Making Sense of Your Move Estimate


Moving estimates help companies determine how much resources should be provided for your move, along with a chance to identify any challenges they may encounter during the process (furniture sizes, steep driveways, etc). There are plenty of variables that come into play when structuring a moving estimate, each capable of uniquely affecting your quote. Let’s run through the most common factors as we break down moving estimates and their details.

Breaking Down Your Moving Estimate

Each of the components listed below can have an impact on the accuracy of your moving estimate. Knowing what services and assistance you may need upfront, will minimize pricing discrepancies along the way. The estimate will include the loading, transportation, and unloading costs, furniture placement, liability coverage, and any additional services (such as packing and unpacking) chosen at your request.

1. Home Size

Moving companies often base quotes on the weight or volume of your belongings, which means the size of the home you’re moving from provides a general outline of the job size.

2. Item Weight

For moving quotes based on weight, the heavier your items the costlier your estimate can become. It’s common practice for some moving companies to charge based on minimum weight.

3. Moving Distance

The distance between loading and drop-off points directly influences your estimate. The further your move, the greater impact it will have on the pricing.

4. Scheduling Availability

There may be some timeframes that prove more cost-effective for your move. Spring and fall are normally the best seasons to move, where summer and winter could cost you more based on limited resources and availability. Some companies even have blackout dates during the summer months when operating at max capacity.

5. Packing & Labor

Opting for professional packing will surely shift weight from your shoulders, of course, you’ll have to pay for the peace of mind.

6. Add-on Services

Moving companies often offer add-on services to further relieve you from responsibility. Assistance with such things as electronics and network configuration, as well as cleaning are just a few of the things you may decide to stretch for.

7. Storage

Some may need to factor in the price of storing items for short or long terms. Whether you choose to store with a moving company or independently, these costs will need to be accounted for.

8. Liability Coverage

Take the necessary time to designate the value of your items and high-value belongings. Liability coverage options may differ from company to company, so each option should be fully explored before deciding.

How does the pricing structure work?

The pricing structure of your move depends on whether your estimate is binding or non-binding. Both are written documents created in advance with your agent that express the expectations of your moving process and cost as a whole, taking into account the weight of your shipment, the details of the services to be provided, and the tariff provisions in effect. A binding estimate or binding cost of service specifies in advance the precise cost of the move based on the services requested or deemed necessary at the time of the estimate. Non-binding estimates may however exceed the given quote come moving day, as the company is not locked into that rate.

Resource: For more information on pricing, services, move protections and more, check out our breakdown of “Your Rights and Responsibilities”   

Is the pricing guaranteed?

Unless you’ve already obtained a binding estimate, the exact cost of your move can’t be determined until your shipment has been loaded on the van and weighed. If additional services are requested or become necessary after loading and weighing, additional charges will be incurred. Basic transportation charges depend on the actual weight of your goods and the distance they will travel. These charges are based on “tariff” rate schedules.

Is pricing regulated?

Relocation costs are regulated by the DOT through tariffs. The tariffs are published by each household goods motor carrier and include its various services. This is the list of rules, regulations, available services, and resulting charges used by all motor carriers which provide interstate transportation of household goods. The tariffs are available for your inspection upon request.

What additional moving costs can I incur?

Moving companies often have beneficial services you can obtain for additional costs, or can even offer moving packages to tailor your needs. These services commonly include convenient tasks to enhance your moving experience, such as:

  • Specialized Preparation & Relocation
  • Long-term and Short-term Storage
  • High-value Inventory Coverage
  • Trash & Debris Pickup
  • Packing & Unpacking
  • Full House Cleaning
  • Auto Transportation
  • Asset Protection

Moving can be arduous, and obtaining honest moving estimates is critical to establishing realistic expectations for your journey. ADSI United values the importance of reviewing comparative pricing, and strives to provide our customers with the accurate information necessary for ensuring a safe, efficient, and cost-effective move. We hope that in understanding your estimate and its fundamentals, you can feel confident when ascertaining quotes and services from your selected moving companies.