Star Seattle Movers

Moving and Home Services Contractors

Adding a Pergola or Backyard Gazebo to Your New Home

February 2nd, 2016

budget pergolaOne of the fun aspects of being a moving company is that we get to see a lot of different home and garden decoration styles for the clients we represent.

While we almost always see these styles when they’re in the process of being mounted or demounted, preparing or recovering from a move, it nonetheless allows us ample opportunity to see the good ideas in their place.

One of my favorite concepts, even though it is one of the most challenging moving tasks we come across, is the idea of placing a backyard pergola or gazebo in your yard.

Many home owners choose this route in order to establish a professional, welcoming feel in their garden. Styles range from permanent installations attached to the house to semi-portable units that can be disassembled with (relative) ease, and shipped to their new home when they’re ready for their move.

Obviously, we favor the latter. These pergolas are generally self-standing units, and have a cross-thatch design structure in place, which allows one to dismantle it if necessary.

The best ones are hand-made, rather than mass-manufactured, and there are a surprising number of DIY pergolas that grace the gardens of our clients.

If that sounds like something you might be interested in including for your home (or next home, if you’re getting ready for a move), then check out pergolaplans.org for more design ideas and information about how to build a cost effective and well-designed pergola or gazebo for your yard.

If you already have a unit in your yard, deck, patio, or garden, and are getting ready for a move, you should feel confident that most units are move-able. Since purchased pergolas often cost $10,000 or more, it’s definitely something you’ll want to take with you to your new home, or at least negotiate into the selling price of your house!

If you’re looking for a gazebo or pergola that doesn’t break the budget, but don’t have the skills, time, or interest to build one yourself, you might check out Costco, which has a number of very affordable, semi-permanent pergola options.

How To Move a Solar Panel Between Houses

January 25th, 2016

solarOne question we frequently get from homeowners is whether or not we are able to move their home solar units from one home to their new home.

The answer is yes, but with a few cautions. We are movers, not electricians, which means that while we can physically move the unit and take care of the fragile parts it contains, we cannot disconnect or reinstall it to your residence.

We checked in with a few Seattle electricians we know to learn more.

Properly Uninstalling a Solar Unit

The first step of the process is to make sure you properly disassemble your current solar panel. While there are some portable solar panels that you can get, most residential units are semi-permanent, so uninstalling it may take several hours.

Most home solar panels are attached to the roof, which means you need to take extra precautions because you’re dealing not only with live electric current, but unstable, often slanted surfaces that could lead to a fall.

Above all else, be careful.

Make sure you first cut power to the unit, and disconnect it from your home electric grid (often run through your switch box or other central home electric panel).

Only then should you go about the process of disassembling the installation.

The Moving Process

To prepare for the move, make sure you find adequate styrofoam or cardboard to secure the unit.

Most solar panels are fairly fragile. If you don’t still have the original packaging, you can get styrofoam peanuts from your local packaging store, or we can provide them when we arrive for the move.

You want the box size to be such that the unit fits snugly, with ample room for the styrofoam or other cushioning material, but not so much room that the unit can move around within it’s box.

We’ll take care of the move itself.

Re-Installing the Unit

Then, all that’s left is to reinstall the unit. To do this, you simply follow the same procedure you did for the last install.

All units vary slightly in their installation procedures, so be sure to follow the instructions for your model carefully. If you didn’t save the installation instructions from last time, most manufacturers of solar panels kits keep online copies for you to access on their websites.

Learn more about solar panel installation at solarpanelinstallationguide.org.

If you are concerned that you don’t know how to properly follow the steps in this process, or feel like you need help to do so, do not hesitate to call a professional.

While solar panel installation isn’t always difficult, it can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, since you are working with live electrical units.

Choosing the Right Heating and Air System

January 16th, 2016

hvacWhen you’re moving into a new home, one of the first considerations you should make is to ensure you have a high quality heating and air system for the house.

Unfortunately, this is an item that often goes overlooked on many home inspections, and new homeowners often move in to find that they need to engage in expensive repairs, renew expiring contracts, or replace entire units altogether.

