Hiring home removal companies - the hidden costs

Moving house is not only stressful; it’s filled with unexpected expenses, too. Moving companies tend to provide ‘reasonable’ quotes, and then surprise us with additional costs that really add up. In our panic to get the job done, we tend to overlook the practical steps that could prevent these added expenses. Here’s our simple guide to moving house without the financial worry, and a few industry quotes to give you an idea of what to expect.

Clear your cupboards
Moving items you rarely use is an unnecessary expense. The most obvious way to cut costs is to move less stuff. Before you start packing, get your cupboards sorted. Get rid of clothes you haven’t worn in a year, donate old books to a library or second hand book store and clear out old toys. Too make some extra money, you could have a garage sale or advertise old items on Gumtree or Craigslist.

Decide what to leave behind
Create a floor plan of your new house or apartment. Make sure your current furniture will fit, and look good, in the new space. Moving heavy items such as couches comes at a vast expense. If it’s not going to work, leave it behind. The same applies for fixtures such as chandeliers or ceiling fans. These items require special packaging and sometimes additional transport costs, and you may even get more value out of your home if you sell it with them included.

Do an inventory
It may be easier to take photographs or videos for your inventory – but it’s essential you are aware of each item you are moving and its approximate value. On completion, send this to your insurance provider to make sure you are adequately covered while your goods are in transit. This inventory will come in useful in the future – a good stock take will ensure you are aware of the value of your belongings.

Compare quotes – and be accurate
Now that you have an exact inventory, it will be far easier to get an exact quote. Remember – the more comprehensive you are with your details, the less chance there is of being surprised by extra expenses on moving day.
Get plenty of quotes from various companies, and play one against the other. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Try comparison websites such as Removal-companies.co.za.

Don’t pay for boxes
You can get boxes from Pick ‘n Pay, shoes stores, factory shops – pretty much anywhere that requires stock delivery. Why pay for something you can get for free? Be careful of moving companies charging for boxes.

Forget the bubble wrap
Don’t spend extra money on bubble wrap and other fancy packing materials. Wrap your breakables in towels and linen and leave a little space in the boxes with fragile items to prevent breakage. Alternatively, look on sites such as Gumtree or Craiglist – people advertise their old packing and moving materials when they’ve moved house, so you may get some goodies for free. Some moving companies don’t insure boxes you’ve packed yourself so make sure you label the fragile boxes carefully.
We sourced some good value quotes from local moving companies to give you an idea of what you should be paying. Take note of all unexpected ‘extras’.

Compare insurance quotes
Many of these removal companies will give you a quote on insuring your valuables while in transit. Don’t just accept their quote. Rather find out if your current home and contents insurance covers you while you are on the move. If not, speak to your insurance company or broker to find out if they could provide you with a better deal. Don’t forget to ask about what excess you would have to pay should you have a claim. Knowing what you need to pay upfront is vital and should determine which insurance quote you go for as well.

Criteria listed for quotes
1x Double Bed
2x Single Bed
1x Stove
1x Fridge
1x Washing machine
1x Dishwasher
1x Tumbledryer
2 x Couches
1x Dining room table
8x Chairs
2x Wadrobes
1x Dressing tables
1x TV and TV cabinet

Around about removals
Tel: +27 82 085 5235
Removal of furniture R1185

R350 call out fee
R16 per box supplied
R15 per box loaded
R20 per box packed
R100 for additional packing materials
R150 for furniture assembling and dissembling
Includes R100 000 insurance protection.  You pay half of the fee once the truck is loaded and costs have been calculated. The outstanding amount is paid upon the completion of the job.

Christo’s Transport and Storage
Tel: +27 11 683 9524/5
R 1650 for removal of furniture

R35 per box packed and unloaded
They supply five workman and supervisor.
They also request a bank payment to confirm the booking date.

Cape Town
Peters transport and storage
Tel: +27 11 683 2227
R1450 for removal of furniture

R450 for dismantling and assembling
Boxes R15 each, bubble wrap R7 per meter
Covers R25 each
R50 per box to packed and removed, min 10 boxes
Booking only confirmed upon deposit paid.

No charge on the first 10 empty boxes, and lounge suites and beds will be covered with plastic covers and bubble wrap on request. Quotation must exceed R1250.

Classic Removals
Tel: + 27 21 396 1703
R2838.60 for furniture removal    (mid month)
R3408.60 for furniture removal (month-end)

R79-80 per box packed
All risk insurance (R100, 000.00 value x 2.95%)
An excess of 10% minimum R1710 is to be paid by the customer in the unlikely event of a claim. Minimum insurance charge is R1140.00.

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*All prices and information correct at time of publication and subject to change thereafter.