Common Moving Questions – Estimates

JK believes the estimate is one of the most important aspects of the move, for both the customer and the moving company. JK, and other movers, use the opportunity to introduce themselves and their services to a potential customer. The customer in turn is able to set expectations regarding the move as well as a budget. We would like to spend some time today explaining some of the important aspects of an estimate.

A Certified Move Consultant giving an estimate.
A Certified Move Consultant giving an estimate.

First, it is important to note there are three different types of moves; Interstate, Intrastate, and Local.

  • An Interstate move is when the customer moves from one state to another.
  • An Intrastate move is when the customer moves over 30 miles from their origin, within the state of Virginia. An Intrastate move does not apply to all states, however.
  • For JK’s purposes, a local move is any move made within the Washington, DC metropolitan area. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving from Southeast, DC to Northeast, DC, or from Alexandria, VA to Bethesda, MD.

Second, there are three different types of estimates; Non-Binding, Not-to-Exceed, and Binding.

  • The Non-Binding Estimate is an approximate estimate, for the services specified. For Local moves, the customer will pay for the services they received and the materials used, and nothing more. For Interstate and Intrastate moves, the final price will be established after the weight of the shipment has been determined. Non-Binding Estimates are the most popular and preferred type for JK customers.
  • The Not-to-Exceed Estimate is when the customer receives a price quote that includes the maximum a customer will pay, for the services specified. The customer may pay less than the agreed on price depending upon the services they receive.
  • The Binding Estimate is when the customer pays a flat rate, for the services specified. A customer will pay exactly what is quoted even if the move takes less time, or weighs less than quoted. The customer does not pay extra if the move takes longer, or weighs more than quoted. However, if the scope of work changes, then the binding estimate is no longer valid.

How is an estimate calculated? Weight and mileage establish the cost for Interstate and Intrastate moves. Time and materials establish the cost for Local moves.

When deciding on which moving company to use, JK strongly recommends customers receive an in-home survey. JK employs AMSA Certified Move Consultants who will come into a customer’s home and ask questions. They will ask what’s under the bed, outside in the shed, in the basement, and so on. This is all so they can produce an accurate estimate for a move.

Because a customer will have received at least three in-home estimates, they will have to decide which mover to choose. We suggest a customer compares estimates apples-to-apples. Are both companies estimating the same amount of time, number of crew members, and the number of trucks? All of these factors play important roles in an estimate and the service a customer receives.

It’s also important to look at aspects other than price. Are the movers full time employees? Have they been trained? Have they been background checked? Are they drug free? Are they using modern equipment? Ask these questions if you are having a hard time deciding between moving companies. If you still cannot decide which company to use, JK highly recommends a visit to their location. Tour their facilities and see their warehouse, their trucks and trailers, and their people.

We always strive to deliver an excellent moving experience for our customers and that starts with the estimate. Here at JK, we understand that the moving process is complicated and that’s why we believe in honest estimates, given by trained moving consultants who are just a phone call away. If you have any questions with your estimate or your move, you can rest assured that JK will be there to answer the call.

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