By now you should be well familiar with what a professional moving company does, right? The crew members will carry all household items out of your home, will load them quickly into an awaiting moving vehicle, and then will drive off into an unknown direction. Luckily, the next time you see the movers you have hired, they will be delivering your household goods to your new address, wherever that new address might be, and usually taking them inside the new home as well. That’s what professional movers do, don’t they?
Oh, wait! They can actually pack up your prized possessions prior to the move if that’s what you want too.
In a nutshell, this is the general conception of the moving services offered by the best moving companies out there. However, in reality, professional movers can and often do much more in order to complete the relocation jobs they get paid to finish successfully, and that much more is known as additional services.
What additional moving services transportation companies offer their customers, which extra moving services you will need, and most importantly, what accessorial services you be will charged for, either willingly or unwillingly – these are important questions whose answers you should definitely know prior to the upcoming move.
If you happen to be moving just a short distance (within the limits of the same town or city, for example), and you don’t own too many items in your home, and you don’t have any special items that will require professional packing and handling, and you have a few good friends who will be willing to give you a hand, then packing up your house or apartment on your own sounds like the logical thing to do. Besides, you may be a person who doesn’t enjoy their prized possessions to be touched and moved around by unknown people.
However, there are many valid reasons you may end up needing the most common additional service offered by movers – packing. Lack of sufficient time to box your items by yourself is probably reason number one (packing is the most time-consuming pre-move task of them all!), but having special items that are either too delicate (breakable) or too bulky (heavy) for you to handle comes very close too.
Why would you risk damaging expensive belongings such as a piano or an antique piece of furniture when you can hire experienced packers who are also properly insured? Nobody else but the pros can offer customized solutions that will work best in your case – crating (especially applicable for highly valuable and delicate pieces of art) or provision of adequate packing materials that will guarantee the safety of your stuff while it’s being moved from Point A to Point B.
What about the price of professional packing? The sum you will pay for the most common accessorial moving service will depend on the time needed to finish the task, the amount and type of packing supplies used, and the complexity of the packing task in general.
The best piece of advice you can receive here? Be proactive and request in-house surveys from 3-4 different moving companies to know the price of packing in advance.
Unpacking is another additional service offered by top-rated moving companies which is all about having your boxed household items not only delivered to your new address but also carried inside the respective rooms, positioned to their final resting spots and unpacked carefully. Disposal of your no longer necessary packing materials may or may not be included in the unpacking charge, so make sure the terms and conditions of that extra moving service are crystal clear from the start.
Interestingly enough, because unpacking is a task that has no fast-approaching deadline like its counterpart (packing, of course), much fewer people choose to pay for professional unpacking services as time is not as deciding as it used to be before the relocation. The majority of home movers prefer to handle the unpacking job at their own pace in order to “enjoy” it as much as they can. Unless the things to unpack fall into the category of specialty items, that is.
So, if you do choose to have your delivered things unpacked, make sure your hired men carry the boxes and furniture pieces into the right rooms, and then have a good plan of where you want each item to be positioned to save time and possible overcharging.
Pre-move disassembly and post-move reassembly of furniture
It’s important to decide upfront what you will do with your large pieces of furniture – beds, wardrobes, dressers, desks, tables, chairs, and so on. You should be perfectly aware that their substantial weight and enormous sizes will cost you loads of transportation money , so you’re facing tough decisions up ahead – should you try to sell them, should you leave them behind, or should you just take them with you no matter the cost?
Once you’ve made up your mind that you’re not going to part with some of your furniture, you may suddenly realize that you do need professional assistance in handling their extremely bulky nature. Conveniently, another one of the additional services movers can provide is disassembly and reassembly of furniture before and after the move respectively. Their rich experience and special moving equipment is a guarantee your king size bed, huge wardrobes and 2 solid wood desks will be safely disassembled, moved, and reassembled into your new home.
Don’t forget to discuss the furniture disassembly and reassembly charges with your moving company in advance so that you won’t have to deal with unpleasant post-move surprises. Don’t even think about doing it on your own if you lack any experience in the matter whatsoever or if you have furniture pieces that are too expensive or valuable (antique furniture, for instance) to be subjected to DIY risks of damage.
Handling of special household items
To avoid extra service fees, you might be tempted to pack up and move the number of special items you have in your home by yourself and a couple of reliable friends. And while that tactic could be a good solution for relocating ordinary items such as books, clothes, kitchen utensils, and most non-breakable small to medium sized possessions, found in your home, including more compact furniture pieces such as chairs, a single decision to move a piano, relocate a pool table, transport a big safe, or move a hot tub will quickly change the way you organize the entire move.
