The concept of “moving house” is usually identified with the shipping of household goods from one location to another. The moving process, however, involves many different aspects ranging from psychological factors to organizational issues and practical preparations. And while it is up to you to deal with most of these complex matters as best as you can, your chosen movers may provide some professional assistance to make things easier for you.
In addition to shipping your belongings, most moving companies offer a number of accessorial services that can considerably boost the speed and efficiency of your move. These additional services, however, incur extra charges that vary from one company to the next (each moving company creates its own list of available accessorial services and sets their corresponding rates). So, when shopping around for movers, you are advised to carefully research the supplementary services they offer (as well as their charges) and choose the ones that best suit your needs and your budget. Have in mind, though, that circumstances beyond your control may necessitate a specific service, regardless of whether you want to use it or not.
Packing and unpacking
There is no doubt that you are going to pack your cherished possessions with utmost care and attention in order to ensure their safety during shipment. Proper packing, however, requires a lot of time and energy, as well as plenty of specialized wrapping and padding materials. So, if you can’t dedicate enough effort to the tedious packing process, don’t have adequate packing supplies, or just prefer not to risk damaging your delicate items, you can have professional packers take care of your belongings. The task will be completed in a safe and speedy manner and the movers will be liable for damage (the moving companies usually don’t assume liability for items that have been packed by the customer). You will be charged for this extra service based on the time it takes to pack up your household, the type and amount of packing materials used, and the complexity of the job.
If you have delicate pieces of art or other valuable articles that don’t fit into standard moving boxes, you can request custom packing services (such as crating). Your treasured possessions will be contained in custom-built wooden crates or cardboard boxes cut apart and form-fitted around every single item to provide maximum protection.
Unpacking services are also available upon your request – the movers will take your items directly to their designated places in your new home, unpack them and dispose of the packing materials for an extra fee.
Disassembly and reassembly of furniture
If you are not sure how to disassemble and prepare your large furniture pieces for moving, consider using professional help (especially when it comes to antiques or very expensive items). The movers have the specialized equipment and the required know-how to safely dismantle your furniture, take it out of your home, load it onto the moving truck, secure it properly inside, and deliver it to your new home in perfect condition. Then, you can have the movers put your furniture back together, so that it is immediately ready for use.
The costs for disassembling and reassembling your furniture are usually calculated on an hourly basis.
Handling of bulky Items
Your movers will assess an extra fee for handling extremely heavy and bulky items, such as pianos, safes, pool tables, hot tubs, etc. Have in mind that such articles are not only very difficult to pack and move but they also considerably increase the total weight of your shipment which results in higher moving costs.
If you want your movers to disconnect the electrical appliances at your old home and set them up in your new residence, you’ll have to pay an extra appliance servicing fee.
In case your large furniture or bulky appliances don’t fit through the doors or along the narrow hallways and steep staircases in your old home or in your new one, the movers will have to set up a rope-and-pulley rigging system to take them in or out of the property through a window. Specialized equipment and great expertise are required to safely perform this accessorial moving service, so it will cost you dearly.
Taking items up the stairs
If the movers have to wait for an elevator or if you want them to take your items up or down the stairs of a high residential building, you will have to pay a flight charge (or an elevator fee) for the extra service. The cost is calculated per flight of stairs or based upon the time wasted while waiting for the elevator.
Carrying items for a long distance
If there is no adequate parking place in front of your property, the moving truck may have to stop at a considerable distance from the entrance to your home. In this case, your movers are under no obligation to take your shipment inside. So, if you want them to carry your items for you, you will have to pay an additional long carry fee (for distances greater than 50-75 feet).
If your residence is not accessible to large moving trucks because of physical constraints (such as narrow roads or weak bridges), your goods will be picked up or delivered with the help of smaller vehicles. Depending on the size of your move and the specifics of the location, several trips may be required to complete the job. This extra service will incur an additional fee, of course.
Exclusive use of moving vehicle
Consolidating shipments transported along the same route is an efficient way to save time and money when moving long distance. If you prefer your household goods to be shipped separately, so that you can receive them on a guaranteed delivery day (and also avoid the risk of your belongings being damaged or lost during the numerous stops and rearrangements of items inside the truck), you will be charged an extra fee for the exclusive use of the moving vehicle.
Split pickup and delivery
Some of the items you want to ship to your new home may have to be picked up from several different locations (storage facility, parents’ house, rental home, etc.). Or a part of your belongings may have to be delivered at a place different from your final destination (friends’ house, storage unit, temporary lodgings, etc.). In such cases, you can take advantage of the split pickup or delivery services your movers offer for an extra fee.
Waiting or re-delivery
In case you can’t receive your shipment on the agreed date and time, the movers will charge you an extra fee for waiting (it is calculated on an hourly or daily basis). If your items have to be put into storage for a certain period of time, all the related costs will be at your expense. You will also be charged a re-delivery fee when the moving truck comes to your home for a second time to deliver your shipment.
Under certain circumstances (your new home is not ready in time, unexpected problems prevent you from receiving your shipment, a conflict arises between you and your movers, etc.) your belongings may have to be stored in the carrier’s warehouse while pending further transportation. Regardless of the reason, you will be charged a storage fee. The longer your belongings are kept in storage in transit, the higher the additional charge will be, of course.
Good to remember: Any specialty services provided by third party companies also incur additional charges.
SEE ALSO: The hidden costs of moving house
When planning the details of your move, keep it in mind that the extra services movers offer are not automatically included in the moving estimate. Some rogue movers try to take advantage of this commonly overlooked fact and find fraudulent ways to soak up more money from their unwary customers. To avoid such scam attempts, make sure all the required extra services and their charges are explicitly stated in the Bill of Lading before signing it.