Understanding Storage Restrictions

Three Tips For Estimating The Cost Of Your Local Move

If you're hiring a local moving company to help you relocate your belongings, it's best to get an in-home estimate done if you want an accurate idea of how much it will cost. If you're not ready to contact anyone just yet, though, you can get a general idea of how much your move will cost using these three tips.

Determine How Long It Will Take to Move

The first thing you need to know to help you estimate your move is that local movers typically charge by the hour. Therefore, you need to figure out how long it will take them to load your stuff into the truck, drive across town, and unload it in your new home.

The amount of time it takes depends on the number of people who will be helping, how much stuff you have, and the size of your dwelling. For instance, it will take two movers approximately 4 to 6 hours to move a 900 square foot space worth of belongings. If you live in a 1,750 square foot home, you can expect the task to take up to 9 hours.

You can get time estimates from a local moving company or find the information online. Multiply the estimated number of hours by the hourly rate you can expect to pay. The average hourly rate movers charge is $25, but it may be more or less depending on where you live and the time of year. Movers tend to charge more in the summer and in big cities where demand is high. It's best to call three companies to get an approximate amount for your area and the dates you want to move.

Be aware that if you opt for packing service, it will take the movers awhile to get that task done. So be sure to add a few hours onto your estimate to account for the time needed to box up your stuff.

Add Service Charges

The actual move isn't the only charge you need to factor in. The moving company may charge additional fees, depending on the circumstances of your move. To get a ballpark estimate as accurate as possible, it's critical you add these potential costs to your total:

Stairs or elevator charge – If the movers have to climb stairs or use an elevator to get to and from your home, the company will add a charge for this to your bill. The elevator fee is typically a flat rate (usually around $75), but the company may charge a fee per flight of stairs, which can be $50 to $75 per flight.

Bulk items fee – Extra heavy items, such as pianos, will typically incur a bulk item fee. However, the amount may depend on how easy it is to access the item and get into the truck.

Long carry fees – If the mover has to park more than 75 to 100 feet away from your home, you may be charged a long carry fee for the extra effort required to pack the truck. You may be charged up to $120 for this.

Travel fee – The company will charge a travel fee for the time it takes to get to your home from the office and back again. This is typically based on the mover's hourly charge. If it takes 30 minutes for a round trip, you'll be billed half the hourly rate for the travel charge.

Include Insurance

The last thing you need to add to your estimate is the amount for insurance. Movers are required to offer basic valuation insurance for free. However, this insurance only reimburses you up to $0.60 per pound of the lost or damaged item. So you may be paid a max of $6.00 if the movers break your 10-pound, $3,000 gaming computer, for example.

If you are moving items with significant value, you may want to pay for regular insurance, which can cost about 1 percent the value of your belongings (e.g. $60 for items valued at $6,000). There's a good chance you may not need the insurance, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

For more tips on estimating the cost of moving your belongings or to schedule your move, contact a local moving company or visit a site like http://www.wheatonworldwide.com.