You’ve found your dream property, your offer was accepted, the house survey was all fine, and you’re now preparing for the big move. Whether it’s a local move across town or an international relocation to another country, choosing the right removal company is key to ensuring the process goes smoothly and your possessions arrive safely at their destination.
With so many firms to pick from, how do you find one that will get the job done professionally without unexpected hassles or charges?
This article offers comprehensive advice on researching and selecting a trustworthy company, avoiding common pitfalls when briefing them on the job, tips for preparing your items and home for the movers, what to look out for during and after your house removal, and steps to take if something does go awry.
Choosing a Removal Company
The first and most critical step is doing your homework to pick a reputable and reliable removal firm. Experts in house removals will literally be handling everything you own, so you want to be confident they will treat your possessions with care and not damage or lose anything during the house removal process.
When researching potential moving companies, there are a few key indicators of quality services to look for:
Check Credentials and Reviews
Professional associations like the British Association of Removers (BAR) require member companies to adhere to codes of practice and standards around quality, training procedures and complaint handling. Choose a BAR-approved remover over one without proper accreditation.
Additionally, don’t just take a company’s word about great service. Spend time reading through online customer reviews on sites like Trustpilot as these will reveal if past clients had positive or negative house removal experiences. Look for removers with consistently high ratings over many years in business.
When comparing removal quotes, ensure you get a complete breakdown of all costs, including packing materials, insurance fees, mileage rates, labour charges per hour, and any additional services or supplies you may need during your house removal. Beware of very lowball quotes that seem too good to be true – high-quality movers with trained staff and proper insurance know their service costs and will charge fair rates.
Also, find out exactly what is covered if possessions get lost or damaged and the time limits for submitting claims. Basic liability often has limits that may not fully cover all your belongings. Consider added insurance for fragile items or high-value possessions like artwork or jewellery.
An established remover should be able to handle all aspects of house removals from start to finish. This includes providing boxes and packing materials if you want help packing, having trained staff and appropriately sized vehicles to carefully move all your items, offering secure short or long-term storage solutions for possessions that won’t fit in your new home right away, and even helping disassemble and reassemble furniture as needed.
Make sure to clarify what specific offerings they have so nothing gets missed on moving day. Know in advance if you need to hire speciality movers for a piano or arrange appliance disconnections yourself.
Preparing for Your House Removals
Once you’ve booked a removal company, the next step is packing your home and belongings before the movers arrive. This will ensure a stress-free move on the big day and prevent forgotten items or unpacking headaches later.
Detail Your Possessions
First, walk through your entire house, including the loft, garage and outbuildings and create a detailed inventory of what is being moved. Note the number of boxes per room, any furniture pieces too large or heavy for you to move yourself as well as special care items like artwork that will require professional wrapping and packing during your house move.
Provide this full manifest and floor plans of your old and new homes to the removal company so they can plan appropriately. Ensure to inform them about any access issues like long driveways, tight stairwells or small elevators that could impede the moving of large pieces of furniture.
Organize and Declutter
Now is the perfect opportunity to declutter your living space and dispose of things you no longer need or want. Sort through every closet, cabinet and drawer and set aside any items not worth packing and moving to your new home. Organize what remains by room into “Essentials”, “Nice to Haves” and “Maybe’s” so you and the movers know what gets top priority for transport.
Pro tip: avoid filling boxes with too much stuff that makes them overly heavy to lift. And clearly label boxes by room and contents to streamline unpacking later.
Protect Special Items
Use extra care when packing fragile possessions like china, crystal items or cherished photos and mementoes you want to be protected during your house removals. Wrap each piece securely with bubble wrap and paper to cushion it inside the box. Mark these “Special Care” boxes clearly so movers know to handle them gently and not overstack other heavy boxes on top during loading and transport.
Consider having professionals custom-crate large artwork musical instruments like a piano or pool table that could easily get damaged if not properly disassembled and wrapped. Fees apply but it’s worth safeguarding precious or costly items.
