Measure twice, move once: don’t get stuck at the door with large item moves
One of the situations we encounter frequently is difficulty in getting a large piece of furniture successfully into a house or flat, or when we do get it in, further problems with getting it into the space its intended to occupy. We’re experienced enough to be able to reassure customers that if there’s a way in, we’ll find it, but as good as we are, even we can’t bend the laws of physics. If you don’t spend time making sure that your furniture and large items will fit into your new home, then you may be relying on nothing more than hope and crossed fingers come move day. It therefore pays for you to have undertaken some simple calculations beforehand.
Here’s our quick guide to prepping and measuring up for a smooth move.
1. Measure properly
Measure the width, height and depth of your item. Large items can often be angled to fit through a space, so make sure you take the diagonal measurements of items too, such as the diagonal height of a bookcase between two opposing corners, or the diagonal depth of a sofa, e.g. from the base of the rear leg to the opposite corner at the tip of the armrest.
Once you’ve measured your items, make an appointment to visit your new home in order to do a proper measure up. You may already have access to basic floor plans and room measurements, but you’ll need to take more specific measurements of things that probably aren’t on the plans, such as the dimensions of the stairs, including any turns and available height for manoeuvring. Measure the doorways, halls, entryways and stairways, including any restrictions that reduce the available space, such as light fittings and radiators. Plan the best route through to the item’s final location; the one that gives you the most room for manoeuvre and the fewest obstacles to navigate.
Furniture retailer and manufacturer Perch & Parrow have a handy guide on how to measure up for the arrival of new furniture, but the same principles can be applied to any large object.
2. Break it down
If an item looks like it’s not going to fit, don’t despair just yet. A lot of modern furniture and appliances can be dismantled to make them smaller and more manageable, such as the removal of fridge/freezer doors. Legs can be removed from tables, and many modern sofas come in several removable parts (base, arms, back and feet) because of how they’re constructed by the manufacturer, and can be rebuilt easily and quickly once they’re in situ. If you’re buying new furniture, check with the supplier as to how the items are packed for delivery, including the size of any containers (which could also serve as protectors during the move), so that you can factor those elements into your calculations.
3. Pick a window
Sometimes the door is not the best entry point for furniture or other large items, and a window is your best bet. Measure the apertures with the windows open and you may find you have more access space than you realised. Even if the largest window is on the first floor or above, it can still be the most suitable entry point, and we have the equipment and the expertise to safely hoist items through upstairs windows, and from there into their final location. Some windows, especially modern uPVC ones, can have double glazing units removed relatively easily from the inside, without the need for any post-move making good, and even older sash units can be removed simply by taking off the beading and lifting the window unit out (although there may be a small amount of repair and repainting once you’ve put the beads back in place). If you’re in any doubt as to how much work that might involve, ask an expert: either discuss it with us at your pre-move survey or get a professional opinion from a builder or joiner.
4. Protect your precious things
Even when you have the peace of mind of an insured move, it’s frustrating when you’ve spent time gradually negotiating a large item into place only to discover a dink, dent, scratch or scuff on your item or on the décor of your new home. Modern removals provides a range of protective materials that help prevent damage to your home and your items, and we can assist with expertly packing and wrapping your large items to safeguard them during the move. If you’re planning on preparing your items beforehand, consider a modest investment in decent, purpose-designed protective materials, including mattress protectors, all-in-one furniture covers, edge and corner protectors for picture frames and furniture, and other useful materials such as bubble wrap, paper blankets and television packing boxes. Better still, if you’re one of those people who likes to keep original packaging for items, that’s by far and away the ideal protective measure, and your decision to fill half of your loft with empty boxes on the off chance you may need them in the future will have been fully justified.
5. Tap into our experience
Our job is to make sure that you get safely and efficiently moved out of your old home and into your new one. We don’t just hump gear (though we do that brilliantly), we also work with you to plan your move and solve any issues that might arise, so get us involved early and use our expertise to help plan a successful move. These are all part of the Anytime service:
- Site surveys and measuring up at the move destination
- Assessment of large items, e.g. whether they can be safely dismantled and how best to move them
- Safe dismantling and rebuilding of furniture and other large items
- Safe removal of doors and window openings for access, and reinstating them after the move
- Installation of protective materials to safeguard walls, floors and decor
- Arranging tradespeople to assist with services such as plumbing, carpentry and electrics