If you are planning on hiring a moving company for your upcoming move, there are several aspects to consider and preparations to be met. Obtaining an estimate (and understanding the terms) is one detail you'll want to plan for, but there are other factors to consider as well. Three major elements your movers will hope you'll consider are as follows:
1. Contact Your Moving Company Well In Advance
If you want a guarantee on availability, especially during the busiest times of the year such as summertime, you'll want to arrange for moving service ahead of time. How much advance notice is best? Typically, moving companies recommend contacting them at least 4-6 weeks in advance. If you are moving long distance, it's best to allow a longer time frame, possibly eight weeks or longer; this way there is little chance of the movers over-booking.
While it is possible to obtain moving and storage services on short notice, there are no guarantees. Another advantage of booking your movers in advance is the possibility of receiving special discounts. Some moving companies will offer locked-in rates when booked ahead of time and also discounts on packing and moving supplies.
2. Understand a Binding Versus Non-Binding Estimate
When you contact a moving company, you'll want to obtain an itemized estimate of the cost you'll incur. While non-binding estimates may offer you a fairly accurate assessment of your final cost, the price quote is not a guarantee. To help you understand, consider the details of both non-binding and binding estimates:
A Binding Estimate: Binding estimates will always be in writing. Once the movers come to your property, they will perform an evaluation of what is to be moved. They will also estimate the distance of the move.
A contract will then be drawn and both parties (the moving company and yourself) will sign the papers. You will then be obligated to pay the indicated cost. You will most likely have the right to add items on to your move later; however, the company will probably want to revise your contract to reflect the increase.
A Non-Binding Estimate: This agreement will offer you a good idea of what your final cost will be. Keep in mind, this is merely a price quote with no guarantees. The price you will be charged after your items are weighed in the final move may be higher or lower than the estimation. However, the final fees should not be higher than 25 percent of what has been quoted.
You may be able to receive your non-binding estimate over the phone or online and request a print out of the results. You will notice that the itemized non-binding quote will list all of your belongings on paper. It will also show moving supply costs as well as taxes, and it will be signed by the mover.
3. Prepare Your Belongings for Transport
If you are planning to pack your belongings yourself, you'll need to understand a few important aspects that will make the transport smooth. In some cases, larger items may require preparation before being shipped. For instance, consider the following:
Water Bed Preparation: Do you own a water bed that will need to be moved? Before the movers can carry it out and load it onto the truck, you will need to have it drained completely. To do so, you may need to purchase a hose connector if your water bed did not include one. Then follow the instructions that came with the bed. If your water bed is a fiber-filled model, it will be more complicated to drain. In some cases, this will require a professional to vacuum drain the water bed. Again, you need to read the instructions from your manufacturer or contact them directly for assistance. Your moving company will require any type of water bed to be completely drained and dry.
Appliance Preparation: Keep in mind that not all movers will transport your larger appliance. For large machines, you may need to hire appliance movers. Otherwise, prepare your appliances before transport. In the case of a washing machine, be sure you have a stabilizer installed before it is moved. A shipping or transit bolt will secure the machine tub and suspension and prevent damage when it is being shipped.
Refrigerators should be drained the day before and loose containers should be packed separately. Dishwasher hoses need to be drained as well.
As a final tip, you might want to transport certain items yourself, such as family heirlooms and photos or important documents. Also, most movers will not transport live houseplants, so keep this in mind. Paying attention to every detail will help ensure a stress-free move.
For more information and tips, talk directly with a local moving company, such as Father & Son Moving & Storage.