Category Archives: House removals

Why use a BAR Member for your house move?

BAR MembersChoosing a BAR Member for your removal

A good removal firm can take so much of the stress out of moving that it can be quite transformative. But how do you know you’re choosing a good company? One sign to look for is membership of the British Association of Removers professional body, to which Colin Batt Removals is proud to belong.

The association has existed for more than a century, and around 400 removals and storage firms across the UK are now members, carrying out more than 280,000 home moves between them across the country each year. One of the main roles of the association, alongside giving professional advice and lobbying governments, is to ensure members meet high standards of service and transparency – if they don’t, they get booted out.

Code of conduct

To become a BAR member, a removal company has to prove that they can meet certain criteria, covering things like premises, vehicles, staff, operations, contracts, insurance, complaints and quotations – BAR members must provide free, no-obligation, clear and fair quotes. They must adhere to the BAR code of practice and provide evidence that they are giving good service.

All members are inspected annually and are also financially vetted to make sure they are sound.

Deposit guarantee

It’s standard practice in the removal industry that you’ll be asked for at least part of the cost upfront. When you choose a BAR member, that money is protected by the association’s Advance Payment Guarantee. This means that, if the firm you choose ceases trading before you move, either another BAR member will step in and move you or you’ll get your money back. Visit the BAR Advanced Payment Guarantee Page to learn more, including the full terms and conditions.

Dispute resolution

If you have a dispute with your removal firm, the Association offers an Alternative Dispute Resolution Scheme which is independently operated by:Furniture and Home Improvement Ombudsman

The Furniture and Home Improvement Obudsman 3-4 Viewpoint Office Village, Babbage Road, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 2EQ.  Tel: 0333 241 3209. Web: fhio.org

Specialist movers

If you’re moving outside mainland Europe, you’ll want a specialist in international moves who can ensure your possessions are packed and insured appropriately, and delivered safely and promptly by sea or air. The BAR Overseas Group consists of around 50 firms who have the necessary expertise and experience. Around the same number are members of the BAR Commercial Moving Group thanks to their expertise in commercial relocations.

How do I find out if a firm belongs to the British Association of Removers?

You can check on the association’s website at www.bar.co.uk or call them on 01923 699480, or you can check on the removal company’s website. The BAR logo should be displayed alongside the CTSI (Chartered Trading Standards Institute) logo as a link. If you click on it, it will take you to a page on the association’s website confirming that the company is a member.

At family-run Kent removal firm Colin Batt Removals, we’ve been making moving house as stress-free as possible for our customers for 40 years. We’re based in Ashford, but cover the whole county, particularly Maidstone, Canterbury, Folkestone and Tonbridge, and regularly work further afield and internationally thanks to our expertise in piano removals. We offer a packing and unpacking service to make moving easier, and also have our own secure storage facility in Kent if you’re not able to move all your belongings into your new home straightaway. Call us on 01233 740395 for an informal chat or a free quote.

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    How to plan and organise an office move

    office removals

    Planning an effective office move

    As businesses grow and change, it’s often necessary for them to move location, perhaps to a bigger office or to a place that is more conducive to a healthy working environment. Either way, when the time comes, there are some specifics you should bear in mind if you want a straightforward, hassle-free move. Here’s how to plan an effective office move.

    Set a time frame

    The time it takes for you to move office will vary depending on the size of your business. A company of less than 10 people may only need a day or two to get things sorted once they’ve completed all the paperwork; one that occupies several floors might need up to six months to get everything in order. Ensure you set a realistic time frame for the move so that you’re not rushing around at the last minute.

    Consider the requirements once you have relocated

    It’s easy to focus on the packing up aspect of moving, but you’ll also need to know how you want everything to look once you arrive at the new office. Ensure you have looked at the floor plans and know where desks, storage areas, seating areas etc will be. As part of this, you’ll want to check the new location and layout provide the things your current office doesn’t. Don’t, for example, devise a layout that negates the advantages of better disabled access in the new building.

    Communicate

    Good communication is key to a successful move. Not only will you need to communicate with your staff about moving dates, interruptions to their work and so forth, you’ll need to communicate with the team from both your current and new locations, so that no misunderstandings take place. You’ll also need to ensure that the company providing your office relocation services knows what’s expected of them, when they need to be on-site and where furniture and equipment needs to be taken once it reaches the destination.

    Choose someone to oversee the move

    On moving day, ensure you have people at both ends to oversee the relocation. Select and fully brief some members of staff you can trust, and who can work together to make everything go smoothly. Don’t have too many people involved though – it may lead to disputes rather than co-operation.

    Don’t overlook the details

    In the flurry of activity involving the removal of furniture, computers, specialist equipment and more, it can be easy to overlook the smaller items, such as plants, stationary and any artwork you may be moving. As for artwork, valuable pieces can be stored safely at a temperature controlled unit until you’re ready to put them up. At Colin Batt Removals, we offer such a service.

    Choosing a removal company

    When choosing commercial movers to carry out your office move, you’ll want to select a firm that is experienced in helping businesses to relocate. At Colin Batt Removals, we’ve been operating for over 40 years and can assist with your office move in Kent. Contact us today to obtain a quote.

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      4 tips on choosing a removal company to move you

      house removals

      How to choose the right home removal company

      Choosing a removal company may seem straightforward, but there are various things to consider before you commit. So if you’re looking for an office or house removal service, where should you start and how do you know you’ll get good value? Here’s our guide to choosing the right removal company.

