What should I consider when hiring a mover?

Consider these points when choosing a company to move your belongings.
It is not the move that causes the problems for most. It is being able to physically move the day after that usually presents the biggest challenge.

Hiring a professional moving company is the safest, easiest way to get items from point A to point B and avoid headaches and a terrible backache in the process. But consider these points when choosing a company to move your belongings:

Meet Face-to-Face
Do not accept moving estimates over the phone. In order to give an accurate estimate, the mover should survey all items being moved, including what is in the attic, basement, garage or shed. During the in-person meetings, try to determine which company is the best fit. If a moving company is pushy, confrontational, careless or slow in the bidding process, they will probably be worse during the move.

Weight Watchers
It is not polite to talk about weight, but it is a very important issue when moving. For a move between states, also known as an interstate move, professionals typically use the distance of the move and the total weight of the items being shipped to create an estimate. Although not as common, some movers will base their estimate on the amount of truck space required for the pieces being shipped. Estimates for local, or intrastate, moves are usually based on an hourly rate or the number of movers needed for the job. To easily compare estimates, be sure they all use the same variables.

There are three main types of moving estimates, and it is important to understand each so there are no surprises when the final bill arrives. A binding estimate guarantees a fixed price for the move, but additional costs can be incurred if extra services are requested or required. A "not-to-exceed" estimate ensures the customer will pay no more than the binding estimate, but they could pay less if the move is completed for a lower cost. Non-binding estimates, on the other hand, are not guaranteed. The final cost of the move will be determined once the contents are loaded and weighed, meaning the customer could pay more than they originally planned.

You Break, You Buy?
Homeowners should protect themselves and their possessions by ensuring the company handling their move is adequately insured. Professional moving companies will have varying replacement or reimbursement policies. Some may pay for the replacement cost of the item, while others may reimburse for the total value of the damaged item.

Storage Capacity
If space is a problem in the new home, a storage unit is always an option. Storage units come in a variety of types, sizes and prices. When choosing a unit, think about how long it will be needed, how often it will need to be accessed and whether or not the contents are sensitive to cold or heat. These factors and features will all affect the price.

Worth the Cost
Whether moving across town or across the country, relocating can be expensive. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the average cost of an interstate move is $4,300, and the average cost of an intrastate move is $2,300.

When hiring a mover, make sure they are certified by the AMSA, and if the move is across state lines, the company will also need to be registered with the United States Department of Transportation's Federal Carrier Safety Administration.

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