For most families, hiring a moving service is a must. But don’t just assume that the number you see on your initial contract is the final price you’ll be paying when all is said and done. Most moving companies offer a bunch of accessorial services (for an extra fee), and many times these services aren’t included in the moving estimate. Not only that, but many of these extra services aren’t always your choice.
Here are some extra fees you could be stuck with when the movers have finished the job.
Disassembling and Reassembling Furniture
Furniture such as beds and shelving units typically need to be taken apart before removing them from the house and transporting them to your new residence. If you want the movers to do this for you, you’ll probably have to pay extra for this service. The same goes for assembling the parts once your final destination is reached. While it’s not fun to dish out extra cash, this service can prove to be valuable, as it’ll save you a lot of time and hassle.
Packing and Unpacking
The packing process is probably the most time-consuming and annoying part of moving. Not only do items need to be boxed according to where they belong, many items – such as vases, dishes and glasses – need to be individually wrapped in order to protect them from damage during the move. And once you get to your new home, these things will most likely have to be washed after you’ve unboxed and unwrapped them.
If you don’t have the time to do this yourself (or simply don’t want to deal with this pesky task), the movers can do it for you – for a fee, of course. And if you want the movers to collect the packing materials and discard them, you’ll pay an additional fee for that too.
Climbing Many Flights of Stairs
Many moving companies will charge you extra if they have to go up more sets of stairs than they initially were aware of. Since this requires extra manpower and effort, they’ll charge either by the extra step or per flight of stairs. If you live in a two- or three-story house with a bunch of bedroom furniture to bring to the top floor, you can bank on having extra fees tacked onto your final bill.
If you’ve got access to an elevator (such as would be the case in an apartment or condominium building), this can partially resolve the issue. Just be wary that movers might even charge for the time needed to wait for the elevator. That’s why you should always reserve a time slot for a specific elevator with the building’s property manager before the scheduled date of the move.
Handling Delicate Items
Movers are not liable for any items that might get damaged during the move. They’re also not responsible for handling extra heavy or bulky items, such as hot tubs, pool tables and grand pianos, which require special packaging and handling. They’re also not responsible for disconnecting and connecting appliances. If you expect the movers to handle these items and make these connections, you’ll probably be looking at extra fees for this service.
If the furniture you’re moving out of your soon-to-be old home doesn’t fit through the doorways or narrow staircases, the movers will have to come up with another way to get it out – many times through the windows. If that’s the case, a special rope-and-pulley system will be required to take the furniture out of the house, or even into your new home if necessary. This service will undoubtedly come at an additional price, and will only be offered if the movers even have this specific equipment and the skill needed to perform the job safely.
If the movers have to park their truck a number of feet away from your home’s entrance, they might charge you extra for these long hauls down the driveway. If your front yard has a driveway that’s at east 75 feet long, you’ll want to make sure the contract has a stipulation in there that the movers will make the trek at a previously agreed-upon price. If you live in a multi-dwelling complex, do yourself a favor and reserve a parking spot for the movers’ truck right in front of the entrance to your new home.
Moving fees and additional services and their rates will vary among companies. Do some homework on all your options before you make a decision and make sure all the specific services requested and their associated fees are clearly specified in the mover’s contract.