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Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Self-Storage Facilities Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise®?

Photo: Storage Master Self Storage ©2019

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a self-storage facility that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified self-storage center. Each has been rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise® in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top rated self storage company and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large, random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above, you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise®–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified Resource eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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Patty Frazzetta is a 16-year veteran of the storage industry and regional manager of Storage Master Self Storage, a Diamond Certified company since 2009. She can be reached at (707) 925-2974 or by email.

Patty Frazzetta

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Patty Frazzetta: A Common Thread

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SANTA ROSA — Patty Frazzetta has worked in a number of ostensibly unrelated industries, but there’s at least one common thread that runs through her diverse professional experience. “I’ve been working with people my entire life,” she affirms. “I started in the restaurant business, and then I spent 10 years in banking and later managed a campground, so you might say I’ve worn a lot of hats.” When asked what led to her current career in the storage business, Patty says it was joint venture. “My husband, Ted, had 13 years of experience as a mover, which was very relevant to the storage industry, so we decided to go in together and work as a team.”

Today, as regional manager of Storage Master Self Storage, Patty says her job entails a surprising depth of interpersonal interaction. “People rent storage units under a variety of circumstances, not all of them good. For example, after the 2008 economic crisis, I started keeping a box of Kleenex on the counter because we had so many customers who had lost their homes. So, a big part of my job is listening to and working with people who are going through various life situations.”

Outside of work, Patty engages in a variety of unique hobbies, including sewing and attending Renaissance fairs. “I’m a seamstress and I spend a lot of time making re-enactment costumes,” she says. “My husband I belong to a Renaissance Guild, which is actually how we met. The first time I saw him, he was dressed in full medieval armor, so you could say I literally met my ‘knight in shining armor.’” Additionally, Patty likes playing video games like World of Warcraft. “People are always surprised to hear I play Warcraft, but there are actually quite a few older folks who do—it’s not just for kids!” When she’s not immersed in a world of fantasy, Patty enjoys getting out and seeing the real one. “Ted and I like to go on cruises to Alaska, road trips through the Northwest and occasional weekend trips to Lake Tahoe.”

In her life and career, Patty espouses the importance of being a positive influence. “I feel that one of my roles here is to pass on my knowledge and experience and help young people learn good values in their work ethic,” she explains. “I tell them that every stage of life is a stepping stone, so they should try to appreciate where they’re at and learn something before moving on to the next one.”

When asked the first thing she’d do if she could retire tomorrow, Patty says she’d get a change of scenery. “One idea I’ve had is to move to Alaska and open a metaphysical bookstore. I consider myself a spiritual and open-minded person, so I think it would be fun just to talk with people who came in the door.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: If you could transport yourself to any fictional universe, where would you go?
A: Probably the “Star Wars” universe. Ted and I are big fans.

Q: What’s your favorite season?
A: Winter—I like the rain.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Costumes that I make myself and ceramic fairy sculptures.

Q: What was your favorite Halloween costume as a child?
A: A pirate girl costume.

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Assessing the Security of a Storage Facility


SANTA ROSA — When choosing a storage facility, one factor people often take for granted is security. While you might assume a storage facility is secure by its very nature, this isn’t necessarily the case, which is why you should always assess… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Choosing a Secure Storage Facility

Complete Video Transcription:

SANTA ROSA — Host, Sarah Rutan: When choosing a storage facility, it’s important to assess the level of security it provides. To learn more, we’re in Santa Rosa… Read more




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SmartBox Portable Self Storage
Public Storage
U-Haul Self Storage
A-1 Self Storage

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Alexander Valley
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the Geysers
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Valley Ford
Villa Grande


Know What You Want
Know What You Want Before Renting a Self-Storage Unit in Sonoma County

After you have done initial research, talk with some local self-storage companies. Compile a list of questions and use that list when talking to a self-storage representative. Write down each company’s answers.

You want to get a storage unit only from a company that meets or exceeds your expectations. If they don’t give satisfactory answers to your questions, move on to the next company.

You will want to know what you can expect from your self-storage company. Have an idea of your budget and the space you need. Here are some questions that you may want to ask:

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified self-storage center that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee?
  • Do I have enough in my budget for a self-storage unit?
  • What personal and professional characteristics would I like my Sonoma County self-storage company to have (good communication skills, timeliness, honesty, integrity, reliability)?
  • Do I want a self-storage company with a security system?
  • What are the hours when I will most be accessing my unit?
  • What is my timeline for getting a self-storage unit?
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What To Ask In Person
Questions to Ask in Person at Self-Storage Facilities in Sonoma County

Once you have narrowed the field to a few of the best Sonoma County self-storage companies, visit a few of these in person.

