Save your back and protect your belongings by using professionals for moving furniture. You may think of hiring a moving company only for moving into or out of a home or for a long-distance move, but professional furniture movers can also help move heavy furniture short distances for you. Many local moving companies offer furniture moving services even when you don't need to move anything except a few heavy pieces. The pros can move furniture inside your five-bedroom home or one bedroom apartment. Consider hiring furniture movers to be present as you redecorate or stage your home so they can move the heavy pieces while you try out and compare different arrangements. Common requests for furniture moving help involve relocating a sofa, armchair, recliner, loveseat, dining table, bed frame, mattress, mirror, painting, piano, pool table, packed boxes or other household items. You can hire professional local movers to move furniture around your business or office as well.
If you have furniture you are no longer using but don't want to give away, movers can take it out to your garage or transport it to your storage unit. Furniture moving and heavy lifting services are most commonly used for moving items short distances such as inside your home or within the same building, but these professionals generally can also help move items a few blocks or even help with long distance moving or cross country moves. Some heavy-lifting companies provide moving trucks for local transportation, and others simply provide the muscle while you provide the packing supplies and a truck rental. Specify your needs upfront to make sure you find a company that has everything you require.
The cost to hire professionals to move heavy furniture and other items will depend on how many items you need moved, what packing services or packing materials you need, how far the items are to be moved, whether there are stairs to navigate, whether a special truck is required to move the piece, and how delicate or valuable the items are. Stairs will usually increase your furniture moving costs because they require more work, more precautions and more time for the movers. Especially delicate or valuable furniture may cost more to move because the mover will need to take extra special care when wrapping and carrying the items to prevent damage. Be sure to get any extra charges in writing before you hire a furniture mover.
Most professional moving companies offer free quotes and non-binding estimates for moving large items, but for the most accurate pricing, be very specific about the type and size of furniture you want moved, what the furniture pieces are made of, how far you want the furniture moved (including any stairs or similar obstacles), and any other household items you need moved or extra services required. Providing incorrect information online or over the phone can lead to higher costs once the workers arrive and learn the job will take longer than anticipated.
Hire furniture moving help if you are strapped for time, if you are worried about damaging your furniture (or your wall paint), if you need help redecorating or staging, or if you just need an extra set of arms. Whatever the reason you need help moving furniture, here are the factors that affect the average price.
Time is one of the biggest cost factors for furniture moving services. Some heavy-lifting pros charge by the hour, and others charge by the project. In either case, the total time to complete a job will contribute to the final cost. Time can be spent wrapping delicate furniture in packing supplies, preparing furniture to be moved by disassembling it, moving large quantities of furniture, reassembling furniture, or preparing the new location to set up the furniture that will be moved. Hourly rates can be affected by where the company is located and how extensive their operations are. Smaller companies with lower business overhead may have lower rates, but can also potentially have fewer resources such as moving trucks, specialized equipment, or comprehensive insurance coverage. Hourly rates are also affected by geographic variations in the cost of living and cost of doing business. For example, Move It For You in Irving, Texas, charges an average $65 per hour for a two-man crew. If you can give the mover an accurate description of the size of the item and send a photo, you can generally get a free estimate quickly.
The number of flights of stairs or number of landings in a staircase can also affect the cost of services. Staircases with landings often have shorter ceilings and therefore require more strategy and time to maneuver, explains Move It For You. For example, moving a bedroom set (mattress, bed frame, dresser, nightstands) from a downstairs bedroom up one flight of straight stairs would likely take Move It For You under 60 minutes, resulting in a $65 fee for their services. However, moving the same bedroom set up a staircase with a landing and a low ceiling might take closer to two hours because of more difficult maneuvering, the need to disassemble and reassemble the furniture, and added effort, for an average cost of $130.
Number of movers
Your furniture moving company may charge an hourly rate or a flat fee for the job, which will be affected by how many movers are required to complete the task. Many furniture moving companies will suggest a minimum of two movers to ensure that items are safely moved without doing any damage to your house, your belongings, or the workers' bodies. Even if you only have a few items of furniture to be moved, the moving company may recommend up to four movers or more to safely transport all of your items.
The distance a pro has to move furniture or heavy items can affect the total cost; they may charge a higher flat fee, or they may require more hours at an hourly rate to travel a longer distance. If you want items transported from house to house or to a storage unit, your furniture moving company may calculate the cost based on mileage or based on actual time spent in the vehicle. Whether you provide the vehicle or the furniture movers do, many companies will charge additional fees if the distance from the home to the truck is more than 100 feet, which requires more manpower, care and time.
Some heavy-lifting pros provide transportation services along with the lifting, and others, such as Move It For You, provide only labor. Providing the rental truck and transporting the goods to another site will generally incur extra charges. If you are hiring a furniture moving company and will be using their truck, be sure to verify that they have the proper licenses and insurance to transport your goods. Different states have different requirements, but you'll rest easier knowing your furniture is in safe hands — even if they're only transporting it across town.
