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Cluttered spaces and lack of storage are a headache, especially for a business owner. The solution? Portable storage containers. You may already know that there are a a number of companies you can lease a portable storage container from, but what about the long term? Wouldn't it make more sense to buy one? It sure would! But, if you’ve never stopped to consider the buying process, it may seem like a lot to take on. This blog post will simplify the process and help you make an informed decision.

Before diving into the purchase of a portable storage container, it's crucial to check local zoning regulations and permit requirements for placing a portable storage container on your property. Make sure that there are no limitations on them before you put one in place. This is the best way to avoid fines or removal orders.

Next, assess your specific needs. This initial step will help you determine the type of container that best suits your requirements and ensure you make a cost-effective choice.

Assessing Your Needs and Choosing a Portable Storage Container

Start by clarifying the primary purpose of the container. Are you looking for additional storage space for office items, a secure place to store business inventory, or perhaps even a portable office? Knowing exactly what you need the container for will help you narrow down your options. For example:

  • Storage: If you need a container for general storage, a standard container might suffice.
  • Shipping: For containers that will be used for shipping, ensure they meet the necessary regulatory standards.
  • Office Space: If you're planning to convert the container into an office, you might need one with windows, electrical fittings, and maybe even a separate area sectioned off for storage.

Next, consider what you'll be storing in the container. Portable storage containers come in various sizes, typically ranging from 10 feet to 40 feet in length. To choose the right size, take an inventory of the items you plan to store and estimate the total volume. Here are some common container sizes and their typical uses:

  • 10-foot containers: Ideal for small storage needs or limited space.
  • 20-foot containers: Suitable for medium-sized storage needs or as a small portable office.
  • 40-foot containers: Best for large storage needs or larger office spaces.

Those three sizes are typically the most widely available and cost-effective. The two larger sizes may be available in standard or high cube containers; standard containers are 8’ wide and 8’6” high, and high cubes are 8’ wide and 9’6” high.

Finally, think about where the container will be placed. The location should be easily accessible and have enough space to accommodate the container’s dimensions. Ensure the ground is level to prevent any stability issues. Also, consider factors like local zoning regulations and any required permits. Ask yourself:

  • Is there enough space for the delivery truck to access the site?
  • Is the ground level and prepared for the container's weight?
  • Are there any legal restrictions or permits required for placing a container in your desired location?

Buying a Portable Storage Container

Setting a budget is a crucial step in the process of buying a portable storage container. Understanding the factors that influence the cost will help you allocate funds appropriately and avoid overspending. 

There are a number of things you’ll need to inspect before making a purchase. Topping the list of concerns: structural integrity, rust, flooring, doors and seals. If you’re buying remotely, be sure to request detailed photos and videos from several angles. The following are just a few things that will influence the cost of a portable storage container:

  1. Size – you would think that the size of the container is one of the primary factors affecting its cost, however, 10-foot units are actually more expensive than their larger counterparts. But of the two larger sizes, 40-foot units, are generally more expensive than smaller ones, 20-foot units. Choose the size based on your storage needs and space availability and comparison shop to get an idea of the basic pricing. Remember that larger containers will incur higher delivery fees.
  2. Condition (1-Trip vs. Used) – A “one-tripper” should be in near-new condition, free from wear and tear. It is a container that made just one trip overseas. They can still have slight imperfections from being unloaded from a shipping barge. Expect a one-tripper to be more expensive than used containers. Used containers will have made more trips and will be more affordable. They are a cost-effective option for many storage needs. They may have cosmetic damage or wear and tear, which can impact their longevity and appearance. It’s essential to inspect used containers thoroughly before purchase.
  3. Modifications – Unless you’re doing it yourself, customizing a container to fit your specific needs can significantly affect the overall cost. Common modifications of portable storage containers include adding windows, doors, shelving, insulation, and electrical wiring. While modifications add to the initial expense, they can make the container more functional and tailored to your needs. Evaluate which modifications are necessary and budget for them accordingly.
  4. Delivery Fees – The cost of delivering the container to your location depends on the distance, accessibility of the site, and any special requirements for unloading. Delivery fees can vary widely, so it’s essential to get quotes from multiple suppliers. Ensure the delivery cost is included in your budget to avoid unexpected expenses.

