Moving is rarely anything but stressful, and it’s always tempting to take a lot of the hassle out of it by recruiting external help. Moving companies can make life considerably easier when moving homes, but much like any other service, it’s always vital to check some boxes when deciding who you’ll pick.
What’s your budget? How big is your old house and your new house? How much effort are you willing to contribute to the move? Do you have everything you need for the move, or will you need help with that too? These are all important questions to keep in mind and should be on your moving house checklist, even before you enlist the aid of a moving company.
There is so much more to consider too, which can make choosing a moving company a huge headache. Luckily, Radcliffe & Rust has plenty of helpful advice to remember when deciding which moving company to pick for an upcoming move.
Consider the Costs
It should go without saying that it can cost a pretty penny to hire a moving company, and depending on the size of your old home (considering how much you’ll need to move) it may be wiser to do the job yourself. Of course, by hiring a moving company you can make the entire process much smoother and take a lot of the manual efforts & stress out of the move, but financially speaking it can be incredibly expensive to accomplish a goal that’s not only possible by yourself, but encouraged.
Estimates for moving in the UK show that the costs incurred between moving from a home with one or two bedrooms can be as much as a £300 difference, citing the wiser option as hiring a van and moving on your own. However, for larger homes, likely those occupied by families, that have three bedrooms or more it would appear that a moving company is the only way to go.
Costs can escalate if you’re not prepared though, as one important element to keep in mind when moving is ensuring that you have the appropriate packing materials. Some moving companies can provide these, but they will charge extra. For examples, some estimates have suggested that moving companies could charge anything up to an extra £450 for packing materials for larger jobs.
Just like any other service, having a referral you trust can help to separate the wheat from the chaff. Searching online can provide plenty of options, and the likes of Google My Business can often reveal a wealth of reviews from other customers, but nothing else beats the reliable word of mouth from friends and family.
Be sure to ask those close to you as to whether they’ve used any moving companies, or if you’re working with an estate agent ask them if they have any reliable movers that they trust. By taking advantage of referrals you might be able to get some money off the services too, so it’s always worth asking around.
Make Sure They’re Licensed and Insured
It seems like an obvious requirement, yet by making sure that a moving company is actually licensed and insured should be one of the first things you ascertain about them. Professional responsibility will dictate whether your belongings are truly safe or not during transit from your old home to your new one, so ensuring that a moving company is licensed and insured is vital.
This requirement generally falls under the need to ensure that a moving company is fully professional, but it can surprise you how often unreliable companies are tripped up by these basic searches. They prove that moving companies might charge more than a ‘man in a van’, but they’ll also have all parties covered if the worst happens.
Ask About Professional Accreditation
This can include even the most basic professional qualifications, such as whether they’re listed in an office. Any moving company listed under a residential name suggests that they’re either a new, inexperienced company or they’re not one that you should trust.
In the UK, the most trusted association for moving companies is the British Association of Removers (BAR), yet there are other notable associations. The Road Haulage Association (R.H.A) and the Federation of European Moving Associations (FEDEMAC) are alternative high-quality organisations, yet there are others that are worth considering for the likes of moving internationally (such as the International Federation of International Movers, or FIDI) or when moving into storage (such as the Self Storage Association of UK and Europe, the SSA).
One final note is considering passive signs that a moving company isn’t professional, such as asking for a deposit, being unsure of answers to questions as well as whether they’ve got their own van or they’ve rented one. The latter point is probably the biggest sign of unprofessionalism as any respectable moving company will have their own van or truck.
Ensure You Can Get Written Estimates on All Bids
Agreeing to a price can make all the difference when choosing between moving companies, but it’s equally important to see how the costs break down. Seeing whether each aspect of the move you’ve discussed is recognised in the bid ensures whether the moving company is fully aware of your moving requirements.
Having each moving companies bids written down will make it so much easier to compare their prices side by side. If they charge more for specific services, such as moving pianos or furniture, then it’s likely that they’re more familiar & confident in their abilities to do so.
Brief Them on Special Conditions
Many removal companies will be prepared to handle a wide variety of different conditions, but you should always ensure that the one you’re thinking of choosing can accommodate any special requirements you have. Some of the more simple points include the likes of when you’re moving, ensuring that you can book them for a specific day and time, as well as making sure they can get to your new home (i.e. whether the journey has any low bridges).
More specific points that should be briefed include special packaging for important items, such as antiques & picture frames, whether you’re bringing the likes of carpets or curtains or if there are large & cumbersome items that need more manual labour to move, like a piano or large pieces of furniture. Making sure that you and a moving company are on the same page about important points such as these can make the difference between two almost identical moving companies.
Overall, it’s a good idea to create a brief such as this to help with your moving process. By ensuring that a moving company can accommodate your needs you’ll also be able to present them with a floor plan of your new property, making special notes to reference where specific items, or simply where certain boxes, need to be placed.