Average cost for Furniture Moving & Heavy Lifting ranges from

How much do movers cost?

Heavy lifting or heavy furniture moving?

Furniture moving and heavy lifting services are most commonly used for moving items short distances such as inside a home or within the same building, but these professionals generally can also help move items a few blocks or many miles. Common requests for help involve moving a sofa, armchair, recliner, love seat, dining table, bed frame, mattress, mirror, painting, piano, pool table or packed boxes. Several considerations affect the cost of furniture moving and heavy lifting services.


Time is the biggest factor in determining the cost for these services.The distance a pro has to move furniture or heavy items can affect the total cost—either by increasing the total cost of the project or by costing more by the hour since it can take longer to move something farther. Many companies also charge additional fees if the distance from the home to the truck is more than 100 feet.

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The number of flights of stairs or number of landings in a staircase can also affect the cost of services. Staircases with landings often have shorter ceilings and therefore require more strategy and time to maneuver, for example, moving a bedroom set of mattress, bed frame, dresser from a downstairs bedroom up one flight of straight stairs should take under 60 minutes, resulting in a $65 fee for their services. However, the same bedroom set going up a staircase with a landing and a low ceiling might take closer to 2 hours because of logistics, the need to disassemble and reassemble the furniture, as well as added effort. The job with the landing would then cost $130.

Cost-saving strategies

Break down bed frames, remove table legs and take mirrors off the back of dressers before the movers arrive. Any prep work the customer does means less time the lifters and movers need to be paid. For some king size beds, it can take 20 minutes to disassemble and 20 minutes to reassemble, which is two-thirds of an hour that could be spent moving.

Travel fees

If a job site is outside a professional’s service area, additional travel fees may apply. Talk to your pro about how they handle pricing.

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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. 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
  • Motorcycles
  • Lawn mowers
  • Extra large furniture

You may need to hire a separate car transport service to move vehicles. Professional car-shipping companies generally charge according to the distance they need to travel to deliver the vehicle. For a short distance, the cost is typically less than $1,000 per vehicle, and long-distance transports typically cost $1,000 to $2,000 per vehicle. Other options include renting a car-transport trailer, which usually costs several hundred dollars. 

Factors That Affect 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. Other factors that affect the bottom line include:

Moving and Packing Estimates

The more help you need, the more you can expect to pay. Full-service moving companies provide packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking; best for those too busy to pack their items, or those who need assistance moving quickly. At $25-$50 an hour per mover, you can expect to pay at least $400 additional in hourly costs to pack and unpack your home. The average estimate can differ considerably depending on the size of your home, amount of stuff you need packed, and any special packing material you may need. Whether or not this rate includes standard packing material is dependent on the moving service you hire. Discuss your needs in advance to the move with your moving company. 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

Those looking to move on a budget should consider renting a truck or van to complete the move with friends and family. 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. The average cost of a truck or van can range from just under $50 to over $2,000. 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.

Pickup/Dropoff Locations

In addition to affecting the flow of the move, this typically results in extra charges, especially if the movers have to carry items over a considerable distance, scale down several flights of stairs, 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. It is a good idea to have moving professionals visit both locations 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.

The Timing of the Move

Summer is the busiest season for movers. It’s also the season with the highest rates. Often people can pay up to two times more than average for moving services in the Summer as booking time with a popular and reputable company can be competitive. Likewise, moving rates are typically higher on holidays.

Moving Insurance

Most professional moving services include basic liability coverage as part of the price. This covers approximately 60 cents per pound for each item. For full-value protection, expect to pay more.

Tipping Movers

While not required, tipping can go a long way to showing your appreciation to the individual moving professional for a job well done. Consider leaving a tip between 10-20% of the cost of the move, adding a bit extra per mover for more complicated or long-distance moves. An average tip can fall anywhere between $10-$40 per person for a local move, depending on the overall time spent, is considered a good tip.

Common Moving Company Estimates

Reputable moving companies provide in-home estimates to give you a reasonable idea of what to expect in terms of pricing. It’s essential that the mover visits your home to see each item that needs to be moved and to get a visual of your home’s layout so they can provide the most accurate estimate. Many movers offer three types of estimates, including binding, non-binding, and not-to-exceed estimates.

  • Binding Estimate – Requires you to pay only the stated price, even in cases when the shipment weighs more or less than the original estimate. Does not cover shipping extra goods.
  • Non-Binding Estimate – Does not guarantee final moving cost, but the mover cannot require you to pay more than 110% of the estimate amount at the time of the move. You must pay any additional charges for extra services within 30 days of delivery.
  • Not-To-Exceed Estimate – Bases the price on the binding estimate or the actual final cost, whichever is lower. Often referred to as “guaranteed prices” or “price protection.”


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