Workshopshed: When you first think of a self storage, it’s moving house or going travelling that springs to mind. How is self storage relevant to someone working out of a shed or in a workshop?
Drew Davis: Self storage is one of those strange industries that doesn’t really fit into any niche. We have a lot of people storing personal belongings, but we’re actually seeing a shift towards more business and industry-based customers.
For someone working out of their shed or garage, or using a workshop, self storage can become an extension of their workspace; freeing up room for a particular project or as a place to store things during a bigger renovation. If you rarely use some welding equipment, for example, but need to keep it someone safe – you can use a self storage facility to keep it out of sight until its required. And as you take back some of the equipment, you can move to a smaller room that fits your new space requirement.
Workshopshed: How else can it help with a project?
Drew Davis: Self storage could also help with deliveries you don’t want clogging up the workspace. Once you’ve organised your storage unit, the Manager can even sign for the delivery when it arrives (best to check with them first, and make sure your customer name and unit number is clearly marked on the goods). Then you can swing by (the UK now has as many self storage facilities as it does McDonald’s restaurants – around 1,200) and pick up what materials you need that week, leaving the rest until it’s required.
Workshopshed: You mention moving from a larger to a smaller room. But what about the room itself – how can it be set up? Can things be attached to the walls, for example?
Drew Davis: We have approximately 20 different sized rooms at each of our locations – so a good tip is to ask the Manager to show you several sizes to see which one is the best fit. If you have extra heavy equipment, take into consideration any issues with access (you might not be able to use the lifts for transport, so a room on the ground floor could be the ticket. There are pallet trucks available at each Facility). If you take multiple rooms next to each other, we can remove the partitioning walls to create a bigger space (if both rooms are available). The storage unit is a blank space so can be adapted to your requirements – however, nothing can be attached to the cladding itself.
Workshopshed: Many of the things people might want to store will be metal. Could there be any issues with humidity that might lead to rust?
Drew Davis: The temperature within stores remains fairly constant, notwithstanding the season. Our buildings are modern and well insulated so they’re never too hot or cold, and they’re obviously very dry, so rust shouldn’t be an issue (it pays to check periodically, just to be safe).
Workshopshed: And what about security?
Drew Davis: Security is paramount when it comes to self storage, and one of the big benefits. In the “old days”, you might hire a small warehouse, which would usually be a converted office block or barn with very little security.
Our Storage Facilities are purpose built (never converted barns or buildings) and the security features are top notch. As well as 24 hour CCTV, every room is individually alarmed, with electronic gates and perimeter fencing around each Facility. When you sign up for a storage room, you’ll be given a unique pin that gives you access to the lifts. Sensors in each room indicate when the rooms are accessed and if they are occupied (so if someone opens your room without having first used the unique pin, an alarm will go off).
Workshopshed: Location is important though too – it’s no use storing equipment somewhere safe if its miles away?
Drew Davis: Agreed. We have 74 Storage Facilities (at last count), many in London and the South East of England, but more and more spread across the UK (including Edinburgh, Sheffield, Hull) with locations added each year. Full list of Storage Facilities.
Our stores are often at strategic locations (such as the Staple Corner Facility on the North Circular), which is especially useful for lorry deliveries.
Workshopshed: Do you have any storage tips for engineering or gardening tools?
Drew Davis: If you are planning on storing metal objects, it’s a good idea to treat them with rust protector first, or at least wipe them down with an oily rag. You can use the cheapest oil available; it all does the same job.
Before storing your garden tools, scrub off any dirt or mud – if it’s really covered in dirt, you may need to soak the tool in a bucket of hot water first. Make sure to wipe off any excess water with an old rag and let it dry thoroughly to prevent any rusting. Treat the wooden areas of your tools by sanding any rough or splintery places with sandpaper and then rubbing it in wax.
Workshopshed: One question from the readers of “Stationary Engine”. Because their engines are heavy they would want to put them onto a trailer before going to a show and drive to the show early in the morning. Would the facilities allow them to do that kind of thing?
Drew Davis: Engines are a bit of a grey area because they’d need to be drained of all flammable liquid to be stored, so it might not be viable. The good news is all our stores have access for an articulated lorry and all of them give you free access to trolleys and pallet trucks. There are also forklifts and trained forklift drivers available (at a cost of £5 per load, or if big quantities are involved an agreement can be made with the manager. Prior notice needs to given where possible).
In terms of early morning access, our storage facilities are open at Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm Saturday 9am – 6pm Sunday 10am – 4pm However you can also arrange extended access between 5am – 11pm – for a small additional charge if that’s what you need.
Many thanks to Drew and Big Yellow Business Storage