Home Removals FAQ's
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Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to some of the most common questions asked about home removals
This largely depends on the type of home removals company you choose. A basic man and van may only load a vehicle and deliver your goods. The more reputable and experienced removals company can offer the full suite of removal services, even within the basic moving cost. For example a high level of protection for your goods in transit.
The key to choosing your moving company, apart from the reviews, is the reputation and calibre. This is because better removal firms will employ the man who “stacks”. This is the team member who is responsible for playing the carefully skilled art of ‘Tetris’ with your belongings before the voyage from your new property has commenced. This is a skillset few possess and is acquired over years of removal projects.
Many firms offer varying levels of protection for furniture (for example, specific covers for sofas or TV’s), but the ‘Tetris’ game is the crucial variant and a priority task on your home moving day. The basic cost should cover the following:
- Safe and careful removal of goods from house to lorry.
- Some basic dismantling in order to remove goods from the current property.
- The loading and stacking of furniture (Tetris like!) into the removal lorries.
- Transport from A to B.
- Safe unloading from the lorry and into the new property.
- Location of all furniture into the correct rooms and position as instructed by you – the customer.
Insurance is a given by any reputable removals company. The level and extent of the cover you receive depends very much on the company you decide to go with. It’s always worth enquiring about the level of insurance protection and asking for a copy of the documents. Most movers offer a basic level of cover within the cost of the removal (see part 1 above). There is often the option to pay for additional cover in bands, depending on the assessment for different levels of damage cover. Every removals company should have public liability, as stipulated by their association, to a minimum of £1m cover and have individual coverage for their employees.
A standard amount of cover included in a basic moving fee usually ranges from between £10k and £50k for goods in transit. This is the main type of home removals cover that protects your goods against any damage or loss during transit when going from A to B on moving day.
Unfortunately, this is not something that is in the control of the removals company and is one of the main causes of stress on moving day. The answer to this question can rely on several variants, which are listed below and most of which you will have limited control over. It is best to plan and prepare for everything that is within your control, bar the last 1% which is on the list below:
- The position you hold in your chain – being at the top or bottom could mean delays!
- The ability of your lawyer/conveyancer
- Your Bank – speed of transfer of funds and the point at which you and your buyers get your funds in the system
- What day you choose (or have chosen) for moving day
- The ability of your moving company
- The ability of your buyer’s moving company
- Your organisation – have you packed, labelled, unwanted furniture cleared, packed by your mover, professionally?
This is heavily dependent on your position in the chain and your buyer’s ability to make vacant possession. Therefore, their organisation and quality of the removals company they have chosen is often a pretty crucial consideration. Even regardless of how fast your funds have been transferred to confirm the new property is actually yours, the speed of the previous occupant or whether the property is even vacant! There is the possibility they have made the decision not to use a removals business at all and are transporting all of their goods out of their old property themselves and have gone way over the time limits of legal completion! So in essence, it’s not your own removals company you need to be worried about!
The key point here is to be prepared yourself, pick a good home removals firm and the rest will look after itself!
This is the process by which your removal company, removes and boxes up individual pieces of furniture into cardboard cartons prior to moving day, ready for loading and moving to your new home.
For example, a sideboard contains china and glassware; which your mover will wrap, protect, box and label. This ensures it is then unpacked in the right place at the new location. It’s important not to confuse this with the basic home removals function. The key here is that contents are boxed and it goes further into the moving process, whereby your items are removed and loaded.
Exactly how well this is conducted, is again down to the reputation and quality of your chosen removals firm (check reviews!). The next precursor to packing is the level of packing or type you choose from your mover. Some removal companies offer different and varying types and some do not offer this service at all. This is sometimes a good acid test! If they can offer the full range of packing services, this often sets the precedent for how good your mover really is.
The three main types of packing are listed below:
- Full Pack – This includes everything from your kitchen to your garage contents. If you’re seriously up against it and don’t have the time, it’s well worth the additional cost to the moving fee.
