Getting an Estimate in Houston
You should get an estimate from various moving companies. You already know the questions they'll ask you; read on for several questions you should ask.
Are your crews insured? If it's a company you're not familiar with, request to see a copy of their declarations page for the business insurance policy. Request their damages policy in writing, so that if something breaks you are prepared for the claim process.
Is the hourly rate per man or for the crew? What about extra men? Most companies will provide an hourly rate for a two or three-man crew. You could believe three is excessive, but it is worth the money since that third or even fourth crewmember helps things go a whole lot faster when narrow hallways or cumbersome and heavy things are in the mix. You can have a couple of people doing disassembly and boxing or packing while others do the heavy lifting; the movers are guys who work together every day and they're a team, and they get the job done more expeditiously. It's not uncommon to have a quote for a two-man crew, and with a charge for an extra man, if needed. If your house has four or five bedrooms or you have a big garage, you may need two trucks anyway, so spring for the extra men to get it done in one day.
Do you charge for drive time? Is the crew off the clock for lunches and breaks? Companies fluctuate with the drive charges. Usually, once they get to your house, the clock is running. Frequently they will stop at a fast food restaurant and eat lunch in route to the new residence, so there isn't really any down time.
What if I just want packing help? that is fine, most companies will supply you an a la carte pricing list--you can purchase everything from boxes only to a six-man crew that will box your lawn mower if you ask. The rates for packing usually include supplies--tape, bubble wrap, newsprint paper (the unprinted and clean kind), packing peanuts, and a wide variety of box sizes. Anticipate an hourly rate quote for a packing crew as a basic estimate. Just make sure and go through the verbiage on the quote so that you are aware of exactly what is and is not included.
What if I just want moving help? Some folks like to pack together as they purge and sort, and so hiring people for that is just not constructive. Moving companies are willing to load, drive, and unload on moving day, just make sure you are aware of their policies for what they can and cannot put on the truck. For example, anything flammable or toxic can't be put on the trucks. Nail polish remover is on the prohibited list, as are most cleaning supplies, household chemicals, and paint. Firearms might not be permitted on moving trucks, so you will likely have to open any safes so that the movers can see what is inside of them.
Movers Cost More Than Your Extended Family, but They Are Insured
Professional movers are not inexpensive, but your poker buddies or family won't pay a claim if something is dented in the move. And, they are much more likely to hurt their backs or knees if they don't know the correct way to lift heavy objects.
Moving to your new home should be exciting and fun, so make the most of it by hiring experts to do the job--save the DIY for your painting and landscaping. Click to get started on your free estimate.