With more than 1.1 million homeowners, according to HDB statistics, there are more than an estimated 100,000 house moving occurring in Singapore every year.
If you have experienced home moving before, you know how stressful it can be, whether its DIY home moving or engaging a professional house mover.
Engaging the right service makes moving a lot easier, but it can add a whole new layer of stress to the process. Simplify your move by researching what to expect from hiring a right house mover.
What To Know Before Engaging A Professional Mover?
What type of moving do you want?
There are few steps to moving. Depending on your budget and preference, you may opt for different combinations. The 4 steps are:
- Moving (with or without vehicle provided)
- Cleaning up
- Storage services
Packing includes tapping, bubble wrapping, packing into boxes to ensure your items are in safe hands. We would advise you to pack important items by yourself such as important documents, jewelry, personal items.
You need to know what you are moving
Be clear on what you are moving and what you are leaving behind.
Usually when you ask for a quote, house movers will come done to your home to assess the items that you will be moving.
Most movers, according to the industry standards, do not charge for viewing and quoting at your home. Even if they do charge, they will offset it once you engage them to move your home.
If you do not want multiple house movers to come to your home, you can also list down your items comprehensively and pass it on to movers who allow quotations based on list of items.
Definitely, it is better to have the professional come down to your house to give a quote. This will be the most accurate. Moreover, they will be able to assess things that can’t be addressed via the phone such as:
- Whether big furniture requires dismantling before moving
- Whether the layout of the house will result in more complicated moving
- Items that could be accidentally left out by you via the phone
Download this moving inventory checklist.
This Checklist also covers the more important points such as:
- Involvement of stairs
- Prevention of Flooring scratches
- Big items that are involved (Piano Moving, Bed dismantling)
- Things to take note when speaking to the professionals
You need to make sure that the quote is final based on the viewing or the list of items. You need to make sure all the items that you want moved are listed by you and the professional. Also, ensure that the professional has finalized the quote and no further adjustments will be made.
Most quotation includes labour, transportation, basic dismantling & assembling of furniture, necessary protection using stretch film for furniture and electronic goods. Clarify with the house mover what is covered and whether more is required during the move such as packing, unpacking etc.
If you would like your items to be insured during the move, make sure to check your insurance status. If you are not insured, you can purchase insurance from the movers directly.
However, if you are not willing to pay for insurance, then you will need to do an extra step of checking their reviews to see what past customers have commented about their service. Make sure that you are engaging a trustworthy professional.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire Local Movers?
One thing to note is that different company charges differently. Some movers charge by per hour basis, while others charge based on per trip, yet others charge based on the amount of items.
According to our research, hiring movers in Singapore typically cost between $250 to $1500, with cheap movers able to provide the lowest prices between $250 – $500, and other mid-tier companies between $500-$1,500.
As for per hour charges, the average moving rate is from $100 to $150 per hour.
Many different factors can determine how much it costs to move, so continue reading to learn more.
For example, when moving bulky items (such as piano) or fragile items, be ready to pay more for the extra manpower or care required.
Plus, timing is everything — moving during the busy season almost always costs more.
When looking for movers, cost is only one of the many factors to rake into account. It is also useful to be familiar with the process of finding and hiring movers, including the different types of estimates you might encounter.
This guide is designed to give you all the basics so you have a reasonable idea what to expect. Other important points to consider include finding the right mover and avoiding falling victim to a moving scam.
Estimated Household Moving Costs
When it comes to house moving, one of the more reliable metrics to estimate the cost of moving is the size of your home.
Should you need a house moving quotation, you can find our directory for moving services in Singapore.
Based on our findings, below are the average prices for a typical Singapore homeowner based on average hourly rates charged by local moving companies; including the truck rental cost and the hourly rate charged by professional movers.
Average 3 room flat: $500, 3-5 hours
Average 4 room flat: $700, 4-6 hours
Average 5 room flat: $900, 5-7 hours
Note this is merely an estimate as the final moving quotation is dependent on many factors.
More on that in a minute.
How do moving companies set prices on services?
Most companies use the following as a guide to their pricing:
- Moving services
- Volume of items
- Labour via staircase
- Long pushing distance
- Before / after working hours
- Volume of items
- Packing / unpacking moving services
- Number of carton boxes to pack / unpack
- Disposal services
- Volume of items
- Disposal fee
- Handyman services
- Complexity of job
- By the hour
What are the payment options available?
The following payment methods are common amongst movers in Singapore:
- Bank transfer
- Secure online payment such as Paypal or DBS PayLah!
