term savings. It can also raise the resale value of your property.

  • Convenient and Easy Access: If you value convenience and the ability to access your belongings at any time, a storage shed on your property provides unmatched accessibility.

  • Personalization and Control: If you desire a storage space tailored to your family's needs and preferences, a storage shed allows for complete personalization and organization. You can make the shed a beautiful addition to your backyard.

Pros and Cons:


Storage Sheds

Storage Units


Initial investment with long-term savings

Monthly rental fees


Easy access on your property

Traveling to the facility


Install security measures

Facility-provided security

Investment Value

Adds resale value

No impact


Fully customizable

Limited options


Many uses

Only Storage


The choice between storage units and storage sheds depends on your specific needs and priorities.

Renting a storage unit can be a practical short-term solution. But investing in a storage shed offers long-term savings, convenience, and customization.

If this appeals to you, START DESIGNING your Urban Shed today with our online 3D Design Tool. Happy decluttering and organizing!

Find out more about Urban Sheds

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