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You’ve spent months searching and have finally found your new home. Your offer’s been accepted, you’ve exchanged contracts, and you’re looking forward to moving in. Congratulations! Now the arduous task of arranging residential removal services begins, and where most people begin searching for local removal companies.

Home removal companies come in all shapes and sizes, from the “man with a van” with an advert in the yellow pages, through to multinational household names. So, which should you choose? And how can you keep your house removal costs down – because, let’s face it, buying a new home is expensive enough these days! – without compromising on quality?

Local Removal Companies

For almost all house removals, a local firm who offers residential removal services will be able to handle everything you need – often saving you money over using one of the big names. But which company should you choose? More often than not, it’s as much about making sure that you can get all the services you require at a reasonable price.

Residential Removals

Are You In A Challenging Location?

Most house removals happen between, well, houses. Some people move into, or from, a flat which can bring with it the added challenge of negotiating the stairs. However, if you live in a particularly awkward location, then it’s important to find house removal companies who are comfortable with the added challenge. Some residential removal services will not be possible if you have not informed the company prior to the removal date, and you could be left disappointed and unable to move in some of these circumstances.

If the home you’re moving to or from is (for example)…

• A top-floor flat, with a dodgy lift and only one staircase;
• A farmhouse down a narrow country lane, inaccessible to large vehicles;
• Or even something really unusual like a houseboat

…then you need to let potential house removal companies know as soon as possible so that they can work with you to understand the best way to deal with your individual circumstances.

Large, weighty, or high-value items

Perhaps you have a collection of 700 priceless porcelain teapots? Or maybe a grand piano that needs to make it into your new home undamaged? Probably not, but nevertheless we all have belongings which are valuable to us, either monetarily or for sentimental reasons.

When you’re choosing between house moving companies, it’s important to ensure that the firm you choose has enough staff, big enough vehicles, and the right experience and training to deal with any more large, heavy, or valuable items you want them to move.

If you’re in doubt, ask when you get a quotation. And if there’s something that’s especially awkward, or expensive to replace, you may want to get confirmation of the precise arrangements from your chosen house removals company in writing.

Insurance For Residential Removals

Accidents do happen, and all home removal companies should have comprehensive insurance in place to protect you and your belongings. Don’t be afraid to ask to see proof of insurance, and details of exactly what’s covered when arranging residential removals for your property.

Things to look out for include:

• Any excess that’s not included in the insurance: Does the policy say, for example, that you would have to pay the first £250 of any claim, and are you comfortable with that potentially extra cost?
• What, exactly, does the insurance cover? As a minimum, you should expect to see cover for accidental damage, negligence, and theft; however, you might also be able to get deals including cover for delays and cancellations in your move, just in case you have to postpone things at the last moment.
• Total value vs. item value: All insurance policies will have a maximum amount they will pay in the event of a claim. It’s vital that you check that, whatever the cover amount, it’s enough to replace all your belongings if necessary. You may also see a maximum amount that the insurers will pay for any one item, check that this is not lower than the value of any of your belongings.

Sometimes, it may prove difficult – or even impossible – to find local removal companies who hold the insurance that you need. If that’s the case for you, then you could try one of the bigger, national or international, residential removals firms who tend to hold higher levels of cover.

Alternatively, the house moving companies themselves can sometimes put you in touch with the insurers directly so that you can negotiate the cover you need. It’s also worth checking what, if any, insurance you already have under your home (usually contents) insurance, and advise residential removals companies with this information.

When It’s Best To Go With The Big Names

Long-distance, or especially complex, moves often need a level of experience, resource, and expertise that can sometimes best be found in the bigger name companies. This needn’t mean that you’re paying over the odds for your move, far from it. Instead, take the opportunity to negotiate with the company to make sure that you get the best possible value for money on the moving services that you need.

The bigger, national and international, house moving companies really come into their own when:

• You have a large home, and a lot of belongings to move.
• The move will involve very expensive, or highly specialist, items.
• Your move is over a long distance, or international.

That said, it is always worth getting plenty of quotes from alternative companies to see who can give you the best deal for your move.

And when a “man with a van” will do

If you’re living in a studio flat and moving to a new place the same size, or perhaps moving out of your parent’s place into a home of your own for the first time, the chances are you won’t have that much stuff to shift.

For times like this, a man with a van might do the job for you. You may even be able to get away with simply hiring a van yourself for a day, as long as you’ve got plenty of mates to help with the fetching and carrying!

Before you consider this option, though, make sure you are able to do without the benefits of a professional home removals company: things like insurance, packing materials, assistance moving furniture, and even help with the packing itself.

It’s well worth taking the five minutes to get a quote from some local removal companies, just to see what you can get for your money. And remember, van hire probably isn’t as cheap as you think!

Boxes ready for international removal

Added Extras Can Quickly Add Up

Every little added extra that you can get for free from home removals companies is one less thing that you have to pay for. Remember to find out whether the company will pack your belongings for you, or whether you will need to do it yourself. How many staff will they provide on the day of your removal, and how many boxes, rolls of packing tape and bubble wrap?

If you can find a deal where as many of these things as possible are included, not only could it save you money (though be sure to compare it to the costs of buying them in separately) it will also give you the added convenience of having everything included in one bill.

Don’t Be Afraid To Haggle Home Removal Companies

Every move is different, and every house moving company is different and will give you a different deal. Don’t be afraid to compare prices between all the different home removal companies on offer, and check out what’s included in each of the quotations.

If two companies are close in price, but the one you want is a little pricey, try asking them to match their competitor’s quote. Or see if you can negotiate a few extra boxes, or a bigger supply of bubble wrap, to make the extra cash worth it.

Finally, make sure that you get a written quote, setting out exactly what you expect and have agreed to pay for; and make sure that your move is planned, along with your removals company, in advance to help it all run like clockwork.

At Cost Compare Limited, we can help. Use our handy price comparison tool to get quotes from a range of house removal companies and find the solution that’s right for you.