Moving Guide – How Costs Are Determined
Moving can be a confusing time, trying to keep track of everything that needs to get done. Hiring a professional moving company helps eliminate some of the stress associated with moving your belongings. However, while trying to keep your costs in check, you may wonder how moving estimates are determined. Most moving companies use their own method to figure out your moving costs. Professional movers should offer free moving estimates. Generally, it’s a fairly simple process.
The first step in a moving estimate is a pre-move survey. This process requires a moving company representative to visit your home and visually survey all the items you plan to move. This survey is conducted under no obligation but will be necessary to determine what your move will require from the moving company, thus determining your moving quote.
During this visit, you can discuss special items that need to be moved such as cars, boats, antiques and pianos. It is imperative that you include all the areas of the home that contain items that need to be moved including some of the larger, more congested areas such as the basement, attic or garage. Remember, each space of your home is critical in determining your moving estimate. The moving company must see everything you are moving in order to get an accurate assessment for your moving quote.
During this visit, it would also be an appropriate time to discuss the procedures and policies of the company, as well as moving timelines for the company. For example, how many movers they will use to move your items, how long it generally takes, etc. Once the pre-move survey has been conducted, an individualized moving plan is developed for every phase of your move.
Where your Money Goes
Moving costs are determined by the actual net weight of your belongings and the mileage moved. Before your belongings are loaded onto the moving truck, the truck is weighed on a certified scale—this is called the “tare” weight. After your belongings have been loaded, the truck is weighed again—this is the “gross” weight. The difference between the two weights is called the “net” weight. The net weight is what is used to determine how many pounds of goods you actually moved. Mileage is then determined using a standard, published mileage guide. The two together will determine your moving fees.
Since most moving companies offer additional services for a fee, don’t forget to include any services you’ve enlisted into what you have budgeted. For example, if you hire the moving company to pack your home for you, you will be charged based on the number of cartons packed. Professional movers use special techniques to ensure they minimize your packing expense. However, it will add up quickly. Also, enlisting the company to unpack your items and dispose of the empty cartons will also require an additional fee.
With some moving companies, it is customary to tip your movers once the job is complete. This is generally 15 percent of your overall moving fee. This is to reward a job well-done and to thank your movers for reliable, courteous and professional service. To make it fit into your budget, figure this amount in your total before the bill is presented.
Finally, talk with your moving representative ahead of time to determine how you will pay for your move. Many moving companies don’t accept personal checks so have a credit card, certified check or cashiers check available for payment once your belongings arrive. Most likely you will already have paid a deposit to secure your date and time. That amount will go toward your final bill.
Figuring out how moving costs are determined can be as simple as speaking to your moving service representative about what the costs entail. Keeping ahead of the game will keep your costs and sanity in check.