Whether you are moving a few blocks over, to the other side of the state, or completely across state lines, hiring a reputable Houston mover to transport your belongings is something that deserves more than just a passing thought. Moving companies can be a dime a dozen, especially in large cities like Houston, but that does not necessarily mean they all have the right certifications and can provide the services that you require.
Choosing a reputable moving company requires some basic research and an investment of time, but these efforts combined with the below 9 tips for hiring a Houston mover can give you more confidence and peace of mind on moving day and beyond.
9 Tips for Hiring a Houston Mover
Moving anywhere is typically a huge undertaking. It is not an easy thing to pack up decades of memories carefully and evenly into moving boxes, and it requires a little more skill than you think to pack these boxes in a way that prevents the items instead from getting broken during loading, unloading or while in transit.
With these 9 tips for hiring a Houston mover, it can help simplify the process by making the right company stand out:
1. Confirm the scope of services they provide.
It is best to go with a company that provides a wide variety of services including packing, transportation, and unpacking. Moving companies typically provide the packing supplies, which can save customers time from having to go from store to store to collect boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, packing tape, and more. Particularly for moves that require a short turnaround, having the company pack up your things can save valuable time and prevent you from having to pay extra fees that can be associated with late move outs.
2. Verify they offer specialty services.
Most moving companies have moved more cardboard boxes and pieces of furniture than they can possibly remember, but some specialty items such as a piano or a large safe may require additional packaging and special equipment to move them. If you have an item that falls outside of the status quo when it comes to furniture, be sure to verify that the company you select will be willing to move it and can do so safely.
3. Ensure they can accommodate more than just ground floor moves.
If you are moving out of a third-floor condo or moving to a second story apartment, it is essential that you confirm that the company has the capability to make that happen and has experience in doing so. Moves to or from anything other than a single story can take some ingenuity when it comes to safely getting larger items such as sofas and entertainment centers down to the moving truck or up to the unit without damaging the item or the property.
4. Get an in-home estimate.
The internet can simplify so many processes in today’s technological world, but a moving estimate should not be one of them. When receiving an estimate online or over the phone, the individual giving you the quote is assuming you know exactly how many boxes you will have to move for each room of the house, as well as how many pieces of furniture require transport. The problem is that most people do not move on a regular basis and therefore do not have a firm grasp on how many things will fit in a box or how many boxes they will need. It is highly recommended to receive all moving quotes in the form of in-home estimates. This allows a company to go room by room to itemize exactly how many boxes and pieces of furniture will need to be loaded onto a moving truck. With years of moving experience, these individuals can provide a much more accurate estimate and can keep you from suffering from sticker shock on moving day because of a poor internet-based moving estimate.
5. Ensure familiarity with starting point and destination city streets and geography.
This is an often-overlooked point when hiring a Houston moving company. Cities as large as Houston have confusing one-way downtown streets, highway interchanges, and a complex grid of suburbs. Be sure your mover is accustomed to navigating these city obstacles and feels confident in doing so.
6. Check their driving record.
A company’s driving record becomes infinitely more pertinent when the truck they are driving is carrying all of your personal belongings. Ask how the company monitors their drivers’ records and if the individuals moving you specifically have any driving offenses while on the job.
7. Confirm the company uses employees and not contractors for moves.
It is not uncommon for fly by night operations to hire contractors as needed to complete moves. This should be a significant concern for the customer as those companies may not perform adequate background checks or drug screenings for these individuals. A company that hires its employees is more likely to require their employees to submit to both background checks and drug screenings, which can be an added source of comfort for clients.
8. Verify credentials.
Every mover should have certain credentials based on the type of work that they do and the services that they offer. According to state law, Texas movers must be licensed with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles and will have a certificate number on file. Ensure that your mover can provide you with proof of this certificate. Moving companies that move their customers across state lines should be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and have an official United States Department of Transportation number. The state requires each truck to display their DOT number where it can be seen clearly.
9. Review customer reviews and references.
One of the best ways to find out how good a moving company really is includes checking with previous customers. It is worth noting that very seldom are all a company’s reviews positive. It’s important to weigh the good with the bad, and if there are many, many more positive than negative reviews, the company is likely trustworthy. However, if up to a quarter or more of the reviews or negative, it may be worth reconsidering choosing that company.
With these 9 tips for hiring a Houston mover, you can be more confident in knowing how to find the right mover and what to expect along the way.