Key Factors To Help Separate Mediocre Houston Moving Companies From Reputable Professionals

With a thriving and multifaceted economy, excellent higher education schools, top sports teams, and a world class performing arts culture, it’s no surprise that the Bayou City has become a top destination for those relocating for work, school, or a new take on life. As the energy capital of the United States, the city has seen enormous growth in the last decade. With the popularity of Houston, TX growing, moving companies have become a dime a dozen, with hundreds of new ones popping up every few years.

When moving, home and business owners want to find trusted and reputable movers. After all, they are looking to entrust a business will all their belongings during an extremely stressful life event. Selecting movers should be done only after the proper research has been done. Yet the sheer amount of information out there can be overwhelming and confusing. When looking for movers, how can home and business owners separate the fly by night businesses with reliable experts?

There are a few key signs that will distinguish true professionals from other amateur Houston, TX moving companies.

Proper Licensing

In Texas, all movers must display the TXDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) number on every vehicle in their fleet. This number proves that the company has all the necessary certifications and licensing to operate in Texas. This number also allows customers to search the company via the Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration (FMCSA) for current issues. A company without TXDOT registration is likely not operating at a truly professional level.

Bonded & Insured

When searching for Houston, TX moving companies, check for a firm that is licensed, bonded, and insured. These factors help to protect the customer and the business in the event of any unfortunate accident along the way. This includes coverage for damaged or lost items, which could make or break any move.

Customer Reviews

Likely the best indicator of the type of service a company offers is their past customers’ reviews and recommendations. Online searches can reveal a lot about a company’s reputation. In addition, the Better Business Bureau (the BBB) has a database where customers can read past reviews as well as see any negative black marks that the business might have against them and the resolution by the company.

Contract Offered

Many Houston, TX moving companies will not offer contract agreements. This is a red flag for customers, as the contract is what helps guarantee a certain level of service. From dates, costs, insurance coverage explanation, and more, a contract offers many benefits to the customer as well as the business.

Long Business History

Nearly anyone can grab a truck and call themselves a moving company, but when a business has a long history of doing business in the same area, customers can find peace of mind knowing they’re going into business with a reputable and trusted company.

When searching for Houston, TX moving companies, be sure to invest time into researching the company before investing money. By finding a professional company that meets all the above criteria, home and business owners can check one very important thing off their to-do list and feel confident in doing so.

What To Consider When Figuring Piano Moving Cost

Moving a house full of furniture is difficult enough, but when there’s a piano in the mix, it’s not a good idea to work with amateurs. Pianos, both upright and grand, demand a lot of attention even from knowledgeable and reputable movers. There’s no easy way to do it, and everyone involved has to be ready to sweat. Still, the allure of saving money can tempt do-it-yourselfers into going it alone, but this would be a major gamble. Any mistake during the process can leave a valuable instrument scuffed up, or worse, and the risk of injury is significant. The only reliable alternative is to find a moving firm that has experience in this area, and even then, it’s best to locate several options for further review.

Music to a Homeowner’s Ears

Pianos are among the heaviest instruments available, and some ornate pipe organs are, in fact, the heaviest instruments in the world. And though most homeowners aren’t moving a massive pipe organ, even a standard upright piano can weigh up to 800 pounds. Some grand pianos are even larger, clocking in at a scale-busting 1,200 pounds. That’s some heavy music.

The piano’s sheer bulk is the limiting factor for most do-it-yourselfers, as it’s not something that can be done with just a few pairs of hands. And even if someone has a truckload of friends who are willing to help out, someone is bound to wrench their back or twist a knee without the proper training in handling these instruments. If stairs are involved, it can be a complete nightmare.

This is where professional piano movers should be allowed to take over, especially if there are special considerations regarding the layout of the property. Experienced piano movers have seen it all, so they have the equipment solution for even the most challenging situations. Specifically, though, this is how a reputable piano mover can make the job easier:

  1. Professional movers can navigate challenging obstacles – Stairs can make this task difficult, forcing people into precarious positions and increasing the chances of injury. But there are even worse situations, like getting the piano out of a confined upstairs apartment, or even out of a high rise. It is in these settings where experienced piano movers really shine, as they have the equipment and experience to get the instrument out of some tough spots. If necessary, professional movers can even employ cranes to get the piano out of the building.
  2. Professional movers can ensure the piano’s safety – A piano is usually one of the most prized possessions someone owns, so it has to be treated as such. That’s easier said than done, though. Both the piano and everything around it are at risk of sustaining damage during a move. One slip, and 1,000 pounds of instrument will rip through the wall, or take out a banister. And if the piano is dropped or slammed against something, the resulting repairs may cost hundreds, or even thousands. That’s why experienced piano movers work hard to protect the instrument from harm, using dollies, hump straps and skidboards to guard every side of the piano and to keep it under control while lifting.
  3. Professional movers carry insurance – The mere act of lifting a piano can throw out a back, and is something to avoid without the proper training. But even among experienced professionals, injuries can happen. When they do, it’s the moving firm’s insurance that will assist the hurt worker. If the moving firm is not insured, the property owner may be responsible for the worker’s medical expenses – a situation no one wants to find themselves in. Insurance is an extremely important thing to have, and is something that piano owners should inquire about before entrusting their instrument to a crew. In general, experienced, reputable firms will have all the insurance they need. It’s the less professional outfits that need to be regarded with caution in this respect.
  4. Professional movers know how to transport a piano – It’s not enough just to get the piano onto the truck. In some respects, that’s the easy part. Transporting it, even locally, has to be done with expert care or the piano will smash against the truck’s walls or tumble over. This frustrating scenario is more likely if the instrument is to be moved long distance or internationally. But no matter how far the piano is going, it needs to be handled by an experienced truck driver, and secured by an experienced crew.

