Moving is a headache. If you’re relocating to a less than favorable location, the headache worsens. But you’re moving to Denver—voted one of the best cities to live in—so you should feel less pain. You’ll have even fewer headaches when you hire a moving company to do most of the work for you. There’s no reason you shouldn’t enjoy the move, at least a little bit. If you’re moving to Denver from another location, you’re probably wondering, “what is the best Denver moving company?” You don’t want someone to move your belongings who won’t care for them. Fortunately, finding the right moving company isn’t difficult, especially if you know what to look for. Here’s what you’ll need to know when preparing for your next move to the Denver area.
Determine What Moving Services You NeedBefore you reach out to a moving company, take some time to think about your relocation needs. Yes, you’re moving, but there’s more to it than that. Here are a few questions all moving companies ask, either over the phone or through their online contact form:
- Type of move
- Size of house or apartment
Read Online ReviewsEven the most minor players in the moving business have an online presence. That makes it easy to find out what past clients think about their services. Read a moving company’s testimonial page, and you’ll get an idea of how well they take care of customers’ needs. If you can’t find testimonials on their website, check for online reviews. Most search engines offer a place for customers to leave reviews. There is a caveat. Be careful not to judge a moving company based on one negative review. You’ll always find those one or two people who nit-pick or who never seem happy with any service they receive—from any business. Use the online review system wisely. Glean what you can from it and follow our next tip.
Ask for Referrals from Family and FriendsWord of mouth is alive and well, even in the age of digital information. A moving company may share a page full of shining testimonials from happy clients, but that doesn’t always tell the whole story. Online reviews may not be as helpful as you’d like either. Before hiring any Colorado moving company, ask a few real people for suggestions. Someone from your circle of family, friends, and colleagues moved in last year. How do we know? According to data released from the U.S. Census Bureau, 27.1 million Americans changed addresses in 2021. You likely know at least a few of those individuals. Generally, people don’t mind talking about their experience with moving companies, or any other business for that matter. Just ask! You can usually trust the first-hand experience over any online review.
Search for a Licensed and Insured CompanyWhat will you do if you arrive at your new home and discover that a few items have been damaged? Your current homeowner or rental policy likely won’t cover your loss. All professional moving companies in Denver carry insurance. The question is, what type of insurance do they have? Most movers provide basic liability coverage. This type of insurance covers a portion of your loss but typically doesn’t cover the total replacement cost. Most basic liability policies do not allow for punitive damage claims. Most moving companies offer replacement coverage, but it’s an added charge. That means they replace every damaged or missing item. Extra coverage is always a good idea if you’re transporting valuable items. If the moving company doesn’t offer complete value protection, you can purchase the coverage from a third party. The key is understanding the provisions of the insurance plan before signing a contract. What about workers’ compensation? Workers’ compensation doesn’t just protect the movers. It protects you. Without workers’ compensation, if someone is injured while in your home, you could be liable to pay for medical treatment. Tip: Preventing injury to yourself is one of the key reasons to hire a professional moving team.
Ask for an In-Home EstimateAnother critical component of your prep for hiring a Denver moving company is the in-home estimate. It’s nearly impossible for a moving company to provide an accurate price without seeing what you plan to move. Professional movers employ highly trained moving consultants to assist prospective clients. These specialists put together a comprehensive in-home estimate that lists the items to be moved. The estimate should also include any additional services you may require. The consultant can also help you get a moving package that fits your budget.
What Does an In-Home Estimate Include?The estimate usually takes about an hour for the consultant to complete. They will record the items from every room in your home that will be moved. They should also list items that will stay behind, such as appliances or items you plan to sell or donate. The moving consultant also assesses the entrance to your home. If you have a tricky driveway or a problematic layout, they note this so that they can set up the appropriate size moving truck. If the company doesn’t offer an in-person estimate, ask about a virtual survey. You’ll participate in the survey by using your Smartphone or tablet to take the moving consultant on a trip through your home. Don’t forget to include all storage spaces such as closets, drawers, cabinets, garages, and those areas many people forget about—the crawl space and attic. Whatever method the moving company uses to provide your estimate, remember that the estimated price will be based mainly on weight and distance. How much do your belongings weigh, and how far will the company transport them?
Get Multiple Price QuotesDid you know one of the biggest mistakes people make when moving isn’t being careless when packing? More people make the mistake of accepting the first moving estimate they receive. Industry experts suggest that customers get quotes from at least 2-to 3 moving companies. The next mistake many people make is going with the lowest bid. You should factor in the following:
- Cost of additional services
- Final price
Deposits and CancellationsIt’s common for a moving company to require a deposit, but you’ll want to make sure you understand the deposit terms. First, make sure the deposit is refundable. Things happen, and sometimes people need to change their moving date or cancel the move altogether. Also, ask if the company will reimburse your deposit if they fail to appear on the agreed date or fail to take care of your move. Make sure you understand the cancellation policy. Most movers require a minimum 72-hour cancellation window. This typically applies to requests to re-schedule as well. Tip: A moving company shouldn’t request a deposit that exceeds 20% of the total cost of your move.
How Does the Moving Company Charge for Local Moves?If you’re moving from one Denver neighborhood to one right next door, the moving company likely charges by the hour. In that case, they may have a minimum charge. Every company is different in this regard, so please ask questions before the movers arrive. You don’t want surprises when your move only takes an hour, and you’re being billed for more than that. It’s not uncommon in any service industry to charge a minimum fee. Plumbers, electricians, and other tradespeople do it as well.
