22 of the most common moving questions answered

We took 22 questions that people commonly ask about relocation

...and answered them.
At BCMovers, we are not just a moving company. We are a part of your community. We want to improve awareness and help everyone have a better experience while moving.
22 of the most common moving questions answered

Many questions about moving that you might not be sure who to ask


How do movers deal with double parking?

Depending on the area you live, you may need to get a permit for parking for movers. Whichever movers you go with will work with you and the limitations of your situation, but any extra distance between your home and a truck will add time and therefore expense to your move. In Vancouver, you can apply for a temporary parking permit here. You can also find out more information about city guidelines related to moving here.

How do I block off time for an elevator?

The rules for booking off an elevator for moving will depend on the building you are moving from. In general, most buildings require at least 48 hours and for busy periods like around the end of the month, they may require much more. When in doubt, you can contact the building manager, concierge or look online. Booking off an elevator is essential as it will dramatically increase the time to move and could also result in fines from the building in extreme cases.

Can I make sure movers show up at the exact time for elevator time?

As much as possible, most moving companies will try and accommodate your time. As most moving companies operate all day, the most reliable times with fewest interruptions are usually first thing in the morning. Moving companies generally have several moves each day if it is a local move. Even still, most moving companies have extensive experience and reputable companies do not overbook moves. This is to ensure that moves are carefully scheduled and progress as planned.

How much will my final bill differ from the estimate?

This will entirely depend on the moving company you hire and what type of move you have. Residential and local moves are often charged by the hour although there are many cases where a moving company will offer a fixed rate, especially for larger residences. Long distance and corporate moves are almost always fixed price. An experienced mover will generally be able to give you a ballpark figure that does not deviate more than 10% from what the eventual price is. This depends though on the accuracy of information that the mover has. For instance, is there no elevator in a building, is there a 100 meter walk from the parking to the residence, is there an extra room that was not accounted for earlier. The more you accurately describe the moving conditions, the more likely, a final price will be close to the initial estimate.

How can I avoid horror stories?

There are many things you can do to protect yourself as a customer. Some are obvious. For instance, check when a company was founded. Yes, there are new companies but it is also a frequent tactic of unscrupulous businesses to change company names or to change the owners name on paper only. Another important thing is to check if they have any outstanding claims with the BBB. The BBB can be a great resource as companies are strongly incentivized to resolve any outstanding claims or dissatisfaction that a customer may have. You can also take a look online at reviews. When you speak over the phone or meet in person, the person you are speaking to should be knowledgeable about moving and be able to answer your questions. Avoid being pressured into suddenly deciding now or being required for very large deposits to register your move.

What is the Bill of Lading and what does it mean?

                A bill of lading is a legal document. It outlines the articles being shipped, where they are coming from, and going to, who is paying for them and other relevant information. Many BOLs also outline terms, insurance and other relevant provisions. At its most basic level, a Bill of Lading represents a contract between the person being moved and a moving company about the items being shipped and relevant details.

Best places to find information about moving companies?

There are many different places to find information about moving companies. There are typical ones like Homestars, Yelp, Waldo, Yellowpages, Nicemoving, and Google. There are also different social media channels where it can be easy to get advice from people who have actually used said moving companies. Hundreds of thousands of people across Canada move every year and the vast majority do not have bad experiences. BCMovers takes pride in providing consistent excellent service. We hope that even if you choose a different carrier, that your move is hassle free.

Should I tip movers?

Yes. This is the custom and expectation across Canada. There is quite a wide divergence of opinions online about what is fair to tip movers. Anywhere from $5-$12 an hour per mover is common in the industry.

What is the best time of day to move?

There are advantages and disadvantages to different parts of the day. If you are the first move of the day, it is very likely that your movers will be there on time or even early. At the same time, if you are in a city, you may get delayed due to traffic conditions. At the same time, moving later in the day may require you to not having necessities unpacked until late in the day.

Will traffic affect the cost of my move?

                If you are doing a local residential move, traffic may affect the cost of your move. This will depend on the company and the way in which the move is calculated. It would be good to consult with your moving company when deciding the time and day to move.

How to tell movers what room to place things in?

                You can consult with the movers at any time about where things go. However, this will require a lot of monitoring on your part and can be exhausting. Our suggestion, based on experience, is to have a labeling system. For instance, blue tape means it goes to the bedroom. Or write down the names of the rooms that objects are headed for.

Can I ask movers to reassemble my things?