Factors That Affect Home Moving Cost
The amount of money you can expect to spend on moving depends on a variety of factors —most notably, your current location and the distance of your move. In summary, the factors are:
- Manpower and help needed
- Moving van & truck rental costs
- Ease of access to a location
- Bulky & fragile items
- Wrapping and packing
- Dismantling of bulky items
- Temporary storage
Manpower and help needed
The more help you need, the more you can expect to pay.
While most of us can do most of the packing, loading and unloading ourselves, often such tasks are too time consuming or requires too much effort. Hiring a mover to settle these tasks for us saves time and also help move more quickly.
The average estimate can differ considerably depending on the size of your home, amount of furniture you need packed, as well as any special packing material you may need for your bulky or fragile items.
Whether or not this rate includes standard packing material is dependent on the moving service you hire.
Be sure to discuss this in advance with the mover before engaging them. To save money, some homeowners pack their own belongings, disassemble large furniture, and reassemble it once they arrive in their new location.
Moving Van & Truck Rental Costs
For some of us who may want to experience moving ourselves or save money, you can consider renting a truck or van when moving yourself.
The cost of a truck or van can vary considerably depending on the size of the truck needed, mileage the truck will travel, price of gas charged by the rental company and overall time needed with the vehicle.
Common van models includes the following:
- Toyota Hiace Van
- Toyota Liteace Van
- Nissan Urvan
- Nissan NV200
- Nissan NV350 Panel Van Auto
- Nissan NV350 Panel Van Manual
- Mitsubishi L300 Van
Cargo van dimensions include:
- Internal Length: 2.1m
- Internal Width: 1.4m
- Internal Height: 1.2m
- External Length: 3m
- External Width: 1.6m
- External Height: 2m (Make sure carpark clearance height is higher than 2.1m)
The typical basic rental cost for a cargo van in Singapore can range between $45-$55 per hour, and surcharge of around $20/h may be added after 6pm.
For 10ft trucks, basic rental cost typically cost between $50-$60 per hour, and surcharge of around $25/h may be added after 6pm.
For 15ft trucks, basic rental cost typically cost between $55-$65 per hour, and surcharge of around $25/h may be added after 6pm.
For lorries, rental typically range between $130 to $200 per day, depending on the size and availability of the lorries available.
Common lorry dimensions include:
- 1 ton
- 2 ton
- 4 ton with tailgate
- 5.5 ton with tailgate
- 9 ton with tailgate
Lorries can also come in the following categories:
While this is the cheapest alternative to hiring a moving company, many factors should be considered before a final decision is made to exclude moving professionals; including the length of the move, size of the vehicle and weight of the household items being moved.
Ease of Access To A Location
How easy it is to access the pickup or dropoff lcoation is also a critical factor.
Some homes are further away from loading/unloading areas, whilst some estates (especially condominiums) have strict rules enforced such that movers have to carry items over a considerable distance.
Other require professionals to scale down several flights of stairs (places with no elevators), or hoist items into or out of the home through a window.
When moving locally, the extra time needed given your specific access limitations can affect the overall cost of the move.
We recommend you to speak to movers and packers in Singapore and have a site inspection prior to the day of the move to provide a quote for any additional costs, provide an estimate of how long the move will take, and to prepare with any additional materials needed on moving day.
Timing of The Move
Like all industries, there are seasonal high demands as well as lull period in the home moving industry.
Moving prices may change depending on the time of move, subjected to the mover company’s discretion.
Chances are, there will be additional cost for moving on weekends or holidays like Saturdays and Sundays.
It depends on individual movers. Some may require surcharge on Sundays and public holidays, while some quote the surcharge depending on the volume of work.
Bulky & Fragile Items
For bulky and fragile items, it is important to take extra caution and include bubble wrapping of these furniture and fragile items before moving.
Packing & Wrapping
Most movers include bubble wrapping furniture and fragile items in the price of their packages, but some may not. You can easily buy some packing and wrapping items such as boxes from Carousell.
Dismantling of Bulky Items
While some movers may do it for free (usually those that charges a bit more), other movers may not provide this service for you.
Some moving companies may be able to provide warehouse storage space as well. Should you need to store your belongings temporarily before your new home is ready, some moving companies also provide warehouse space, either free for a number of days or for a fee.
If you have large items that cannot be dismantled and cannot be removed from your house by the door and elevators or stairs, they may have to be hoisted, which will incur extra moving costs.
Most professional moving services include basic liability coverage as part of the price. For full value protection, expect an increase in moving cost.
Cost of Moving Other Items like Cars and Pianos
Moving a piano locally may cost an extra $150 to $800, although it can cost up to $2,500 extra if the movers need to lift the piano with a crane (extreme cases).
Heavy, bulky items take up extra space in the moving truck, and they’re often hard to handle.