Regardless of the extent of work you need to have done, from repairing a house-wide installed system to bringing in a one-room air conditioner or mini-heater to offset those summer or winter needs, it’s important that you start the process before moving day.

Work on your new home, any level work, is almost always easier and less expensive to deal with when you’re not yet living in the house itself.

Here are a few things to keep in mind before moving in:

Consider All Seasons

The first thing to consider is how harsh the weather is at different points of the year, in order to make sure you choose the HVAC unit that’s right for you.

In Seattle, for example, we are blessed with mild summers and most homes do not include air conditioning. Winter heating takes priority, and should be the focus of most home HVAC needs.

If you live in McKinney, on the other hand, you’re going to want to focus primarily on combatting those blistering summers, and ensure you have an HVAC unit that can survive through those tough conditions.

Have Existing Equipment Inspected

A second tip is to make sure that you have all existing equipment inspected before you move in.

Though a unit might appear fine at a casual glance, often times there are unseen issues, from dirty filters to fuel leaks, that can crop up once the unit is turned on.

Live-test every unit, to be sure it functions as appropriate.

Click here to learn more about your system needs.

Review All Service Contracts

Finally, it’s essential that you review all service contracts related to your home heating and air system.

Many contracts are entered into for the location, and not just the owner, meaning that when you move into a new house you may find yourself already under contract for repair and maintenance services.

This is especially true of investors purchasing rental properties with existing tenants, as contracts can carry over from one owner to the next.

I hope this post helps you consider a few oft-neglected points about your heating and air system in your new home. If you’re considering a move, contact us for more information.

What To Know About Moving into Short Term Rental Property

December 12th, 2015

Are you in the process of changing homes or apartments, but haven’t yet purchased your next home?

Or maybe you’ve purchased your new home and closed on your old one, but still have to complete a few months of repairs before you can move in.

Either way, every year millions of Americans move into short term rental properties and apartments to bridge the gap in the transition to a new home, condo, or apartment.

For many, this can be a stressful time, but our job is to make sure that you have as smooth a transition as possible.

To do that, we spoke with a property management company in sacramento we worked with recently to get you their perspective on a few things to consider before your move. Click here for their site on property management to learn more.Plan Before You Move

The most important step you can take to ensure a smooth transition between houses is to make sure you plan out the details of the move before you start packing, and definitely before you actually make the move itself!

For many people, short term rentals mean “getting through” a few months in a smaller apartment. If you’re waiting out a move between two houses, chances are you’re not going to have room for all of your belongings in your short term rental.

Even if you do have the space, you don’t want to be constantly packing and unpacking, so before you leave your old house, plan carefully where to box which items, and try to bare things down to the essentials, so you can more quickly transition in and out of your short term apartment.

Consider Storage

If you do have too many things to fit in your apartment, sometimes simply keeping them in boxes in the corner just doesn’t cut it. That’s especially true if you have a lot of furniture, and in many cases short term rentals come pre-furnished or semi-furnished.

In that case, you might want to consider a storage center. Be sure you to pick one that has a good reputation within your region, and you may even want to consider a climate-control system if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain or snow, or is unusually humid.

After all, there’s nothing worse than going to retrieve your stored belongings, only to realize they were destroyed by mold!

For more tips and information on temporary storage, click here or watch the video below.

The Best Movers in Seattle

September 29th, 2015

seattle moversDid you just buy a home in the Seattle-Tacoma corridor?

If so, you might consider using Start Seattle Movers to help you transition into your new home. We are one of the leading providers of moving services in Western Washington, and can handle jobs of almost any type.

Some of the services we provide include:

Home Packing Services

Get your house ready for your move with our help! We can come advise you on how best to pack up your home, or even pack everything for you!

Traditional Moving Services

About 95% of our business falls into this category. Your “standard” moving service isn’t so standard, however, as we’re sure to take extra good care of all of your belongings, watching out for your valuables and taking care not to scuff the furniture!

Antique and Specialty Moving

Do you have any items that require special care? Whether it’s an antique piece of furniture or a grand piano, our team is experienced with dealing with custom and unique moving projects.

Please call us for an estimate and to understand the different options that are available for you!