Questions you might want to ask include these:

  • Can you give me the names of 10 references in Sonoma County?
  • Do you have a sprinkler system installed in case there is a fire?
  • Can I have a month to month lease rather than sign a longer term lease?
  • Do you have the self-storage grounds patrolled?
  • Can I have a month to month lease?
  • Have you had any break-ins and if so, were the stolen items recovered?
  • What kind of security system is installed?
  • How much notice do I need to give when I am ready to move out?
  • How many and what size self-storage units do you have available and how many total storage units are there?
  • Is smoking allowed in or around the storage buildings?
  • Have you experienced any break-ins and if you have, how did they happen?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Is the storage area patrolled?
  • Are there any limits to access to my storage unit?
  • Are there smoke alarms installed in each building or unit area?
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  • What To Ask References
    Questions for References of a Sonoma County Self-Storage Company

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified self-storage company because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a self-storage company in Sonoma County and the Greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified self-storage company within reach, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your self-storage company. Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by the self-storage company are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process.

    That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the companies will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

    If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied. Ask these questions of previous customers of a Sonoma County self-storage company.

    • Were you satisfied with your experience at this Sonoma County self-storage company?
    • If you had any problems, did the self-storage company respond quickly?
    • Did you feel comfortable leaving your possessions at this Sonoma County self-storage company?
    • Did the self-storage facility keep the premises in good condition and clean?
    • Would you recommend this self-storage company to your family and friends?
    • Would you use this self-storage company if you needed storage again?
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  • Review Your Options
    Reviewing Your Research for the Best Self-Storage Facility for You

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Your choice of a self-storage facility is an important decision. Before deciding on the best self-storage facility in Sonoma County for you, it’s important to consider the following questions.

    • What does this self-storage company offer that is specific to what I need?
    • Is the rental amount within my budget?
    • Are all of the areas around the unit well lit?
    • Did the self-storage company manager and staff seem courteous, friendly and professional and answer all questions satisfactorily?
    • Do I feel comfortable leaving my possessions at this self-storage company?
    • Can this self-storage facility meet my needs when it comes to hours, customer service and experience?
    • Did I feel the facility and the surrounding area were in good repair and well taken care of?
    • Is the surrounding security fence in good repair with no breaks?
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  • How To Work With
    Getting Ready to Sign the Contract With a Sonoma County Self-Storage Company

    Once you have found a trustworthy self-storage facility that can answer all of your questions and meet your storage needs, you will want to sign the contract. Your contract should include the monthly price. It will also include the intended start date and the time the contract covers including if it is month to month.

    Meet with the self-storage company manager after you have chosen a self-storage company. Describe any concerns or questions that you have. Be detailed and don’t be in a hurry. It is as important for you to hear their suggestions and observations as it is for them to hear you. If you are confused about any aspect of the self-storage service, ask for an explanation. Now is the time to ask questions.

    Before you sign the contract, be sure you have read and understood the terms and limitations. Don’t ever sign a blank or incomplete contract. Now is the time to write in any special requests or agreements that the company has agreed to verbally.

    Sign Your Contract With a Sonoma County Self-Storage Company
    Sign the contract when you feel satisfied with the information you have received from your Sonoma County self-storage company. Be sure that your self-storage company has a phone number where you can be reached at all times.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    Be a Good Self-Storage Company Customer

    It’s the self-storage company’s responsibility put in quality self-storage using the best possible installation techniques. But you play a big part in the success of your self-storage, too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when renting a Sonoma County self-storage unit.

    • Be clear and upfront with the self-storage company. Let them know what you want from your self-storage, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Pay for the self-storage rental promptly.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!
    • Be sure your self-storage representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while you are storing your belongings at the self-storage unit.
    • When your self-storage company contacts you, return calls promptly.
    • Before you hire a self-storage company in Sonoma County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the self-storage company representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local self-storage companies occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Self-storage companies in Sonoma County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check The Work
Check the Contract for Your Self-Storage Unit

When you have received your contract, read it over thoroughly. This will prevent any surprises later. Your contract protects your rights and possessions. Although the contract is usually simple and understandable, remember that the self-storage facility is also using the contract to protect the company. Notice what happens if you are late or miss a payment.