You can expect to pay more for bulky items such as:
- Pool tables
- Swing sets
- Lawn mowers
- Extra large furniture
Cost of moving by yourself
If you are looking to pack by yourself, here is an estimated cost of materials that you may require.
|Boxes||$2.5-$4 (from small to large sizes)||20|
|Bubblewrap (20 ft)||$9/roll||2|
|Corrugated paper (20 feet)||$10/roll||1|
|Silica gel $0.3/packet||$0.3/packet||10|
|Packing peanuts $36/packet||$36/packet||1|
|Brown packing tape||$2.50||6|
|Newsprint (100 sheets)||$10/pack||1|
|Total = $306.7|
They usually allow boxes to be sent to your house directly with a transportation fee if you want to pack the items into a box by yourself. Some companies do buy back boxes that are still in good condition if you engage them for moving service – so do ask them!
If you are looking to move by yourself, you may require a vehicle rental and driver.
|Type||Cost*||Size||Load weight||Load size||Size of bed that can fit||Estimated time for loading and unloading|
|Toyota Hiace Van
|About $60 per hour with driver included||2.5m (length) by 1.5m (width) by 1.25m (height)
|Up to 1.06 ton of goods.||About 40 jumbo (59cm by 46cm by 55cm) boxes||A queen size bed will be able to fit in there.
|0.5h per load|
|10 Ft Open Lorry
||About $70 per hour with driver included||3m (length) by 1.5m (width) by 1.8m (height)
|Up to 1.5 ton of goods.||About 60 jumbo (59cm by 46cm by 55cm) boxes||A king size bed will be able to fit in there.||45 mins per load|
|14ft Box Covered Lorry
||About $80 per hour with driver included||4m (length) by 1.8m (width) by 2m (height)
|Up to 2.5 ton of goods.||About 150 jumbo (59cm by 46cm by 55cm) boxes||2 queen size beds will be able to fit in there.||1h per load|
*At different timings (e.g. evening or night times), prices may be higher.
If you have items that exceeds the size of the lorry, opt for the open lorry to manage those items.
Things to note:
- Do take note of both the size and the weight of the items. If the load is too heavy, the suspension of the lorry may get damaged, which may eventually result in greater cost.
- Take note of the height limit of your loading area. Ensure that the pick up point and drop off point can fit the height of the lorry. If not, you will have to arrange for a smaller lorry.
Should I move with or without a house mover?
Our advice is to move with a professional house mover. Most of us are not moving experts. Renting a lorry to move may end up incurring higher costs as we spend hours away moving the items.
Taking into account your sweat and effort, and possible problems that may result from inexperience moving, consulting a moving professional is definitely the option to go for.
We would advise you to take charge of packing and unpacking of your personal items. This ensures that your items will not be misplaced, stolen and damaged during the move.
Tips on Hiring Movers
When it comes to hire a reliable mover, due diligence and planning goes a long way.
Although you can find moving companies through Google or in the phonebook (if you are ancient enough), it’s easier if you seek reputable online mover reviews rated by hundreds if not thousands of past customers.
You can read more about frequently-asked questions when hiring a mover, some of the more crucial tips before hiring a mover include:
- Checking the credentials for prospective movers by contacting them to get their license/company numbers, doing business as (DBA) names, and the number of years they’ve been in business. Checking SGHomeNeeds’s mover reviews of pre-screened companies is a good place to start when identify local, reputable business to consider for hiring.
- Getting estimates from multiple movers. We’d suggest getting at least 3-5 movers quotations before confirming one to make sure you’re getting the most competitive prices and to find the movers that meet your needs.
- Confirming the details with movers. Some of the nitty gritty details such as confirming whether there’ll be additional charges for wrapping, boxes, assembling/dismantling do help in your moving experience. Get as many details as you can about factors such as the rate structure and payment terms, extra fees and hidden costs, the history of the company, and whether it works with subcontractors. Other helpful things to know about include packing services, storage services, insurance, and what to expect on the day of the move.
How to Avoid Scams
With so many moving projects a year, there will bound to be cases of scams and frauds involved.
Avoid falling prey to fraudulent criminals by recognizing the warning signs and quickly moving on to another company.
- Asking for a deposit: Some movers may require a deposit, however if the sum is too large, it is a cause for suspicion.
- Listing a P.O Box or a residential address: Verify the address on the company’s website to make sure it’s legitimate.
- Asking for a really low price: The most common moving scams in Singapore is that companies offer really really low prices then ransom the victim’s possessions to receive extra money, if not adding extra moving costs to the bill without the client knowing.
If possible, write down all the services promised for the quoted fee and get the company to sign off on this when they visit your home for a quotation. If you are a victim of possible scams, you can always report to the Singapore police, or letting online users know about your story.
Importantly, if the moving company is on SGHomeNeeds directory, report to SGHomeNeeds team immediately and leave a review at the mover’s profile.
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