If you’ve hired a professional moving company to help you move, you may soon come across some additional moving costs you never expected in the first place.
It’s no secret that the home moving process can drain your budget faster than you can say your own name, so we’ve decided to help you prepare for any unpleasant financial surprises during your move.
We’ve compiled a complete list of all unexpected moving expenses – hidden, forgotten and uncommon costs – when moving out that have the potential to hurt your chances for an affordable house move. Read on to find out about these charges.
From parking tickets to stair fees, here are 12 hidden costs you should know about prior to moving day when using a moving company like Victory Van.
1. Packing services and Packing supplies (if you're packing yourself)
We recommend that you let movers do the packing for you, but if you're moving on a budget and decide to do the packing yourself, don't forget that you'll need to invest in good-quality supplies like bubble wrap, boxes, and tape.
The better quality — and therefore more expensive — supplies you buy, the more protected your things will be.
The packing service and the packing materials are an additional service offered by full-service moving companies. It’s entirely up to you to decide whether you wish to pack your items by yourself (the moving company cannot cover any possible damage to your possessions unless packing has been performed by them) or you prefer to have professional packers take care of your household items.
The required packing materials may or may not be included in the cost of the packing service. Review the cost estimate carefully to find out that detail or simply contact the moving company for confirmation.
After all, unexpected costs of moving out can come from anywhere, so you should be extra vigilant about the packing expenses. Remember that not using the right materials may become damage costs instead of savings.
2. Fee for assembly and re-assembly of furniture
Your furniture movers may surprise you with an extra charge for assembling large pieces of furniture in your current home and later reassembling those pieces in the new house or apartment.
Adding to the extra costs when moving out, you may not even be aware that beds, wardrobes, dressers and sofas will often need to be taken apart in order to be wrapped up easily and transported safely.
3. Long carry fees
One of the hidden moving expenses is the long carry fee. You will be charged extra if the movers cannot park the moving truck close enough to your doorsteps.
The long carry fee – another one of the hidden moving expenses – is a direct result of the impossibility of the moving crew to park the vehicle close to the entrance of your home. It is hard to rely on free parking spots in big cities like New York, for example. You might also need shuttles or smaller vehicles to carry your things from the moving location to the truck.
To protect your budget from taking a hit by hidden moving costs, see if there is a way to reserve a parking spot for the moving truck. You can also try to get a parking permit for your movers for the specific day and time of the move. If that is not possible, speak directly to your movers to find out their long carry fee terms and conditions.
4. Hoisting fee
Another moving expense you may not foresee is the so-called hoisting fee. Practically, if you own a really big furniture piece, a large household appliance or a specialized item that happens to be too big to fit through the doorways, hallways, or staircases of your home, then your mover might be able to offer you individual hoisting services.
A hoisting or rigging service will mean that the moving company will take that bulky and heavy item through a window or a balcony to save time, to guarantee the general safety and to avoid any property damage.
The hoisting fee can be rather costly depending on your specific set of circumstances. The reason for the high cost is the use of specialized equipment and well-trained personnel.
If you're moving into a building that has stairs but not an elevator, you might get stuck paying a stair fee. Many moving companies charge extra money if they have to lug your items up a stairwell instead of just sticking it in an elevator.
Even if your building does have an elevator, if it's not working on the day of your move your moving company might still charge you a fee. The hidden costs of moving house come in all shapes and sizes.
Ultimately, you may be rather disappointed to learn that if your building lacks an elevator or if that elevator is out of order at the time of the move, you may be charged a one-time fee.
The actual amount will depend on the moving company itself. In some rare cases, a mover may choose not to charge a flight charges fee even though the movers will be forced to carry household goods up and down the stairs due to a missing or non-operational elevator in the building.
So, if you live in a high-rise building, make sure you speak with the building management and reserve an elevator exclusively for the move so that you don’t get stunned by another one of the unexpected costs of moving.
6. Fees for moving especially bulky items
Most good movers will come to your apartment and conduct an inspection to see how much stuff you have before your move. That way, when moving day comes, they'll know exactly what they're going to be packing and transporting.
If they don't, you might be hit with some additional day-of charges. If you own any especially large or cumbersome pieces — think a piano or a pool table, make sure your movers know about that in advance so that you can be aware of the extra charges.
If your items appear to be heavier or over-sized, you may be charged with additional moving fees. This is another hidden moving expense you should be aware in advance.
Unexpected moving costs will spring up if you are moving pianos, pool tables, hot tubs, heavy metal safes or other hard-to-transport items that take up a lot of space in the moving truck.
7. Paying for separate movers to handle your valuable artwork or decorative pieces
If you own artwork or decorative pieces — like mirrors — that are especially valuable, you'll want to have professionals who are trained to handle those pieces be the ones to move them. These people will have the means to wrap your valuables individually as opposed to just placing them in cardboard boxes.
Some moving companies have an in-house division that deals with these kinds of pieces. But if the company you choose doesn't, you'll want to look into hiring separate professionals. It'll be expensive, but it's better than having to replace an even more expensive piece of art that you love.
8. Overnight fees if your movers have to hold onto your things (delayed delivery fee)
Another one of the hidden costs of moving is the so-called storage fee. Under specific circumstances, your household items may need to be stored temporarily at the mover’s storage facility (warehouse).
The most common reason for being charged a storage fee is when you request a delayed delivery of your items – for example, when your new home is not yet ready for the shipment due to renovation, repair works, paperwork problems and so on.
The storage fee should be calculated in the cost estimate after you’ve informed the moving company about the precise delivery date. Keep in mind that the longer you have your possessions in storage, the higher that extra moving expense will be. So, do all in your power to shorten that storage period in order to save from hidden moving costs.
Your move might not happen in a day. Some buildings have certain hours during which work can be done or moving can happen. If this is the case in your new building and your movers spend the whole day packing your things, it might be too late for them to actually move you in after packing you up.
While movers will hold on to your stuff overnight, they won't do it for free and you will most likely end up paying some sort of additional fee for the service.
9. A hotel stay
No one would want to sleep on a bare floor. If your move doesn't happen in a day, you might end up booking a hotel room for a night — because who wants to sleep on the floor? Even less so after a stressful, long day of moving.
10. Cash for tipping movers
One of the hidden costs of moving out with the help of a professional moving company is the expense of tipping your movers. The thing is that, during the whirlwind of move-related activities, you may not necessarily think about setting aside tipping money for your hired workers.
Nevertheless, it’s an expense you should consider in case you’re happy with the work they’ve done. At Victory Van is a practice that we do not use, but even though some happy customers insist on tipping our employees when they feel they received an exceptional service.
11. Move cancellation fee
In the last minute, your relocation plans may change or you may have decided to go with another moving company. But beware because the decision to cancel your booked move may cost you extra money.
Every moving company has their own cancellation policy. And as one of the most common hidden moving costs, you should make sure you understand its terms in order to avoid the extra moving expense.
For more than a one-week notice, you won’t normally be charged a cancellation fee, so no unexpected moving expenses incurred.
12. Spending more money on a better moving company
When it comes to choosing a moving company, most clients make the mistake of trying to save money. Cheap movers can cost you more.
Movers are expensive for a reason, and a good mover is not going to damage your things. If a good mover does damage your things, they're going to fix it.
Victory Van is the moving company you need to have a hitch free move.
So, although you might not have been planning on spending a few hundred extra dollars on your movers, you and your valuable items, will be happy you moved with Victory.
Call us for your moving quotes.