During and After Your House Removals
The big day has arrived, and the movers are at your door, it’s time to oversee the packing and loading process. Here’s what to add to your moving checklist and what to watch for during your house move and once unloading finishes at your new home.
Oversee the Move
It’s always smart to be onsite from start to finish during your house removal in case any questions come up. Plus, you can make sure boxes and furniture get loaded methodically and fragile possessions wrapped in blankets or padding for protection in the truck. Provide refreshments to keep movers happy and steer clear of doorways while large items get manoeuvred out.
Important: Have your detailed inventory list handy so you can check boxes and furniture off as they load onto the truck. This prevents disputed claims later about items not arriving at your new home.
Understand Payment Terms
Many removal firms require partial payment upfront before your house removal date and final payment once unloading finishes. Others may expect the full amount due upon job completion. Have cash or a valid credit card on hand to quickly finalize payment so movers can be on their way. Any disputes over damaged items would get handled separately later through an insurance claim process.
Submit Claims Properly
Hopefully, no possessions get lost or damaged during your house move but occasionally accidents happen. Thoroughly inspect all items as soon as unloading finishes, not weeks later. Report any missing inventory or damage immediately and take photographic evidence. Submit claims in writing within the time limits stated in your removal contract to get issues resolved promptly based on the insurance coverage you selected.
What to Do if Things Go Wrong
Despite best efforts picking a reputable removal firm and preparing diligently for your house removal, occasionally situations arise with movers running late, wanting to charge more halfway through the move or wares arriving in less than ideal condition. Here are smart steps to take if troubles pop up:
Follow Complaint Procedures
Every professional removal firm should outline formal complaint procedures in the contract you signed. Send written notification within specified time frames about any disputes over services not rendered per the original quote or reimbursement needed for possessions that disappeared or got harmed during transport.
If a satisfactory resolution does not occur within reasonable time periods, escalate the grievance through arbitration processes stated in your agreement. This usually involves accredited third-party mediation to settle unresolved complaints.
Seek Damage Reimbursements
Hopefully, you purchased additional insurance to cover the replacement value of speciality items or high-priced possessions that outpaced the basic coverage caps stated in your house removal contract. File detailed claims, including photographic evidence and receipts wherever possible, proving original purchase prices for items lost or damaged by the movers.
Even without extra insurance, the basic liability of most removal firms should cover some reimbursement for broken or missing goods – though likely not full replacement value. Persist in pursuing fair restitution through all channels, including small claims court if needed, until a reasonable settlement occurs.
The key is keeping documentation about all belongings to simplify claims and having a carefully vetted mover minimize what can go astray during hectic house removals in the first place!
Tipping and Extra Charges
Beyond quoted house removal fees, additional costs often come up so be prepared with a buffer in your budget. Moving crews appreciate tips as part of their total compensation – and happier movers typically provide better service! The industry standard is around 10% of the total bill for removal workers.
If stairways prove trickier than envisioned to manoeuvre large pieces of furniture around, removal firms may charge staircase carry fees on the spot. The same goes for exceeded mileage beyond original estimates if your new home is further away than planned. Be reasonable and accommodating within limits if legitimate issues crop up rather than risk losing your movers halfway through an unfinished house removal job.
Have snacks, cold refreshing drinks and cash on hand for tips to keep the packing and loading process running smoothly from start to unload. Remaining flexible and appreciative of crews working hard goes a long way towards a stress-free moving experience.
Planning ahead goes a long way towards a smooth house removal free of last-minute surprises or damages. Spend time upfront finding a reputable mover, prepping your items and home access points for their arrival and overseeing the loading process.
Know exactly what is covered if items get lost or broken, and remain engaged throughout your move. While the vast majority of house removals go off without issues, it always pays to have trusted professionals handle your precious possessions. Follow the recommendations here, and you can have confidence in hiring a removal firm that won’t let you down!