Setting a realistic budget is vital for several reasons, the first is to ensure that you prevent overspending. Set a budget and then prioritize your needs to avoid breaking the bank. Having a clear budget will also give you a better position when negotiating with suppliers, as you can firmly stick to what you can afford. You may even find some listings of portable storage containers for sale online.

Once you have an idea of your budget, it’s time to start looking for a reputable supplier of portable storage containers. Look at online reviews, customer testimonials and listings of local businesses. 

Choose a supplier with a good customer service record. Ask what happens in the case of structural issues, rust, leaks, etc. Familiarize yourself with the return policy in case the container does not meet your expectations or has defects. Note the details of the return policy and any conditions that may void it. 

Before finalizing your purchase of a portable storage container, it’s essential to thoroughly review the purchase agreement. This step ensures that you understand all the terms and conditions and helps prevent any unwelcome surprises down the line.

Confirm that the total cost outlined in the contract matches the agreed-upon price, including all fees and taxes. The paperwork should detail any additional costs, such as delivery, modifications, or setup fees. Look for any hidden charges or fees that were not discussed. 

Review the key points in the contract: total cost, delivery terms, and return policy. Once you’re satisfied that you understand all of the details, it’s time to make the purchase. Finalize the purchase by signing the agreement. Be sure to keep copies of all for future reference. Next, it’s time to take delivery! 

Making the Delivery and Placement of Your Portable Storage Container Easy - Ensuring Access and More 

Proper planning for delivery can save you time, money, and hassle. Review the delivery terms to understand the timeline, process, and any associated costs. Check the expected delivery date and ensure it aligns with your schedule. Confirm whether the delivery fee includes unloading and placing the container.

Ensure that the delivery truck can access the location where you plan to place the container. Be sure to check the width of driveways and gates and consider what obstacles might hinder access. Ask the company delivering the container how much clearance they need to accommodate the delivery truck. Then, clear any obstacles such as overhanging branches, parked vehicles, or debris.

Coordinate with the supplier to schedule a delivery time that works for you, and then have someone present to oversee and provide instructions. It’s a good idea to allow for some flexibility in case of delays due to weather or traffic. The delivery truck also needs sufficient space to maneuver and position the container correctly. Plan the placement site with enough clearance around the container for unloading and potential future access.

A portable storage container can be placed on a number of different surfaces. If placing the container on grass or dirt, ensure the ground is compacted and level. The most important factor to consider is whether the site is level and stable to prevent any issues with settling or shifting over time. Using gravel or concrete pads to create a level surface is a best practice. 

To ensure a long life from your portable storage container and its contents, there are a few more best practices: 

  • Keep the exterior and interior of the container clean to prevent dirt and debris from causing damage. 
  • Periodically inspect the container looking for signs of rust and corrosion. 
  • Treat any rust spots promptly to prevent further corrosion.
  • Inspect the doors and seals to ensure they are functioning correctly and remain weatherproof.
  • Lubricate the door hinges and locking mechanisms regularly to prevent them from seizing up.
  • Check the door seals for any signs of wear and replace them if necessary to keep the container watertight.
  • Regularly inspect the container for signs of pests, such as droppings or chewed materials.
  • Seal any gaps or openings that pests could use to enter the container.
  • Use pest control measures, such as traps or repellents, to keep pests at bay.

Purchasing a portable storage container can significantly alleviate the headaches associated with cluttered spaces and insufficient storage. By following the tips here, you can make an informed and cost-effective decision that meets your needs. With careful planning and consideration, you'll be well-prepared to make the most of your new storage solution.

Thank you for reading our guide on buying a portable storage container. If you have any questions or need further assistance, don't hesitate to contact us at SiteBox Storage. We’re here to help you find the perfect storage solution. You can start by looking at our portable storage containers for sale.