Some self-storage companies will immediately close down your self-storage unit and hold your possessions for auction. Another issue you want to know is if employees can have access to your unit. Be sure that they cannot move your items from one storage unit to another without permission from you.

If you have a unit that is considered “prime,” the self-storage facility may want to reserve the right to move your things from that unit to another to allow someone else to rent that unit.

Now is the time to check the contract for this information:

  • The self-storage facility’s name and physical address
  • The time period covered by the lease
  • The dates of the lease
  • An itemized list of all the supplies you purchased
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Top 10 Requests
Popular Sonoma County Self-Storage Services

The top requests for self-storage companies in Sonoma County are listed below.

Auto-bill allows your self-storage unit rent to be paid on the due date by automatically charging your credit card.

Drive-up Self-Storage Unit
A Drive-up self-storage unit is a unit that is accessible by driving close to the storage unit for ease of unloading or loading.

Business Storage
Business storage is available if businesses need extra space for inventory or seasonal items and it is less expensive than expensive retail space.

Computer Controlled Access
Computer controlled access is storage units that can be accessed by the renting tenant entering their own pin code onto a keypad usually in a gate access system.

Hallway Self-Storage Unit
A hallway self-storage unit is a unit that is inside of a storage building and usually accessed by service doors.

Insurance for Self-Storage Items
Insurance covers the goods you have in your storage unit. It can be purchased through the self-storage facility or an independent party. It may be available through your home insurance without any additional cost.

Pharmaceutical Storage
Pharmaceutical storage is where pharmaceuticals are stored at a self-storage facility. They may require climate control.

Self-Storage Unit
Self-storage unit is a storage unit that is used to store household or business goods.

Self-Storage Anti-Pick Locks
Self-storage anti-pick locks are locks that are corrosion and weather resistant and also have anti-pick tumblers.

Climate-Controlled Unit
Climate-controlled units use reasonable effort to avoid temperature extremes. These units are used for items that are unable to withstand ranges of temperature or humidity levels.

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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs for Sonoma County Self-Storage Facilities

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified self-storage company?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a self-storage company with confidence by offering a list of top rated local companies that have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only self-storage companies rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise® earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified self-storage company.

Q: What is a manager who is “onsite”?
A: An onsite manager is usually an employee or company manager. This manager also may live onsite in an apartment or other facility.

Q: Is there a difference between office and gate hours?
A: Office hours are the hours that a manager is available to help you or answer any questions. Those hours are when you can buy storage, moving or packing supplies. The gate hours are the hours when you can get to your storage unit. The gate hours usually extend beyond the office hours. Hours beyond these office/gate hours when you might need to access your storage unit will need to be arranged with the manager.

Q: What is a climate controlled unit?
A: A climate controlled unit is a unit that maintains a cooler temperature between 55 to 85 degrees. This is used for items that need protection from extremely high or low temperatures.

Q: Should I request a roll-up door?
A: Actually, most self-storage units have roll-up doors. These doors roll up similar to a garage door. These doors are easy to use and also allow you to maximize the space in your storage unit.

Q: Do self-storage companies offer RV or boat parking?
A: Not all self-storage facilities offer parking for storage of vehicles. As you call self-storage facilities, you will need to ask if they offer this type of storage.

Q: How do I know how big of a unit I need to rent?
A: Following is a general guide to storage space. However, if you have a garage full of boxes or a storage shed added to this, you will need to adjust the sizes.

  • If you are going to be storing smaller possessions such as furniture or files, a 5′ X 5′ is required.
  • A 1 bedroom apartment will usually fit into a 5′ X 10′.
  • A 2 bedroom apartment requires a 10′ X 10′.
  • A 2/3 bedroom house or apartment requires a 10′ X 15′.
  • A 3/4 bedroom house requires a 10′ X 20′.
  • A 4/5 bedroom house should fit in a 10′ X 25.

Q: How do I choose between outdoor, indoor and drive-up self storage units?
A: An outdoor self-storage unit is simply outdoors. Depending on its location, you may be able to drive up to it to store your possessions. An indoor unit is inside a building and is accessed by doors into the building. A drive-up unit enables you to drive directly to the self-storage unit for ease of unloading and loading. These three types of units are the most common. Determining your needs will help you choose which type would work best for you.

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