Do you charge flat rates or by the hour?

We offer various rates depending on the type of job (size, distance, type of service). For smaller jobs, we like to offer hourly rates which can incentivize clients to be prepared as possible to ensure that the job gets done as quickly as possible. We aim to move with the important balance of speed and care.

For larger jobs, clients tend to want to know exactly what they will be spending so they can be in control of their budget. However, even in these cases, the rates vary depending on the accuracy of the information we have–as well as whether we are asked to perform additional services that were not planned for (such as additional disassembly and reassembly or installations).

Sketchy companies can take advantage of customers with either pricing structure. With hourly, they can drag their feet. With flat rate, they can upcharge unfairly on arrival. However, our goal is to get the job done quickly and efficiently, delivering a positive moving experience to every customer, regardless of job size, price, or type of service.

What is an arrival window?

When it is time to book your job, we will generally offer three options: an 8-9am, noon-3pm, or 2-5pm arrival window.

For morning slots, the window is narrow because we will be heading directly from the headquarters, but there still needs to be some flexibility in case of a delay. With NYC traffic, it can take up to an hour and a half to get from our offices in Red Hook, Brooklyn, to the Upper East Side, for example.

If you choose to move in the afternoon, it means that most likely your move will be the second job of the day for your team. Again, traffic being as it is, and endless variables beyond our control (a disabled elevator, extra inventory, any numbers of unexpected events during the first job of the day) make it necessary to provide a wider, three hour window of arrival. In this case, you can expect to hear from the foreman of your assigned team about an hour before the beginning of the window with an update on their ETA.

My building requires a certificate of insurance. How does that work?

Each building has their own set of requirements. Some need 1-2 million in general liability. Some need $5 million. Some require proof of workers comp, or auto. Ask your building management for their requirements as soon as you book the job with us, and usually they will provide them in the form of a PDF, or in the body of an email.

Once we have the requirements, we then process the certificate. This usually takes a few hours at least, or one business day at most. Therefore, it is very important that we take care of the COI as soon as we can so make sure we don’t hit any roadblocks as we approach moving day.

Do we need to use mattress bags before the movers arrive?

Feel free to bag your mattresses, and any other furniture items that you would like to be protected for your move. Our trucks are always stocked with blankets, tape, shrink wrap, cardboard and dollies. Anytime we get to a job and you have a mattress that is not bagged up, we will wrap it in shrink wrap as part of the service at no extra charge.

However, if we are giving you an hourly rate and you want the job to get done as fast as possible, every bit of prep work that you do ahead of time, whether it is wrapping your mattress, disassembling your furniture, or wrapping your delicate items such as art, mirrors and similar items will speed up the process and therefore save you money on the service.

How much is customary for tipping my movers?

Like many service industry professions; gratuity is an important part of how the workers are compensated for delivering an excellent level of service. When you eat out generally one will think in terms of percentages of the bill when tipping your server. Most people tip around 15-20 percent when they are happy with the service that was provided.

Whether we’re charging flat rate or hourly prices, you can still think in those terms. When the job is done and you are settling up the bill with the foreman, you can give him your gratuity and he will distribute it to the rest of the crew evenly. By all means, please tip generously– moving is hard work!

What is a long carry? Do you charge extra for this?

New York City is full of obstacles; certain streets are too tight to double-park, some buildings have excessively long hallways, courtyards, service entrances. Even though we have dollies to roll inventory, when there is a significant distance (over 150-200 feet is a standard definition of a long carry) this adds time to a job comparable to flights of stairs.

For this reason, it is very important that during the estimate process, we make sure that we are aware of long carries so that we can either incorporate that into our flat rate (if we are providing one), or, if we are charging by the hour, factor that into our estimate of how much time the job will take.

If we arrive on the site of a job and there is a long carry that was not disclosed in advance, if we charged a flat rate, they rate may need to be increased to account for this, just as it would with additional flights, inventory, or special services requested. Knowing about long carries in advance will allow us be make sure the truck is stocked with extra dollies so that we can navigate the distance efficiently.

Do you work in severe weather conditions or would we need to reschedule?

As unpleasant as it can be work work in the rain, snow or sleet, or a heatwave, when it comes to moving in NYC our feeling is that the show must go on. In early 2018, during the bombo cyclone, we worked through it.

In severe winter conditions our trucks are stocked with a shovel, red rosin paper to protect floors is needed and shoe covers if customers request that we wear them. In a heatwave, we make sure that our employees stay hydrated and take breaks as necessary. All of the years we have been in business, we have not once cancelled a move because of bad weather.

Do you take any special precautions against bed bugs?


When we opened up Cool Hand Movers in 2010, the bed bug problem in New York City was at its peak. When it comes to mattresses and box springs, we use shrink wrap religiously. We do this because it keeps your stuff clean of course, but also to make sure our trucks are protected, just in case.

One of our policies has to do with making sure that our employees do not have to work in environments that are hazardous to their health. Pest infestations fall into this category. If a customer has bed bugs or similar pests and does not disclose this in advance, and we make this discovery upon arrival onsite, we will literally walk off the job.

We do this for our own protection, and for our future customers.

Can I help the movers?

There are a few things you can do to speed up a move.

1. Make sure that toys, loose cables, or anything other small items are off of the floor and out of movers paths.
2. Kids and pets are usually better off with a sitter. Otherwise, away from where the movers are working is best.
3. Movers burn a lot of calories! So, whenever you can offer your crew water, coffee, or a snack, they’ll greatly appreciate it.
4. Show your team anything that requires extra care or caution.

We’ll handle the heavy-lifting. We have a strict policy that clients cannot lift or carry inventory, or set foot in the trucks. The policy is for the safety of our clients, the movers, and all of your stuff. Don’t worry – your crew is experienced in getting moves done quickly and safely.

If I move into storage, will you leave blankets and wrapping on my furniture?

This depends on the nature of the job. If we are moving you into storage only to move you out within a week or so to another location, we can leave your stuff wrapped so that when we come back for the second stage of the job it goes that much quicker.

Sometimes customers plan to have their items in storage for a longer period of time, and in these cases, we are happy leave stuffed wrapped but we have to charge extra for the blankets, since we have no guarantee that we’ll get them back!

Where should my pets be during the move?

We’d love to meet your pets, but not during the move! Your Cool Hand Movers team is going to prop doors open and move quickly in order to safely expedite your move. Having a pet in the mix could slow things down, and even be dangerous for your pet or the crew. They are better off spending a day with a family member or friend during the move. Post a pic of your pet and tag #CoolHandPets and we’ll repost on our Instagram, @CoolHandMovers.

Moving can be a stressful time for a pet. You pack away familiar items, movers and contractors go in and out of your home. Here are some tips from the ASPCA on keeping your pet comfortable.

“Cats aren’t big fans of change. You can help your cats (and skittish dogs) adjust to the moving process by bringing in moving boxes early, and by keeping your furry friends in a familiar room you plan to pack up last. On moving day, keep your pets in a quiet room with the door shut, or at a friend’s house. This will ensure that your cat or dog won’t get scared and try to make a quick getaway while the movers load up the truck. During the moving process, try to keep your pet’s routine as normal as possible.”

Can I ride along with the movers to the new place?

As a licensed, New York City moving company, we can transport your stuff–but just your stuff! So, we can’t have you (or your pets) travel in the trucks with us. However, if you have any concerns about transportation arrangements, let us know. Be aware that maneuvering trucks through New York City often takes a bit longer than taking a cab or the subway. Plan in advance, and keep us posted if the timing might be an issue so we can find a solution.

Here is more information on moving regulations from the New York Department of Transportation.