Movers in Houston have prices that are close to the national average, though average isn’t a metric that will work for every household. There are additional costs involved in moving certain items or in navigating certain obstacles. As such, property owners should seek out a more accurate estimate from a reputable moving company. This will ensure there are no surprises when moving day comes around.
That disclaimer aside, what is the average cost of hiring movers in Houston? In general, moving companies charge either an hourly rate or a rate based on the load’s weight, depending on the move’s distance. For shorter distances, property owners can expect to pay somewhere around $2,000. If a longer moving distance is expected, the average price of the job will be around $4,000.
These prices, again, are just starting points, and the actual cost may be lower or higher, depending on the property owner’s exact situation. It’s best to ask for an in-home estimate to get a clear idea of what price to expect for the move.
What factors affect moving prices in Houston?
Several factors may come into play, as every home and every move is different. The only way to know what the cost will be is to request estimates from several moving companies. And don’t take estimates over the phone or online, either, as these are almost always inaccurate.
Some of the factors that may alter the move’s cost include:
1. Intrastate, interstate or long-distance moves – Every moving company is a bit different in how they calculate moving fees, but most will charge hourly rates for intrastate moves that remain below a certain mileage threshold. This hourly rate normally runs between $25 and $50 per hour, per mover, and for a three-bedroom house, four movers are typically needed to efficiently get everything out of the building, loaded and unloaded.
If the move will take the crew over state lines, or if it exceeds a specified mileage threshold (usually 100 miles, one way), then the cost will be calculated using weight. This will drive the price up some, but it also produces a stable estimate that property owners can plan for in advance.
2. Particularly bulky or heavy items – Moving companies usually charge an additional fee to handle extremely heavy or bulky items. Any item that requires special care in packing and transporting it will result in an additional fee as well. This includes items like pianos, pool tables, lawn mowers, particularly large pieces of furniture, motorcycles, artwork and the like. Some of these items are particularly difficult to move, while others need additional protection in order to arrive intact. The extra care that goes into these items merits the extra cost.
3. The property’s size and layout – A standard moving estimate assumes that the workers will be able to easily access the property. If anything slows them down or poses an obstacle to the moving crew, the company may assess an additional fee. This is something that will be made clear during an estimate, so it shouldn’t be sprung on a property owner.
In most cases, this fee is assessed when the distance from the building to the truck is especially long. That’s not a problem in most cases, but for expansive properties or properties where there is no parking nearby, it can be an issue. Also, if the only way up and down the property’s interior is via elevator, there may be additional fees assessed for dealing with it. And, obviously, if the property is such that the only way to get some items out is through a window, then an additional fee is all but guaranteed.
4. When the move takes place – Moving companies tend to charge more during times when they are expecting peak business. In other words, typical supply and demand. Most property owners prefer to move at the end of the month, during a weekend and during the summer months. To keep costs down, try to schedule the move so that it is executed during the middle of the week, and at a time outside of summer.
5. If additional services are made available – Some homeowners hate packing and unpacking as much as they hate lifting and carrying. For these people, letting the moving company do the packing may be an attractive option. It’s also recommended for properties where there are a lot of fragile or bulky items present. Packing and unpacking services cost extra, so get a quote for that service as well.
Should I consider the movers in Houston with the lowest prices?
Everyone wants a deal, but caution is warranted whenever a particularly low estimate is given. In the moving industry, like most industries, people get what they pay for, and in this instance, a very cheap estimate means the property owner is going to get very cheap service. What does that look like? Unlicensed, uncertified companies are usually the ones who submit the lowest estimates, as they get by without insurance and maybe even without an actual truck. They just rent one when hired and take it back when the job is done.
A very low estimate may also be a warning that this is a fraud attempt. A common moving scam is promising a ridiculously low estimate, loading everything up on the truck and then ambushing the client with additional fees. If the client refuses to pay, the moving crew may hold everything on the truck hostage until the owner pays up. This is a difficult scam to deal with, as rental trucks are notoriously tough to track down, and authorities don’t usually have the time to dedicate a lot of resources to running down a rental truck.