Many movers charge a minimum fee to account for their employees' effort and time traveling to the job site. Move It For You requires a one-hour minimum fee, although many companies require a two-hour minimum. A minimum service fee ensures that a business can meet its operating costs each time it accepts a job.
If your heavy lifters are working on an hourly rate you can save money by having everything ready for them before they arrive. Break down bed frames, remove table legs and take mirrors off the back of dressers before your movers arrive, recommends Move It For You. Any prep work the customer does means less time the lifters and movers need to be paid. A king-size bed can take Move It For You 20 minutes to disassemble and 20 minutes to reassemble, which is two-thirds of an hour that could be spent moving. For other customers, paying the furniture movers to disassemble and reassemble furniture may be worth the additional cost, so consider your priorities and how your time will best be spent. Another way to save money is to consolidate all heavy lifting needs into one service call. Plan ahead if you are staging your home or doing a remodel or a major redecoration; consider all items that might have to be moved in the upcoming months so you can do it all in one visit instead of having furniture movers come out twice in three months.
Moving a pool table
Your pool table does qualify as furniture, but if you are planning to move a pool table it's a good investment to hire a professional pool table mover. The cost to move a pool table may be more than the standard hourly rate a furniture moving company may charge, but by hiring a specialist, you'll protect your pool table from possible damage. Despite their weight and sturdiness, pool tables are surprisingly delicate, and must be handled carefully to preserve their balance and protect their slate and felt. Professional pool table movers' sole focus is safely moving your table, whether from room to room or to a new house. Pool table moving costs can range from $200-$600, on average, depending on the size of your pool table, the distance of the move and whether the table must be transported in a vehicle, whether stairs are involved, and where you live. When a pro moves your pool table, they also set it back up properly, paying strict attention to perfect balance.
Moving a piano
Moving a piano is a delicate operation, and you should hire a professional piano mover who is properly trained to take on the job. Your piano is a sensitive musical instrument and the balance, action, and other moving parts need to be carefully handled to prevent performance problems once the move is complete. The cost to move a piano will depend on where you live, what type of piano you have, how far you need the piano moved and whether any stairs are involved. The average cost to move a piano might range from under $200 to more than $400. Experts recommend having your piano tuned once it has been safely moved. Like moving a piano, the cost to tune a piano will vary depending on your location, the type of piano you have, and whether any repairs are needed.
Be wary of anyone offering to move a grand piano or baby grand piano who doesn't have the proper crating equipment. Most heavy lifters can safely move an upright piano, but grand pianos require special attention, and moving them can cost more in the long run if not done right the first time.
If you live far outside of town, are in the middle of a city with heavy traffic, or are outside of the professional's standard service area, you may have to pay travel fees to account for the time it takes your movers to get to you. Some companies don't charge travel fees as long as they are local. For example, Move It For You doesn't charge an additional fee as long as the job site is within 30 miles. You may also have to pay for any tolls or bridge fees required.
Benefits of professional movers
Even if you or members of your family are strong enough to move your furniture, professional movers can be a good investment. Here are some of the benefits of hiring a professional furniture moving company:
- You can prevent injuries: Moving furniture is heavy business. Even if you can heft your wood bookshelf across the room, it's easy to pull a muscle or pinch a nerve if you aren't careful to use the proper techniques for lifting and carrying. Pro furniture movers do this for a living and know how to do the heavy lifting without injury.
- Your furniture will be protected: Many moving companies have insurance that covers any accidental damage to your furniture during moving. Can you say the same if you move stuff yourself? If you have nice furniture that you don't want scratched, dinged, dented or broken, turning the task over to the pros can keep it protected.
- Movers have moving equipment: Dollies, straps, blankets, protective wrapping — professional furniture movers come to your house with everything they will need to safely move your furniture around your home or into a truck. Their preparation can save you from having to invest in heavy furniture moving equipment. And if you plan to move heavy furniture without the proper equipment, you could end up damaging the furniture, your home or your body.
- Your home will be protected: No one plans to drop their solid wood bed frame and crack their ceramic floor tiles when moving it from one room to another, but if you do it yourself, no one else will pay for the repairs. If you hire pro furniture movers, they will help ensure that your walls don't get dented, your paint doesn't get scratched, and your things are kept in good condition. Confirm that your movers have the appropriate insurance in place.
Home remodels and home staging
Heavy-lifting professionals can be used for more than just traditional moving services. Furniture movers can make preparing for a home remodel much easier and safer. If you need to get sideboards, shelving, freestanding cabinets, or heavy wood tables out of your dining room and kitchen, professional movers can safely stow the furniture in spare rooms or your garage until your home remodel is over.
Furniture movers can also help with home staging. If you are getting your home ready for sale, a minimalist setup helps prospective buyers imagine themselves in the home, so you'll need to cut down on clutter, decor and furniture and create visual space in your house. You may have hired a professional home stager to create a plan for staging your house, but you need to do the heavy lifting and rearranging yourself. Instead of throwing out your back, hire furniture movers to rearrange existing furniture and move unneeded furniture out of the house and into your storage.
- Read client reviews and follow up with references to make sure you're choosing the right pro for your project. For more, check out our tips for smart hiring.