One of the keys to a successful move is to identify the scope of services offered by your mover and, crucially, what is included in their moving quotation. It is vital to address this early in the process.
A common misconception is a door-to-door quotation incorporates every conceivable moving related cost. This is rarely, if ever the case. Make sure your mover specifies what services are available and included in the price they quote you.
Assuming all the parameters of your move have been clearly identified and any additional costs have been agreed upon in advance, and provided the specifications of the move remain unchanged, this should help you keep within budget and ensure peace of mind.
For international moves, packing is obviously a fundamental service, which should be included by the mover. Generally companies will offer wrapping paper, bubble wrap, professional moving cartons (new ie. unused), and large corrugated sheets and/or paper blankets. They may also offer polystyrene chips and other specialist protective materials.
In addition, correct labeling, numbering and an inventory of all boxes should be arranged by the packing day.
Over-sized / Heavy items – Items such as pianos, kids trampolines, safes etc. will incur additional handling/packing charges.
Piano moving services may also include re-tuning of the piano at the time of delivery.
Wise Move Tip – It is recommended you raise this with potential moving companies before you book your move, if necessary ask the company representative to show you samples of the materials they use and packing techniques they practice.
Assuming your goods are not headed for temporary/long-term storage, unpacking is another fundamental service offered by most moving companies. However, in order to avoid confusion and assure expectations are met at destination it is important to define what “unpacking” includes. Most companies will unpack and position in appropriate rooms larger furniture items. Some may not unpack contents and the companies that do, may only unpack to surface level which means they will unpack kitchen items to your counter top until the surfaces are full and will then stop, leaving the rest for you to deal with. For most people this is sufficient, but you may require more of a comprehensive/personalised service, in which case, check the availability of this service and have any ancillary costs budgeted for.
It is also important to note that moving companies will only dispose of the boxes, wrapping paper and debris they unpack on the day of delivery. And additional trip to your home to collect debris will incur a charge.
3. Hoisting / external elevator
In some cases, it may not be possible to route bulky/heavy items through hallways, staircases, elevators and doorways. If the only access point is via a window/balcony then hoisting or an external elevator could be the solution. Discuss this issue early in the process so you can be certain, services and associated costs are identified from during the initial quoting stage of the move.
If you know you are moving to an apartment complex, with a relatively small lift, which results in many/most furniture items needing to be carried up multiple flights of stairs, then again charges will apply.
Wise Move Tip – Dealing with these issues as an afterthought can be stressful and expensive, so, if possible, address them at the start of the process.
4. Long carry fee / Shuttling
In many cases it may not be possible to position the delivery vehicle outside your new residence. Most companies will apply long carry charges if the distance exceeds approximately 30 meters.
Similarly, if your goods have been transported by container and are being delivered directly from the container to your residence, if you live in the center of a city or in a remote rural location, ie. down a small country lane, there is a possibility the moving company will have to shuttle your items via a smaller vehicle which will involve several small trips from the point the container truck has parked.
Wise Move Tip – If you know your delivery location from day 1, and you feel access might be compromised, talk to the moving company representative. With modern technology – Google Maps etc., it is possible to get a street level view of the road access to your new home. If this is clearly communicated, between you, the mover and their colleagues at destination, the logistics can be assessed and any additional charges accounted for.
5. Re-assembly requiring a “handyman”
Most movers can offer basic re-assembly. Typically this would be attaching legs to a simple dining table, or attaching a headboard to a bed. Anything more complex than this and certainly any new item or ‘IKEA’ type furniture will not be included and will require a specialist/handyman. The mover may be able to offer this or arrange a 3rd party, but an hourly / daily charge will apply.
Wise Move Tip – Bear this in mind at the time of the packing at origin and avoid asking the mover to dismantle items which are likely to incur re-assembly charges at destination.