By the Numbers

There isn’t really a set price for moving a piano, as the final tally will depend on a number of factors. Some of those factors include the size and weight of the piano, the layout of the property, the distance the piano is to be moved, the kind of equipment that is needed to complete the job and the time of the year. Assuming no particularly challenging conditions exist, costs usually range from $250, for an upright piano, to $650, for a parlor grand piano. If the piano has to be carried over a longer distance or downstairs, there may be an extra fee. And if a crane is required to pull the piano out of a window, then an extra fee will be tacked on as well. The best way to get a firm price is to get an in-home estimate from a reputable moving company that can survey the situation first-hand.

If needed, many reputable movers can also store the instrument in a climate controlled facility. By combining moving and storage services, the piano’s owner may be able to get a better deal, so it’s worth considering if space is an issue.

It helps to shop around a bit as well to nail down an attractive price. A common approach is to ask piano shop owners for a referral, as they have to work with movers all the time. And like with any owner, it’s best to secure multiple estimates and have representatives come out to the property. That way, they can provide insight into the moving process, as well as paperwork relevant to the move.

It takes an impressive combination of expertise, technology and manpower to safely move a piano. Only an experienced firm can offer all that, and make sure their clients don’t have to play the blues over how to move their piano.

7 Reasons To Hire Houston Apartment Movers For Your Move

Every move has the potential to become a massive drain on a family, but apartment moves are particularly difficult, posing challenges that don’t come up in any other situation. These challenges, which may not seem like a big deal until moving day, will rear their ugly heads and can bring a full stop to a move before it gets fully underway. Instead of smashing into a wall and extending the move by hours or days, consider bringing in a professional moving service that has experience in dealing with the challenges of moving in to or out of an apartment. These professionals are ready to handle the standard range of obstacles that typically come up during an apartment move, and will ensure that all deadlines are met for their clients.

Apartment Moving: Not as Easy as it Seems

It’s true that single family homes are, in general, larger than apartments. And it’s true, for the most part, that these family homes have more stuff in them that needs to be moved. It might be assumed, then, that these homes pose a greater challenge, just due to the sheer amount of work that is involved. But that would be an incorrect assumption. Apartment complexes are more difficult to navigate for several reasons, and it’s for these reasons that experienced firms make sense for a move. Those reasons include:

  1. Tighter spaces – Normally, there’s plenty of room for moving crews to get in and out of houses, with sidewalks leading right up to the door and down the driveway. With this much space, it’s easy for moving crews to double or triple up on carrying stuff out of the house. This isn’t the case with apartments, where narrow paths usually dominate apartment complex layouts. This can be a real source of frustration for inexperienced movers, and furniture damage is a common outcome.
  2. Stairs galore – Another impediment to free movement are stairs, and they tend to be everywhere in apartment complexes. Most people prefer to live upstairs to avoid dealing with the noise of people walking around on top of them, but this will be a problem when moving day arrives. Getting up and down stairs is extremely taxing when moving furniture and heavy boxes, and can be a major safety concern as well. Carrying heavy items up and down stairs is a frequent cause of stress injuries, and if something is dropped, it can result in serious injury to anyone below. This, of course, doesn’t even address the profound damage that can happen as a result.
  3. People everywhere – When moving a single-family home, the only strangers involved are with the moving company, but this level of control is not afforded to those in apartments. Neighbors are always coming and going, and may end up getting in the way when carrying boxes or furniture. It’s going to happen – some random pedestrian is going to be caught on the stairs while the couch or a dresser is being handled. When that happens, it’s best to have professionals in charge who can keep things from falling apart. Otherwise, the likelihood of damage to the belongings or injury may occur.
  4. Fitting a massive moving truck into a compact area – It’s easy enough pulling a moving truck up to a free-standing house. Just pull the thing into the driveway. Obviously, this is not how it’s done at an apartment complex, where the truck has to be parked in a lot. For someone not experienced with handling a large truck, this can be a nail-biting experience. There’s always the risk of hitting other vehicles, which will effectively make moving impossible that day, and even if the truck is parked appropriately, it will probably block someone. Professionals have plenty of experience navigating large trucks, and won’t be fazed by claustrophobic parking lots.
  5. Keeping everything clean – Most apartment dwellers would like to get their deposit back when it’s time to move on to greener pastures. But it’s a near certainty that apartment complexes will look for any reason to hold onto that deposit. Don’t give them even more of a reason by leaving a huge mess behind. That’s easier said than done, especially when a family is exhausted from a long day of moving. When hiring a moving service, there will be energy left at the end of the day to properly clean the apartment. Professional crews also know how to avoid damaging the walls and door jambs in the apartment.
  6. Prevent injuries – It’s hard to get a move going when someone has to sit out due to injury. And it’s not just the kind of injuries that occur from dropping something. Injuries due to strain are common, especially for people with previous physical ailments, like lower back pains. For these people, it may not even be possible to move heavy items, and it certainly isn’t worth the risk.
  7. Too much stuff – Ideally, the truck and the new home would be able to accommodate all of a family’s belongings without any trouble. In reality, there are often issues with getting everything on the truck or into the new home. And when there is an issue in this area, families moving on their own have few options. Professional moving crews, though, can usually fall back on storage facilities to account for any overflow. And if a family enlists the same moving company for their storage needs, they can often get a nice deal on both.

It’s no fun making an involved move, and it’s even less fun moving out of or in to an apartment. Fortunately, experienced firms know how to do it without incident, and take the tough work off the client’s hands.