Buying, selling and moving a house can be one of the biggest and most important events in your life. You may consider moving yourself but never underestimate just how big an undertaking that is. The safe relocation of furniture, antiques, pianos etc. is a time consuming and difficult job if it is not something you are used to doing.
Packing itself is a job sometimes better left to the professionals. Consider the 'average' 4 bedroom house which could need somewhere in the region of 120-180 boxes that can take around 15 to 30 hours to pack and that is without sorting through, looking at old forgotten photos and keep-sakes which will definitely draw the packing process out. Now think about how many 'spare' hours you have in the evening and how long you have until 'move day'.
Choosing a Removal Company will ease the stress of the move and allow you to concentrate on everything else. As with any service or business, word of mouth recommendations count. Ask friends, family and your estate agent if they have any recommendations. There are a lot of local, cheap removal companies out there who may say all the right things during the quotation and pre-move but how many of them would get recommended or used again by previous customers?
As a starting point, look for companies that are registered under the British Association of Removers (BAR). For over 100 years the BAR have worked to promote professional excellence within the Removal Industry by ensuring registered companies adhere to high professional standards set by their membership criteria and Code of Practice (which is approved by the Trading Standards Institute). Word of mouth and recommendations go a long way but if you do not know anyone that can recommend a reputable Local or National Removal Company then try an independent reference company such as ReferenceLine that give previous customers the opportunity to provide feedback on the company and the move.
Still struggling to even find a company to approach? A quick search on Yell.com, Thompson Local, Cyclex Business Directory, Facebook or even Twitter will give you a good number of Removal Companies to sort through. Your time is precious so do your homework and shortlist 3 companies of similar reputation and standards and call them to arrange for a quotation. You should hopefully then be provided with formal typed quotations detailing every aspect of the move and company information. It is important to establish key points early on:
Your belongings are valuable and you want to make sure the company offers adequate insurance liability cover in the unfortunate event of a claim.
Who exactly will be doing the move on the day? A lot of Removal Companies employ men on a zero hours contract, use part time or 'casual' staff as well as agencies. Are these really the best men for the job? All of the staff at Gentle Giants are full-time, professional Removal Men. They work day after day looking after other peoples possessions during the move and really do care about every move. Make sure your chosen Removal Company can re-assure you of the same.
What size vehicles do they operate? There are many more 'man and van' outfits to choose than there are reputable Removal Companies and they may well offer you an unbelievably cheap price compared to a Professional BAR-registered Removal Company. If you have an average size or large household removal to plan, the chances are you will need a company that holds an 'O-licence' and has a fleet of vehicles other than 3.5 tonne Luton vans to accommodate the volume of personal effects and furniture that needs to be moved.
If in doubt, ask for references. Here at Gentle Giants Removal Company we are proud of our reputation. We receive 90% of our work through repeat custom and recommendation.
Ask for examples of how they would handle certain items, what methods or materials they would use.
Plan ahead as much as possible and keep in touch with your chosen Removal Company prior to the move. We always say to our customers we would rather they phone us daily to check on availability than wait until after exchange [of contracts] when it might be too late. Until you have confirmed dates for your move, it is very hard for a Removal Company to book you in, unless they offer postponement waiver insurance. You may ask them to 'pencil you in' but remember they probably have hundreds of customers all in the same situation all asking to be 'pencilled in'. It just isn't possible and if you don't keep in touch with them to establish their availability you may be disappointed once you do finally phone them to book your removal.
Above all else remember that this is a major event and you are employing someone to look after ALL of your clothes, personal effects, and furniture. Don't accept a quotation based purely on a cheap rate. Instead of thinking "why is everyone else so expensive?" ask "why they are able to do the move so cheaply compared to other companies?" Get recommendations and ask as many questions as possible before during and after your quotation to make sure you have chosen the right company to look after your move.