Storage Rental Prices vs DIY Storage Solutions

When it comes to storage — one thing is certain, only the most affordable and secure storage solution will do. Comparing storage rental prices to DIY storage options is a must, but many people assume the DIY option is out of their price range or a time-consuming process. While the up-front costs for a DIY storage solution may be higher, storage unit rental fees can surpass $2K per year if you need more than a typical 5-by-5-foot unit or climate-controlled storage. Use this storage solution guide to explore storage rental options and at-home DIY solutions. We’ve outlined the benefits and setbacks of each storage solution, both in the short-term and the long-term.

Price of Storage: Rental Prices vs DIY Storage Solutions Storage Unit Rental Prices

Storage rentals are a convenient solution if you’re holding on to additional items and furniture for short periods of time. When shopping for storage rental units, consider all of the following:

Rental Term

Most storage rental facilities offer a month-to-month agreement. If a storage facility tries to lock you into a contract for more than 90 days, proceed with caution and shop around.

Level of Service

Do you need self-service storage or full-service storage? Full-service storage often includes attendant assistance, pick-up and delivery services, and monitoring.


Your metro area will have the biggest impact on storage rental prices. shows that prices per unit can vary over $100.00 per month from a low-population to a high-population metro-area. If you need a short-term storage solution, a storage rental unit might be the answer. Do your homework and estimate the long-term costs. Be careful about dates; many people intend to use a storage rental unit as a short-term solution but due to circumstances, the unit ends up being a long-term burden.

Storage Unit Rental Benefits:

Short term option, no long-term commitments Storage facilities offer pest protection and temperature-controlled features Security Features (optional per location)

Storage Unit Rental Drawbacks:

Moving Fees usually aren’t covered in the monthly rental fee Larger units, RV space, and features like temperature control come at a higher storage unit price per month Theft and security can be a concern (be sure to review your deductible with your insurance agent, before signing anything) Accessibility is limited, meaning you have to drive to the facility anytime you need an item in storage Renters contracts may lock you in for set periods of time No return on investment from rental fees

Storage Unit Price Range:

Average price $20.00 - $450.00 per month

On-Site Modular Containers (aka Pods)

On-Site modular containers are a short-term storage solution and they’re an excellent choice if you’re moving a large number of items or large and awkward items that would be difficult to move in a regular moving van. Although the brand Pods has become a household name for on-site storage containers, there are quite a few companies that offer the same or a similar service. If you’re considering this option, be sure to get prices from these other on-site modular storage container companies listed on
  • UPack
  • U-Haul U-Box
  • Zippy Shell
  • COWs
Keep storage sizing and supplies in mind if you’re considering a modular option. Be sure the container meets your size requirements and ask about the inclusion of moving supplies (padding, tie-downs, etc.) in the rental fee.


Great for moving or transporting items Convenient on-site access to your items right when you want to use them again Great for seasonal or temporary storage during remodeling or construction projects


Large containers sit and take up space on your driveway, backyard, or street May not comply with neighborhood zoning or violate HOA rules Container options may only be available in sizes larger than you need (even the smallest options) wasting space and money No return on investment or from rental fees No room to safely fit cars or motor vehicles

Modular Container Price range:

Drop off fee + monthly rental payment starting at ~$160 per month

Custom Storage Options

When considering storage, a storage unit rental or modular container is often the first choice. While these are good options for the short-term, they can cause you to spend money on storage that you won’t ever get back. If you’re a homeowner, it’s time to look at your investment in storage as an opportunity for ROI on your own property. DIY and custom storage options can provide a permanent solution to your storage issue AND increase your property value. The free-standing storage shed market has grown exponentially, and retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot offer a variety of wood-building storage options. If you’re looking for a sustainable option with long-term value, consider a custom metal building. Both options will factor into the value of your home from an appraiser, especially if it’s a permanent structure.


  • Added home value, unlike throwing money away with rentals
  • Building materials can be easily customized to match your home exterior and car storage needs
  • Durable, steel building materials provide additional protection from weather damage
  • Security features can be added to provide additional peace of mind


  • Upfront pricing will be higher than short-term storage costs, but financing and rent-to-own options may be available.
  • Site Prep - Preparation for the building site is necessary
  • Permissions and Permits: Most towns and municipalities require building permits or architectural approval

Custom Metal Building Price Range:

Standard metal carports range from ~$900-$5,000+, and standard metal garages can range from ~$3,000-$20,000+. Regular roof style carports give you the most affordable option, while a-frame and vertical roof styles boost the price a bit but provide better coverage in climates that experience a lot of rain or snow: When additional storage becomes a necessity, choosing an option with the best long-term benefits can end up saving you thousands of dollars. For homeowners, investing in added storage like a carport, garage, or pre-fab metal building can help you increase the value of your home and avoid wasting money on a rental. Get started today by building your custom carport or garage solution online or by requesting a no-obligation quote from one of our experienced team members.