READ ALSO: Top 5 self-moving mistakes to avoid
Another example of additional services movers offer is the already mentioned handling (packing + carrying + loading + taking inside + unpacking) of special household goods, usually extra bulky, heavy, or valuable. They are one of the most difficult things to move to another home for a reason – did you know that a standard slate-top pool table can weigh up to 1000 pounds? Similarly, an upright piano can weigh all the way from 500 pounds to 800 pounds, while a grand piano passes easily the 1000 lbs. mark.
The terms and conditions of packing and transporting special items in the safest way possible have to be negotiated during an in-house visit by knowledgeable representatives of moving companies. Instead of being charged extra, you will probably get individual price quotes for having your specialty items moved to your new address. Moreover, do consider purchasing extra insurance coverage for some or all high value items you have decided to take with you.
Hoisting through windows
Hosting, also known as rigging, is a highly specialized extra service offered by some top rated moving companies. Such a technically complex procedure involving special moving equipment may become a necessity if one or more bulky items of yours will not fit safely through the narrow doorframes, staircases or hallways in your home. In such cases, the windows of your property may prove to be the only exit points of large pieces of furniture or other possessions that cannot be further disassembled.
It takes exceptional move related skills to set up and use similar rope-and-pulley rigging systems so it’s no wonder that hoisting is an expensive extra moving service that should be used only when all other options have failed miserably. If parting with the problematic possessions is clearly out of the question, you will have to make sure you hire a moving company that knows what they are doing.
Discuss with the pros of the whole thing will be worth it in the end – after all, you don’t normally want to pay for the hoisting service more than the item to be hoisted is worth. Request more information about the possible risks and charges of rigging before you agree to have it done.
For a number of valid reasons, a shipment may be placed in storage, either by a specific customer request or due to an unexpected issue – usually a last-minute disagreement between the moving company and the owner of the items in question. Both relocation scenarios will bring about storage charges for you so it’s very important that you are fully prepared for what’s coming, and the best preparation comes through understanding well the situation you’re in.
If your new home is not ready for the shipment yet (renovation, final stages of purchasing a property, etc.) and you can’t stay in your old residence either, then you’re left with no good options but to leave your household items in your mover’s possession until you are ready to have them back. Your mover will then place them in storage and charge you for the period of time your stuff is being kept in their storage facilities. The longer that storage period is, the higher the bill will be.
To make things even more complicated, should you refuse to pay the moving company the moment your household items are delivered to their final destination, they may place your items in storage until the issue between you and them is cleared up. There may be a number of good reasons for a possible refusal from your side but the number one cause will always be discrepancies in the final bill for the relocation serviced provided by your professional partner, including all the extra moving services. That could be a highly unfavorable situation for you so you must find a good way to resolve your possible issues with the moving company and get your possessions back as promised.
Extra service fees
What other additional services do movers offers? In addition to the above-mentioned moving services that good moving companies can offer to make your move as easier and smoother as possible, you must be aware of the extra fees and costs movers can charge in exchange for an even greater range of accessorial services.
- Long carry fee. Expect to be charged extra if the moving vehicle cannot park directly in front of the entrance of your home and as a result, your hired men will have to walk a substantial amount of distance to reach the truck.
- Flight charge (elevator fee). If your workers are forced to go up and down numerous flights of stairs due to a broken elevator or its lack thereof, you will probably be asked to pay extra for that inconvenience and loss of time too. As you can guess, that particular fee is calculated per flight of stairs or lost time.
- Shuttle service. For some reason or another (usually lack of sufficient space), a large moving truck may not have access to your home which means that your household items will need to be loaded into smaller vehicles and then transported to your new home or transferred to a larger truck altogether. Again, you will be charged extra to compensate for the lost time and resources.
- Exclusive use of vehicle. Your wish to receive your goods on a specific date may invoke extra charges as that guaranteed delivery day will usually mean that your shipment won’t be consolidated with other people’s shipments to lower the costs. Shipment consolidation is normally used on long distance routes when it’s surely not cost-effective for moving companies to run half-full trucks across the country.
While negotiating the conditions of your moving contract with your selected mover, it’s vital that you have a clear understanding of what additional moving services your partner will provide and how much you will pay for each one. In order to have the problem-free move you hope to have, everything should be crystal clear between you and your mover, from Day 1 until the relocation job is done.