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Top Tips for a stress-free move
July 14th, 2013
 
Ideally, your home move should be as safe and stress-free as possible, so What Mortgage explores the options to make your move less of a burden

Loading all your belongings into a van hired for £60 may look tempting as a home mover. And for younger movers and those who have always traveled light it could also be practical.

But for the majority of home movers, getting all your worldly possessions - including the piano and those things which might be worth something one day - moved safely from A to B requires a specialist removal firm.
In fact, the enormous range of services that some firms offer may surprise you.
Removals company Abels, for example, which has a good number of wealthy clients, offers handymen and even a personal assistant as part of its services, who can do everything from coordinating last-minute contractors to food shopping for you on the day.

“ Very few customers looking for removals firms realise just how much your firm can do for you,” says Philip Pertoldi, managing director at Abels.

“ People still have an image of removal men in brown overalls and cloth caps, but we can do anything from a full relocation to finding schools or a piano teacher for the children,” says Pertoldi.

Personal assistant services like Abels' can cost around £350 to £400 a day plus expenses, but the majority of customers for this kind of move are, unsurprisingly, the well-heeled but time-poor, or elderly customers without the support they need to pack and unpack personal items.

Solid service

But finding a removal firm you feel you can trust with high service standards is key. The British Association of Removers has over 900 member firms and is a good place to start.

The website www.removers.org.uk offers a remover locator service and a search gives you five firms in your local area and a form to fill out for a quote.

Members are inspected regularly; they receive training on everything from customer care to practical packing as well as health and safety with a code that promotes 'honesty and fairness' when dealing with customers.

“ People often underestimate the value of removal firms,” says Paul Swindon, spokes-man at BAR.

People are actually buying a service when they hire a removal company. For example, with a standard one-day move our guys can pack a room far faster and more professionally than the inexperienced. We actually also hold a competition each year for packer of the year - but that's another story,” says Swindon.

Cost

Shopping around for instant quotes on the internet, though, is not as easy as you might think. Many firms simply ask you to submit your details, but come back via e-mail or phone with your quote at a later date. So if price is your main concern, have a look for BAR-registered removal firms in the Yellow Pages and get dialing unless you have plenty of time.

But the cost of your service depends on many things, including the amount of belongings you have, how far you are moving and the extent of the services you want. If you want the firm to pack and unpack, as well as re-assemble beds or wardrobes, all this must be agreed upfront. If you need any extras like drops at storage facilities or have plans to move a pet, for example, this may also cost a little more.

Even the day you choose to move will affect the cost. “Avoid Fridays - as the busiest day of the week, demand drives up the price,” says Swindon. “Some companies even offer discounts for a mid-week move,” he says.

Insurance is another key consideration because moving home brings some obvious hazards. Some home contents insurance policies cover home moves, but always check and if not, discuss your options with the removal firm, which may be able to cover you with a single-day pay rate if they are regulated to do so.

Be prepared

You've heard it before, but preparation is truly everything when it comes to a property move.

But make sure you wait until contracts have exchanged and a completion date set, because setbacks will feel even more disastrous if, for example, you've already forwarded your mail to the 'new'address.

 

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