- Part Pack – This is up to the customer. Some people dread their kitchen, so often choose this packing option or choose just downstairs/upstairs. It really is down to the individual.
- Breakables – Some clients have numerous items in their house which hold value and they don’t have the confidence in packing themselves. So for peace of mind and insurance purposes, they allocate the removal company to pack. It’s important to note that some items packed by the client (if packed poorly) would not be covered. It’s therefore good to ask your chosen firm about their particular policy on “self-packing”.
A good removals company will give you an estimate of the quantity and type of removal box. If you are going it alone, you should follow these simple rules:
- If it is delicate and breakable put it in a smaller, more compact box (preferably double-walled).
- If it large and light. use a larger, more spacious box. Important – Don’t overload large boxes with heavy books!
- Don’t mix contents within boxes! For example, if your packing china, keep the box only to china, do not mix it with other materials or your belongings could sustain damage.
- Buy a dedicated box for clothes called a “wardrobe carton”. These are excellent for transporting clothes and if you don’t have wardrobes built yet, they offer an excellent temporary measure for protecting those garments which you simply can’t afford to crease – like suits and dresses etc.
This is the golden question and essentially what you’re paying for! The level of protection and style conducted by your removals firm will ultimately decide how much (if any) damage occurs during your move. Most home moving companies will use some degree of protection in transit. This could be using thick moving blankets for example. When the removals vehicle arrives on moving day, these blankets should be piled neatly at the back of the vehicle. If they have plenty of blankets, this means more for your belongings and is often a good sign!
In the removals industry, there are various covers for sofas and furniture to protect against scratches, rips, tears and impacts that may arise during transit. Again if your removals company is playing the game of ‘Tetris’ correctly(!) and not overloading, there really shouldn’t be a problem! After carefully positioning and covering your items in the vehicles, your removals team will strap (after a number of stacks) in order to stop any movement. Items will also be positioned specifically to stop movement and heavier items will be positioned on the floor of the vehicle. Items with little or no weight will of course be placed towards the top.
The key to picking a good removals company is recommendation and reviews. Get a company that scores highly and you’re likely to find a winner. Often, good firms are booked up early, so getting the very best is sometimes not possible. Also, the period between exchange and completion is diminishing, especially in these trying times – battling a pandemic and a stamp duty rush! Getting a recommendation from a third party such as an estate agent often carries some weight.
Be aware of pitfalls as of course, some reviews can be fake and some agents are on retainers. If you can, get a friend’s referral and if the reviews collaborate, it’s highly likely you have found genuine reviews. Trade accreditation is something to look out for too. The speed at which your quotation is returned, the format and overall professionalism are also strong indicators of a good company.
A site visit for the survey is important but not always necessary, as long as the pricing and inventory are accurate. In this day and age, many successful moves have been achieved from inventories taken over the phone or online. If your property is on the larger side and/or has difficult access, it is advised to get the removals company out to your property in-person, to look over your particulars.
This question is frequently asked and it really is up to you. If you feel more confident with an on-site survey, then go with this – sometimes this is the best option. In light of the pandemic, we have conducted numerous surveys over the phone, which have led to very successful moves. It is important to note the mechanism by which moving details are provided, the amount that is accurate and also (to a very large extent) the “honesty” of the client.
If an accurate and honest description of goods is not provided, this can lead to disaster on moving day. The wrong vehicle and the wrong size team will be sent to the job and the move will fail. Attempting to save small amounts of money will only delay your move and your removal company on moving day. This can potentially lead to further charges if the extent of missing items becomes considerable.
If your property is on the larger side, there is a distance to cover and you require most removal services, it is advisable to get a survey at your property and if there is a substantial amount of goods, this is definitely recommended. If your property is more conservative and you don’t have a substantial inventory, a “phone inventory” may well suffice.
If you can convey all your details or have had previous quotations, sometimes even larger removals can be surveyed over the phone or online. If your removals company is serious about moving, 9/10 they will come out to your property or business – time constraints notwithstanding!