Ask About Discounts and PromotionsThe Peak moving season is usually during the summer. Families often wait until the end of the school year to move. Students moving into off-campus apartments usually sign leases to start just before the new semester begins. If you can move during the off-peak season, you may qualify for a discount on your moving services. Moving companies sometimes offer discounts for other situations. When doing pricing research, always ask about student, senior, military, and first responder discounts. You could also get a deal if you only have a few items to move. It never hurts to ask, and you could enjoy significant savings. Next, we’ll narrow down some critical details you’ll want to know about before moving day arrives.
What Payment Methods Do Moving Companies Accept?If you recruit your best friends to help you move, a cash tip or a pizza may suffice as a token of your thanks. Cash usually doesn’t work when paying your moving company. A company that requests cash only is one you should flag as the one you may not want to partner with for your move. A reputable moving company accepts cashier checks and credit or debit cards. This protects you, the client, from deceptive practices made by unscrupulous moving companies. Since most businesses prefer to keep minimal cash on-site, it also protects the moving company from potential problems. If you don’t have access to the requested payment methods, make sure you’re clear before signing a contract.
Does the Company Have the Right Equipment?You might assume that a moving company is good to go if they have a truck. After all, isn’t there a company that advertises that they have one truck? Moving trucks are not one-size-fits-all! You may not need a full-size moving van to transport your belongings from one apartment to another. If you’re moving the contents of a 2,500 sq. foot home, you may need one. In addition to the correct size moving truck, you’ll want to ensure the company has the equipment needed to handle heavy or awkward furniture. You want to make sure the movers can get the baby grand piano moved down the stairs without breaking a leg (or worse). Most moving companies that take care of large moves for clients have hoisting equipment and other specialized gear to ensure they don’t damage their customer’s valuables.
The Experience Level of the Moving Crew MattersYou may not realize it, but many moving companies deal with staff shortages, especially during peak moving season. Some companies hire temporary employees to cover those shortages. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with temporary employees, many don’t have much experience working in the moving industry. Inexperience often leads to a mover making rookie errors that could damage your belongings. An inexperienced mover could even get injured, resulting in delays or other issues associated with your relocation project. Make sure you use a moving company that employs a professional and skilled crew of movers. This leads to the next question. Who will handle your move if you’re moving from another area?
Who Will Be Provide Services for Your Long-Distance Move?Perhaps you’re moving to Denver from another state. This is considered an interstate move, and you may not have the same crew unpacking, storing, or handling any claims or disputes when you arrive at your new home. If that’s your situation, you want to make sure you’re aware of who will take over at the new location. Is it the same company you worked with at the beginning of the move, or will they use an affiliate or even a subcontractor? If the moving company uses third parties, you’ll need to know that and take time to research those businesses, too.
Storage FacilitiesIt’s not always the case that you move out of one home and directly into a new one. Maybe your new home isn’t quite ready, but new tenants need to get into the old one. You’ll need somewhere to store your belongings. Many moving companies offer access to storage facilities. You may even receive a discount depending on the size of your move. Does your preferred moving company offer on-site storage? Or do they use third-party storage units? Ask for relevant information and do your own research. You want to know that your belongings are in a safe, secure place. Don’t forget to ask whether storage increases the price and by how much. You may be able to negotiate a better rate.
Packing and UnpackingIf you’ve ever moved before and had to source the moving supplies on your own, you know it can be a challenge. And packing up a home to move is time-consuming. When you look for the best Denver moving companies, you’ll find that most offer packing supplies, but they’re not usually free. The advantage to using packing materials supplied by your moving company is that you won’t need to go from store to store and try to catch the produce manager before they destroy the fruit and vegetable boxes. You also won’t need to run to the store for packing paper and tape. It’s about convenience. Plus, you’ll get new boxes and won’t need to worry about the bottom falling out of the one that contains your heirloom porcelain dishes. Moving companies also offer packing and unpacking services. When you meet with your moving consultant, they’ll go over these details. Paying a professional to prepare your belongings for the move might be worth the extra expense. At a minimum, you’ll want to have the movers place your boxes and other items in the rooms where they’ll go in your new home. That means making sure you understand how the crew prefers you to label boxes.
A Note About Unusual ItemsMaybe you have a grand piano, or perhaps it’s the antique pool in the basement that you don’t plan to leave behind. Ask prospective moving companies about their ability to move large or awkward items. Some movers don’t move pianos. Others don’t move anything that requires disassembly and reassembly. If you have a valuable art collection, make sure you speak with the moving consultant when they perform your in-home or virtual estimate. You may need to make special arrangements for a third party to handle it. Speaking of unusual items, what about pets? Most moving companies don’t move animals. Even if your dog is amiable and well-behaved, a moving crew won’t take on that liability.
Red Flags and Moving CompaniesWhile rare, you may find some professional moving companies that aren’t honest. Some don’t provide the best customer service and leave unsatisfied clients with few options to resolve disputes. There is such a thing as moving fraud. You can avoid trouble by watching out for red flags. In the moving industry, here are the main things that should trigger questions:
- Low-ball estimates
- No Insurance
- Blank moving contract
- Mover’s estimate
- Extra fees
- Pick-up and delivery dates
- All belongings included in the move