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Moving Estimates: What You Need to Know

September 14th, 2018 - 8:31 AM

Estimating moving costs

Each moving company needs different information to provide a price. You may be asked things like how many rooms you have in your home, if the house has stairs, or if you’ll need help packing and loading. Or you may be required to have an agent come to your house to provide an estimate. Understanding the different ways movers determine pricing can help you make the best, most convenient decision. Take a look at some common methods and learn how to make the most of your moving budget.

estimate moving costs

How to get moving quotes from movers

In-home vs. online

When people think of moving estimates, many imagine in-home estimates performed by full-service movers. This is where they schedule a time, come to the house, take a look at everything in the home and approximate the weight of the shipment. Because full-service companies base their prices on weight, they have to see inside every cabinet, closet and storage area to be as accurate as possible.

U-Pack® estimates moving costs over the phone or online when you’re getting a quote. After answering a few questions, we’ll help determine how much space you’ll need, which is flexible based on how you pack and load your items. It’s an easier, less-invasive process than full-service estimates and more accurate than truck rental estimates (which rely on you to pick the correct truck size based on their suggestions). It also helps keep costs down by not having to send representatives to your home before the move.

Weight vs. space

As mentioned above, full-service movers use the weight of your items to determine the cost. However, not all moving companies use weight to determine the price. U-Pack has a slightly different way: space used in the equipment. Here’s how it works:

If you choose our moving trailer, we’ll tell you how many linear feet you’re likely to use. However, we also tell you the “per foot adjustment” rate, so you’ll know how the price will change if you use more or less space (just add or subtract for every foot). Since you do the packing and loading, you’re able to monitor and control your costs as you load.

ReloCube moving containers also keep the price flexible. We’ll estimate how many Cubes you’ll need, but will only charge for the ones you use. For example, most three-bedroom homes require3-4 containers. If you have 4 Cubes delivered, but only use 3, you only pay for 3! It’s convenient, and also lets you control your price.

Check for additional costs

Make sure you understand what additional costs could be added to your moving estimate. With full-service movers, you may be charged extra for “long carries,” where they have to park farther from your door and carry belongings to the truck. You may encounter fees for stairs as well. With U-Pack, the price includes the moving equipment, transportation, fuel and liability coverage — so there are no surprises.

Learn more about all of the moving costs here

Understand what the estimate does and doesn't include

There’s more to moving than just the physical transportation of your belongings, and each moving company may include different services in their overall estimate. For example, while full-service movers include packing, loading, transportation and unloading in the base price, it may be better for your budget to add only the services you need.

We find that most people can handle the packing part, but may need help loading or unloading. So if it’s loading assistance that makes traditional movers more appealing, there are options to help you save! If that sounds like a scenario you’d like, we can refer you to affordable help for loading and unloading. They can help a little (by only carrying heavy items for a minimum amount of time) or be there to assist with the entire loading and unloading process.

On the flip side, you might need an extra service that’s not already included in your moving estimate (like expedited transit). While full-service movers can take 4-6 weeks to deliver your belongings, U-Pack typically averages 2-5 business days. And if you need it even faster, we have other transit options available. You can also add storage or moving boxes and supplies if needed. The ability to customize your move just the way you want allows you to only pay for the services you need.

Ready to check prices?

Get a moving quote online from U-Pack, and see how prices compare. Or if you’d prefer to talk to someone who can help you get a quote or explain your moving estimate, leave us a comment or call 800-413-4799.

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