When most people hear the term estimate, they can usually associate it with its use, as far as moving. Moving companies offer estimates to give homeowners an idea of how much they’ll be paying for their move. There are a number of variables that factor into how much that number comes out to be. Here are the factors that ultimately affect the estimate you receive from a moving company.
Travel time – Companies typically will not charge for the distance between your current home and your new home; that is covered under the hourly wage. This travel time is in reference to the time it takes for the truck to get from their warehouse to your home, and then from the new home back to their warehouse.
Weight of belongings – This is the most widely known factor in regards to a moving estimate. The more your furniture and other belongings weigh, the more you will likely you are to be paying more for your move. You can use helpful moving calculators to estimate the weight of your belongings. Keep in mind that most long distance moves cost around $100 per 100 lbs., though this figure will vary based on the distance you’re moving. For local or in-town moves, Apple Movers, a nationwide mover with locations in Austin-Round Rock and Hampton Roads, says that weight of belongings is less of a factor. For local moves, moving companies provide estimates based on the number of hours it will take to move your things.
Access – People don’t usually understand what companies mean by access, initially. The term ‘access,’ in this instance, means how easy it will be for the movers to actually get your things to and from the truck. Ideally, a moving van should be able to back the van up to the front step of your home and bring things in directly. Things such as stairs, elevators, long hallways, etc. make this difficult. Curbside parking and parking meters also make this a bit of a problem. To deal with these obstacles, a moving company may assess addition access-related charges.
Last minute changes – Contracting a moving company is the same as making a reservation or a doctor’s appointment. If you don’t show up, or there’s a delay with no notice, there’s typically an additional fee. When you tell a moving company that they aren’t able to move your items into your new home on the expected day, they have to store your items. When this happens, they’ll often charge you by the day that they have to hold your things. Also, if you aren’t ready to load your things into the truck on the day you planned, they’ll charge you an additional fee for delaying their services.
Additional services – There are a number of optional services that most moving companies offer. Some of these services include packing boxes, disassembling and reassembling furniture, removing debris, and carrying bulky articles. When a company says ‘bulky articles,’ they are thinking of pianos, large appliances, automobiles, and items of that nature. Some companies will also offer extra insurance protection, in regards to the amount they will pay if something is damaged, as well as storage-in-transit services. All of these services will result in extra fees factored into your initial estimate.
All in all, there are quite a few things for you to evaluate when it comes to your moving estimate. The easiest way for you to minimize any additional fees is to ensure you are on schedule for the duration of your move, pack your own things, and keep things as simple as you’re able to keep them.