How Much Do Moving Companies Cost?

Moving can be exciting!  You are about to experience a big change in your life and grow as a person. With your move you will probably have more space or less space, be in a new location, meet new people and have a new perspective on life. The main drawback to moving is the hard work involved. It’s no wonder then that so many Americans rely on moving services when it’s time to transition into a new home.

While hiring a moving company does help to eliminate the stress of moving, you may also wonder: How much do moving companies charge? Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Moving companies charge different rates based on time, distance and even the weight of items you need to move. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $50 per hour for professional movers. Here are some details on the factors affecting how much moving services cost.

What is Your House Like?

The actual size of your house may not directly affect the cost of hiring movers. What it does determine is how much stuff you have inside. Home Advisor estimates that people pay average moving costs of about $12 to $16 per square foot of usable space in their home. People with more minimalistic décor or who chose to sell and donate a large amount of their furniture pay less money per square foot.

Another factor that may affect the cost of moving services is the type of home. Do you live in a flat or on the ground floor? These moves may be cheaper. If movers have to navigate several flights of stairs or need to move large furniture through windows, you can expect the bill to go up. Moving may also cost more if you live on a busy street with limited parking or if the parking lot is some distance away from the door to your apartment, condo or townhome.

What Specific Moving Services Do You Need?

Movers handle a lot of different tasks. How many of these you decide to tackle yourself helps to answer the question of how much is a moving company. Here are a few things that may cost you extra money.

Moving Services 

Most moving companies expect you to get your own moving supplies, but not all. If a company has a special relationship with local dealers, they may provide you with helpful items:

  • Boxes
  • Tape
  • Padding
  • Labels

For belongings that are fragile or must conform to specific interstate laws for transportation, the movers may also provide supplies just for this to ensure compliance.

Packing Up

The part of moving that many people hate most is packing up. Movers tend to have a hands-off policy where this is concerned, but you may be able to find companies that provide this as part of their moving services. If not, try looking for companies that specialize in helping people to pack up all their belongings. Be sure to hire trustworthy people for this job, especially if they will have access to valuables and personal items.

Liability Coverage

It’s easy to believe that because a company is moving your belongings, you’re covered if anything happens to them. Some companies may offer complimentary insurance, but in most instances, you need to purchase liability insurance separately. Basic insurance is about $0.60 per pound of items moved. If you have more expensive furniture and items of sentimental value, you may want to consider comprehensive coverage instead.

When Do You Plan to Move?

As you may have already guessed, when it comes to calculating how much does a moving company cost, date plays a role. The season you use moving services may cause prices to soar. According to LegalShield, the peak moving season begins on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day weekend. This is when most states enjoy the best weather, making it safer to drive and easier to move items without damaging them.

You may be able to save a few bucks by moving in the fall or winter instead but beware of the risks. Moving in the morning also tends to be cheaper. You can save even more money by moving in the middle of the month and on a weekday, as these tend to be the days when movers have the lowest demand. Note that when it comes to moving services, Friday essentially counts as part of the weekend.

Is This a Local or Long-Distance Move?

Some people define local moves as intrastate and long-distance moves as interstate, but this can be misleading. If you live near a state line, a 100-mile move could take you further inward, while a 10-mile move could take you into another state. Because of this, most movers use miles when calculating what constitutes a local or long-distance move. Keep in mind that this varies by business. If the move is long-distance, a company may charge a per-mile rate for the drive rather than an hourly rate. This is similar to how commercial truck drivers get paid.

Note that some companies specialize in moving people far distances, while others may choose not to take on such jobs. To prevent a last-minute cancellation when requesting moving services, be specific about the distance and locations. You should also keep in mind that different states may have their own laws regarding moving, as well as what you can transport across state lines and how. These laws can cause movers to charge higher or lower fees. It may also affect the route they decide to take, which may tack on miles to your move but keep you out of trouble.

Are you planning to move in the next few months? Use this moving checklist to get a head start with some of the important tasks moving services won’t cover. When you’re ready to hire the best contractors for the job, we can help you find a moving company with fees as low as $250. Enter your zip code to get started.

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