Iterstate Moving Faq

How is my moving estimate calculated? Will a sales person come to my home?

Answer: You should always have a salesperson come to your home to perform a moving estimate. Generally, moving companies have a cost per room based on room size but an in-home visit is important because there are often intangibles to work out. An in-home visit makes it harder to revise the final cost upward.

Your estimate is formed through several factors. Weight is the primary factor and the one your salesperson will focus on the most. Other issues that the sales person will address in arriving at your estimate include: distance, time of year, access to the pick-up and delivery locations, packing considerations and insurance.

My moving estimate was given in cubic feet. Is this common?

Answer: A majority of interstate moving companies give their estimates in terms of weight. Some, however, do give their estimates in terms of cubic feet. Their rational is that this is how much space the goods will take up in their truck. In reality, it just gives the company the opportunity to add hidden charges if they care to.

Does my estimate include taxes?

Answer: Any estimate that you receive from a moving company should have individual line items and a description of what that line item is. If your moving estimate is a lump sum you may want to ask for a break-out of costs or look for another company.

Can my moving estimate change over time?

Answer: If you let your estimate sit for a longer period of time it could change a bit giving the price of gas these days. Generally, however, you should always make sure to have an estimate that gives a “not to exceed” clause in it. If you do not get this clause you may need to look for another mover.

Do moving companies provide moving insurance?

Answer: Most moving companies do provide moving insurance. The rate you receive for moving insurance is mostly determined by the weight estimate you are given although you may want to increase your limits if a particularly expensive piece of property is being moved. If the moving company does not offer moving insurance you will want to take out a policy through your agent or a third party. Not having moving insurance leaves many holes to trouble with regard to your life’s property. If your mover does offer moving insurance be sure to ask for a copy of it and not verbal confirmation.

Will I pay more for my move if it takes longer to load and unload the truck?

Answer: If your move is a long haul move your moving company will likely give you a flat rate for the move. If the move is a local one there can be an estimate for the amount of time that the loading and unloading should take. If this is the case you may want to ask for a few references to see if loading times were accurate.

If a moving company takes apart an item to move will they change extra?

Answer: Generally, a moving company will not charge extra to take apart larger items. If they do it should be included in the estimate. In some instances the moving company may take apart an item and then package the parts into an additional box to inflate the cost. This is not necessarily ethical but it can happen.

Will a moving company use moving supplies to move my items? If they do will they charge me for them?

Answer: The moving estimate should include a listing of all the moving supplies they plan on using. Usually, the materials take the form of boxes and wrapping paper. These supplies can add to the overall cost of the move significantly so you may want to price out supplies on your own and have them ready for the movers. Often the moving company adds a mark-up to the materials costs so shopping around can save you money.

What do I do if something is broken or missing after the move is complete?

Answer: If you find that an item is missing, after the move, keep looking for it. It is like about but hiding. Check the inventory sheet and see if the items’ number made it onto the truck and then off the truck. If it did it is somewhere. If an item is broken make sure to report it to the foreman immediately so he can make a note on the inventory sheet. Remember, the foreman cannot do anything about the insurance so don’t get upset with him.

Does the moving company supply boxes for the move? If so, do I get charged for them?

Answer: Yes. The moving company will supply boxes for the move. Generally, a certain number of boxes are supplied in the base moving estimate and then an additional charge is added after that number. You can supply the boxes yourself and save quite a bit of money as differing boxes cost differing amounts. Many of the boxes can be a bit pricy so shopping around can be a real savings.

Does a moving company charge extra for moving fragile or heavier items?

Answer: If you use a phone estimate it is very likely that you will find extra charges piling up for items that do not usually fall within what the moving company includes within its’ idea of what belongs in a typical room. This is why an in-home estimate is always better. If an in-home estimate is done then the estimate will likely cover heavier or fragile items that you may care to add insurance on. Generally, this is because moving companies usually base their estimates on weight.

In either event you should always make sure that your estimate is in written form and that you ask a lot of questions once you have a chance to sit down and take a look at it. There are many ways for a moving company to estimate a move at the lower end of the spectrum to get the job only to inflate the final cost as the job progresses.

Your biggest advantage lies in creating a paper trail of questions and answers. Use e-mail to ask your questions so that the moving company must respond in kind. In either event, your estimate should always have a “not to exceed” clause in it so that you do not expose yourself to over charges. Each moving company does things a bit differently so making sure that you ask questions can save you quite a bit of money.

If you happen to be pricing around before you begin to ask for an in-home estimate based on weight you might consider what moving companies use as a guide per room based on weight. You can then ask for a price based on per weight as a comparison guide before the actual rate is given from an in-home estimate to determine special conditions. Remember that questions are you primary power tool. Keep notes for comparison. Room weights are generally:

A partial move = Under 2,000 pounds
A studio residential move is an estimated 2,000 pounds
A one bedroom residence move is an estimated 2,900 pounds
A two bedroom residential move is an estimated 4,500 pounds
A three bedroom residential move is an estimated 7,700 pounds
A four bedroom residential move is an estimated 9,000 pounds