Most reputable moving companies will have extensive experience in disassembling and reassembling furniture without causing any damage. Most of these companies will also have tool sets and specialized tools on board. There are articles of furniture which cannot be disassembled of course. These will be secured and loaded safely onto moving trucks. The standard expectation though is that movers will reassemble articles of furniture they have disassembled or things that they ask you for. In certain rare cases, they may require a liability waiver. However, this is generally an exception and reassembly is included in the services that full-service moving companies provide.

Should I measure the entrances in my new place before moving?

                Although this is not a requirement, measuring clearance through doorways and entrances can help save time and headache. It can also prevent any damage. Many experienced movers may refuse to forcibly push things through tight doorways and entrances if there is a reasonable chance that this will cause damage to residences or furniture. Of course, the vast majority of items do not require this and most moves will not have tight clearances. If you are concerned, you may want to ask for some advice over the phone or through e-mail.

Why do people hire movers and not move themselves?

There are several reasons why hiring experts to move you is a good idea. The most obvious, it is physically strenuous and not having equipment significantly increases the risk of permanent issues related to moving which can include backpain, damage to the spine or other preventable issues. Another reason is that movers save time. They do it professionally, come with equipment and can move furniture much faster based on experience and standards. They also significantly decrease the risk of damage to the property you are leaving or moving into, which can be both a headache and also expensive if there is significant damage. There is also the risk to your belongings themselves, which may be damaged during the move or during transit. Lastly, movers have the experience to operate according to a schedule, which is something that is hard to do without experience. Hiring your friends and paying them with pizza without providing them with protection or materials, which will often cost far more than hiring movers, increases the risk of unintended injury and your friends may also feel that it is insufficient for the effort they put in. For another thing, your friends may get delayed or have other plans, leaving you to move the entirely by yourself.

Can I move my house in stages?

                Of course this is always an option but may be difficult to do if you are renting or have sold your property. Also, it winds up taking much more time as you have to be shifting between locations without being fully set up in either.

Should I be there to monitor the move?

                For the majority of moves, the tenant or owner is there on premises, however, this is not a requirement.

Do movers know how to handle delicate objects?

                Yes, reputable moving companies generally have extensive experience with delicate and fragile items. If there is a particular item or items you are concerned about though, you should notify the moving company in advance so that they can take reasonable precautions. If it is a priceless and extremely delicate item, special arrangements may need to be made.

Will movers take care of storage for me and how is that priced?

Many moving companies have permanently rented storage facilities. This is for numerous reasons but generally moving companies are able to provide this service on both a short-term and long-term basis and without requiring much advance warning. This is of course dependent on the amount of belongings that require storage and any special conditions like temperature control, which may be required. For the majority of cases though, your moving company should be able to provide this to you. There are some cases where this is built into your bill. There are other situations where it is a separate monthly fee which you negotiate with your moving company. In many cases, this will be charged dependent on the cubic feet of space that your belongings take up or whether you require a dedicated storage unit.

What are some ways of saving money when moving?

                One of the most common ways that is often overlooked is cleaning up and throwing things out. Many people have accumulated a lot of goods which they do not use, tvs which are broken which have not been disposed of, old computers, vacuum cleaners which don’t work well, etc. Disposing of these yourself by bringing them to a dump or donating/selling goods which you do not want or use, can be a great way of cutting back on cost.

Can you hire a mover and not a truck?

                Although some companies do provide this option, it is not recommended. When you are hiring out a truck, you are also effectively renting the materials it comes with. Tools, an extensive amount of pads, locks, wrap, dollies, and straps help protect both your belongings during the move and during transport. By not renting a truck, you are forgoing all the benefits that having these materials provide.

When hiring movers, does everything need to be packed in advance?

                No. Movers will help you pack if there is any need. However, packing essentials can help make it faster when unpacking. In general, unpacking is something clients do by themselves and knowing what is in important boxes can help speed up how long it takes to get completely set up in your new residence.

Is there anything you should move yourself?

                There is rarely anything that must be moved by yourself. However, there are times when you want to move certain items separately because you need to access them or they are of critical importance. If you are moving insects, reptiles or fish, you may not want them to be inside a moving truck. There are other instances where you are moving heirlooms, important memorabilia or precious items which have sentimental value. There is no particularly standard for what you should move yourself and reputable companies will take extra steps to handle precious belongings with the due care required. There are certain objects or belongings which you require immediate access to, which should not be included in boxes. For instance, if you have asthma and need medication in case of an attack. Or if you need to have a contract or anything else on hand. This may sound obvious of course but can get lost when in the commotion when you are gathering things for your move.

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