Simple Guide to Know How to Estimate Moving Jobs

Estimate moving jobs

Planning to start a small business for your moving jobs? Getting through the details is important, as it costs a few hundred to thousands of dollars. You might have few questions that often cross your mind while you plan to start a moving business. Some of them are: how much do movers cost? Or, how much does it cost to hire movers? Needless to say, all these questions are significant while you create an estimate for your moving jobs. Writing a formal estimate helps you to track your detailed cost and profit earned. The information you provide in your estimate legally binds you, and hence it needs to be exact.

The guide provided in this article will help you create a professional estimate for your moving jobs for your small business. Scroll down to know more!

Steps to estimate moving jobs

To get a clear idea about the average cost of movers, go through the below section.

Creating a moving estimate isn’t complex but, you need to focus on certain factors to get more clients with profitable outcomes. Here are the steps you need to take while you are preparing your moving estimate.

1. Visit the site:

Estimating before visiting the job site for certain businesses isn’t beneficial. The same goes for moving jobs. Avoid providing quotes over the phone or online without visiting the site in person. This way you can avoid unnecessary confusion by adding extra charges later on, which might mislead your clients.

2. Prepare an inventory list:

Visiting the job site or client’s home will help to prepare your inventory list. Your written estimate needs to have all the details about the items which will be moved. An inventory list will help you keep track of all the items and maintain the numbers as well. No matter how many small or big boxes are to be moved, you need to include the inventory list in your estimate for clear understanding.

3. Choose the type of estimate you need:

Select the type of estimate you want for the service you provide. There are mainly three main types of moving estimates.

Binding moving estimate:

This kind of moving estimate holds the same value throughout the transaction. For any additional charges, you can adjust the price.

Non-binding estimate:

This kind of estimate allows you to bill up to 110% of the price after delivery. Moreover, this allows you to determine the final amount depending upon the shipment weight and the services provided.

Binding-not-to-exceed moving estimate:

This is almost the same as a binding moving estimate. The only difference is that the clients will pay less in case the weight of the items is less than estimated.

4. Consider the moving date:

The average cost of movers is double the normal rate during the summer or holiday season. Therefore, you need to keep a check on the moving date to make a proper and accurate estimate. Most of the business owners set a time limit after which the estimates expire and that is generally 30 days. If the clients request another estimate after the expiry of the existing one, then a new one will be made. In that case, the price may vary if the date falls in a much busier season than the previous one.

5. Calculate the cost based on weight:

Most of the moving companies charge based on the weight of the items after shipment. Charging by volume is considered illegal in most states. This method may open up the scope of overcharging the customers, which may drop the reputation of the company. Hence, the average cost of movers should be maintained at around 50 cents per pound. Some local movers charge on a per-hour basis and as per their rating method, the average cost of movers is between $25 to $50.

Here are some of the average timings of various assignments:

  • A two-bedroom house requires 6-7 hours with 3 movers.
  • A three-bedroom house requires 8-10 hours with 4 movers
  • Studio apartments require 4-5 hours with 2 movers.

6. Count the distance:

Keep a check on the distance as the long-distance moves will cost more to the clients than the shorter distance. Let’s give you an idea of how much do movers cost on average for 1000 miles.

  • Two-bedroom home: $3800-$4000
  • One-bedroom house: $2000- $2300
  • Studio apartment: minimum $15000

7. Add the additional costs:

While preparing your estimate do keep space for additional costs always. You will get to know about these additional costs after visiting the client’s location. Most importantly, you need to show all the extra charges in the estimates so that clients have a clear idea of what they are paying for. Here are some of the typical additional costs:

Large and heavy items:

Heavy and larger items cost more than lighter and smaller ones. For example, moving a piano, safes, etc., may require additional cost.


Extra charges may add up for packing materials and related services if the clients opt for them. This generally costs around $25-$35.


The cost of a flight of stairs is included as an extra cost by some companies. Whereas, some include this in their prices.

Long carry:

If the movers travel after the specified distance of moving the items, then the extra cost is charged.

Shuttle service:

Extra charges are applicable if the track can not park the vehicle near the house.

Moving insurance:

Provide basic insurance for the items moving and provide the option of full coverage to the clients.

How much do movers cost?

It may cost around $1000 for relocating by hiring professional movers. Local household movers cost around $1200 whereas the average cost of movers for a long-distance is around $4890. The prices may vary depending upon various factors as already discussed earlier.

How much do long-distance movers cost?

A long-distance move from one state to another would cost between $4300 and $5630 for 7400 pounds. This is for a distance of about 1225 miles. The price again may vary depending upon the weight of the items, insurance, and other services provided during shipment.

Can moving costs help in tax deduction?

You can avail a certain tax deduction on moving expenses if you save those receipts. If you are donating the items then calculate the current cash value of the items before moving and mention the amount on the donation receipt to get the tax deduction.

Is the moving cost for a job tax-deductible?

Yes! Tax deductions are applicable on moving costs for jobs. If you are relocating for a job change or business purposes, then obviously you can get a tax deduction on the moving costs. For this, you need to fill the IRS form 3903.

What to be considered before hiring a moving company?

Deciding on a specific move method may seem tricky and you need to analyze the pros and cons of each choice thoroughly. If hiring a moving company is worth the price then go for it, otherwise, you can opt for rental trucks or less expensive moving containers.

How to calculate the moving cost?

Mostly two types of move methods are applied intrastate and interstate.
1. Intrastate move: It involves an hourly rate mostly which includes labor cost, packaging costs, assembling furniture, and few other add-ons.
2. Interstate move: This involves a rate that takes into account three primary factors. Those are the weight of the shipment, mileage, and labor cost.

Bottom line!

Preparing a moving estimate seems tricky. You need to have all the details before you mention them in the estimate. This article will guide you to understand how much do movers cost and would help you create an accurate estimate. Get Billbooks to convert your estimates into invoices immediately to avoid delayed payments.

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