Drive-Up Vs. Indoor-Enclosed Storage Units: Advantages And Disadvantages

Posted on: 27 February 2015


Most people are familiar with storage facilities. They're easy to see on the outskirts of various towns, and many people know a person or two who has rented a unit. Recently you may have learned that some facilities have units that are entirely inside of a building, meaning there's no outside access. Since you're about to put some belongings in storage, you're wondering whether one of these units would be better than the more traditional type. Each has certain advantages and disadvantages to consider. 


Both types of facilities can have exceptional security, with fences around the entire perimeter, key-code access, good lighting, surveillance cameras, and an alarm system.

Nevertheless, the indoor-enclosed unit has one extra barrier against intruders -- the building that houses the storage units. You may find some indoor-access facilities with employees on the premises at all hours, or even a live-in manager with an apartment on site. 

Convenience of Access

Facilities that have units with exterior doors often call these units "drive-up storage," emphasizing the convenient access. You drive your vehicle right up to the door, then unload possessions into the unit or get some out of it.

In contrast, units that are entirely indoors don't have this easy entry. You must park somewhere outside the building, let yourself in and walk to wherever your unit is located. That means a longer trek, which may be undesirable if you want to store unwieldy objects such as appliances, or if you have many heavy boxes of books to bring in.

Climate Control

Indoor-enclosed storage units generally are climate-controlled. Some facilities with exterior doors provide climate control as well, but often for only a certain number of units. Other facilities with exterior doors don't have heated or air-conditioned units, but substantial insulation and good door sealing for protection. 

When you open the roll-up door to the outside environment, you may get a certain amount of dust or sand blowing inside, just as would happen if you opened a garage door. 

Unit Sizes

If you're looking for mini storage, you may find more availability in the facilities with indoor-access storage.

What Can You Do Now?

Your best option is to go in person to view the differences between indoor and outdoor units. Ask the representatives all the questions you have and learn whether there's any difference in pricing for units of the same size. Some facilities have both indoor-enclosed and exterior-access units. Touring one of these properties will give you an excellent idea of the advantages and disadvantages of both.  For self storage in Montclair, CA, come to All American Mini Storage.