Mover's Guide to Disassembling Furniture
When planning your long-distance move, you need to know whether movers will disassemble & re-assemble your furniture. Here are the answers you need.
When planning your long-distance move, you need to keep this in mind. Especially for longer moves, disassembly and reassembly may come with their own price tag, as a standalone service.
Furniture disassembly is one of the most common things left off of pre-move checklists, and it’s easy to see why. Between finding a moving crew, buying or leasing a new home, and preparing to uproot your life, it seems like a minor detail. We’ve looked into it for you, in order to help make your move as smooth as possible.
In this article, you’ll find out:
- Whether furniture assembly and disassembly is commonly offered
- If that service comes with an extra price tag
- How appliance re-attachment figures into it
- Which furniture pieces in your home require disassembling
- Which of these items can be taken apart by movers
- What you, the client, may do to reduce costs and make the process easier
Is Furniture Disassembly an Included Service?
Depending on the length and billing structure of your move, your moving company may offer to do this at little to no additional cost. For example, local moves are typically billed at a constant hourly rate. Aside from that, your moving crew will likely have a set of tools with them, which will enable them to handle all of your furniture needs. This includes taking apart and reassembling your furniture items. This service will not show up on your bill as a standalone additional charge, but will likely cause your overall bill to increase, due to increased time on the job.
For long-distance moves, the payment structure varies greatly between providers. Many full-service moving companies will resort to offering moving services on an “a la carte” basis. Clients will only get what they pay for, with no extra frills.
Also worth noting is the fact that, for longer international or interstate moves, it is highly unlikely that the same crews will be on each end of your move. This could lead to complications for more complicated pieces of furniture. Professional movers tend to stick with this policy – “If we took it apart, we’ll put it back together.” If you’ve switched crews between locations, you may need to assemble the furniture yourself or sign a release of liability form in order to have your second crew make an attempt.
Do Moving Companies Charge a Set Price to Disassemble Furniture?
Again, this varies from company to company. The easiest way to find out is to ask a company representative during your in-home moving quote or to look online. Moving companies tend to list add-on services on their websites.
If there is a set price, it will usually be equal to about one or two extra hours on the job for your workers on each end. That is to say, between $50 and $60 per hour, per mover.
Which Pieces of Furniture Will Need to Be Disassembled?
For long-distance moving, in particular, anything that can come apart should come apart. Large furniture pieces, such as dressers and armoires, should be cleared of their contents at the very least. If they need to be moved down or up flights of stairs, their drawers may have to be removed, whether they are empty or not. Remember, on moving day, your movers are doing a lot of heavy lifting. Anything you can do to streamline the process will be noticed and appreciated.
Common Pieces Needing Disassembly
This is by far the most common item which moving clients need to have taken apart. If it has a complicated design, you may be better served taking it apart yourself, as it will save you time and money on both ends of the move.
Dressers with Mirrors
Bedroom dressers with attached mirrors are among the first things movers notice when conducting a walkthrough of a home with the client. They are disassembled early in the move, as the mirror will be padded and set aside to minimize any chance of damage.
Dining Room Tables
Especially in larger homes, dining room tables will need to be taken apart in order to safely fit on the moving truck without breaking. The tabletop and legs will be padded independently after they are taken apart.
Bookcases and Bookshelves
Only the most sturdily built bookcases will have fixed shelves. For most other units, the only fixed shelves will be towards the middle of the piece, in order to give it structure. In order to avoid damage during the move, your movers will remove these shelves, as well as the pins holding them up within the piece.
This includes any items with glass shelves or fronts, such as dining room hutches and curio cabinets. These usually have glass shelving, which is almost always removable. Your movers will take these out of the pieces before fully prepping them for the move, and will independently pad them before they go on the moving truck.
What Should Clients Do To Make This Part of the Move Easier?
If your goal is to cut costs, then you should make every effort to disassemble every piece of furniture that you reasonably can, on your own. As already mentioned, you will likely have different moving crews on each end of the job for long-distance moves. This means that your second crew may have a difficult time reassembling more complex pieces.
If you would like for your movers to handle this aspect of your move, then you should prepare your home and furniture adequately before the move date. This entails examining any larger pieces of furniture to see if disassembly is needed. You should then organize the rooms they are in accordingly. This should give your movers space to work, and lower the chances of losing any screws or hardware. Remember – anything that saves time will also save you money by keeping moving costs down.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, these checklists should help you get started.
Furniture Disassembly and Reassembly FAQ
How do movers keep track of furniture parts and hardware during long-distance moves?
The most common practice for movers is to keep the hardware for a given piece of furniture in its own dedicated plastic bag. These bags will then go in a labeled “parts box” towards the end of the truck, expediting assembly at your new home.
What types of furniture will my movers not take apart?
Movers will typically avoid any piece of furniture which has had any DIY repairs done on it. For example, if it has screws or wood glue in awkward, load-bearing spots, which a worker may structurally damage by removing, they will not take it apart.
A standard across many operators in the moving industry is also a lack of insurance for particle board furniture pieces. Particleboard components, found in many self-assembled furniture brands like IKEA, are looked upon as a subpar material. It is liable to fall apart in the truck during any move, especially one that covers a long distance. Should you opt to handle this yourself, IKEA posts plenty of instructional videos to go along with the manuals