      Where to start

      The internet is as good a place as any to begin. It will enable you to look up companies that are local to you and obtain their contact details for a quote. When asking for a quote, make sure the organisation knows exactly what you need. Will you require a packing service for moving house, for example, or a specialist who is insured to move valuable items or musical instruments? When it comes to it, you’ll want to pick the service that is right rather than the one that offers the cheapest price.

      What to ask for

      Aside from asking whether the firm can meet your requirements, you may want to ask if they hold certain quality standards. This will provide reassurance that your belongings are in the right hands. For example, as an established Kent removals firm, Colin Batt Removals holds Quality Standard BS EN 12522. We’re also a long-term member of the British Association of Removers. These extras go a long way towards providing customers with added peace of mind when they choose us.

      If you’re moving a long distance, you’ll want to ensure the removal organisation you choose can accommodate this. A small firm may be less likely to have the capacity to do a cross-country or overseas relocation, so ensure you specify your destination.

      Get them to visit

      Ideally, getting a removal firm to visit your property before the moving date is the best course of action. This means they can see what will need doing and can provide a more accurate estimate for the time it will take to load up and transport all your items. It also means you can get a feel for the employees you’ll be entrusting your belongings to.

      What your removal company will expect from you

      In order for everything to go smoothly on the day, you’ll need to ensure you’re well organised beforehand. If you aren’t taking advantage of a packing or storage service, make sure everything is carefully and safely packed before the van arrives. Keep fragile items well-wrapped and cushioned with newspaper or bubble wrap to prevent breakages, and label up boxes so that you know which room they’ll need to go in once you get to the other end.

      Your removal company will also expect you to confirm the move date in plenty of time and pay in full either on the day of, or the day before, the move. You can always check the firm’s payment terms when you ask for a quote.

      Reliable Kent removals

      If you’re looking for a removal service or storage in Kent, contact specialists Colin Batt Removals today. We’re a family-run business that’s been helping people to relocate for over 40 years and are ready to meet all your house removal needs.

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        Four of the best up and coming Kent seaside towns

        moving to Kent

        Best places to live on the Kent coast

        Kent’s gorgeous coastline is one of the County’s greatest assets. But this isn’t just down to the beaches themselves – the beautiful coastal towns behind them offer a fascinating mix of history and culture for visitors to enjoy. Having moved thousands of people over the years all over Kent we have selected four of the best places to live on the Kent coast.

        Whitstable

        Popular with Londoners, Whitstable is famous for its oysters – and in particular its annual oyster festival. The prettiest part of the town is the seafront, lined with charming houses decorated with seashells, while in the harbour you can watch the fishing boats being unloaded and explore the fish market for an unbeatably fresh snack. The town also has a strong arts scene, with an arts centre, theatre and several galleries, and numerous independent shops. There are plenty of places where you can feast on shellfish or fresh fish and chips – and make sure you visit the Old Neptune on the beach itself for a pint of local ale.

        Margate

        Margate has risen from its run-down reputation to become a cool, quirky and arty Kentish treasure. The Turner Contemporary, named after the artist himself in honour of the inspiration afforded to him by the town’s sunsets, is an internationally acclaimed modern art gallery. At the other end of the scale, Dreamland offers amusement rides and a roller skating hall. The pretty Old Town has a good mix of vintage shops, cafes and galleries – then there’s the astonishing subterranean Shell Grotto, 21 metres of winding passages decorated with artworks made from 4.6 million shells. But of course Margate’s crowning glory is the golden sanded, Blue Flag winning beach, the perfect place to spend hours building sandcastles or enjoying the promenade, children’s rides and tidal pool.

        Deal

        Who has not visited Deal and fallen in love with it instantly? This unassuming yet delightful town boasts a beautiful seafront, with grand houses and pretty pastel colours, as well as two Tudor castles – Deal and Walmer – to explore. Take a stroll along the promenade into Walmer (the two towns run into one another), where the memorial bandstand on the green, dedicated to the 11 Royal Marines who died in an IRA bombing in 1989, hosts brass band concerts throughout the summer.

        Folkestone

        Another seaside resort that has recently undergone significant regeneration, Folkestone is a melting pot of arty trendiness and old fashioned elegance. The west end of town is a stylish expanse of grand Edwardian and Victorian villas, tree lined boulevards and splendid sea views, while the promenade to the harbour arm is home to classy restaurants and bars. The main beach is shingle, but there’s a sandy spot called Sunny Sands next to the harbour, which hosts an annual sandcastle competition.

        Award-winning, family-run Kent removals company Colin Batt Removals has been helping people settle into their new homes across the county and around the world for more than 40 years. We’re specialists in piano removals and have moved some of the world’s most treasured instruments, so you know your belongings are in safe hands with us. As well as house removal services, we also offer a packing service for moving house to make the whole experience as stress-free and easy as possible. Call us on 01233 740395 to find out more and get a free quote.

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          Top commuter towns for home buyers in Kent and Essex

          commuter towns

          Commuter towns you should consider

          Working in London but don’t want to live there? Here are some great commuter towns you can choose instead.

          Tonbridge, Kent

          A market town with 1,000 years of history behind it, Tonbridge is in many ways the unsung epitome of everything Kentish. It’s got an 11th century castle, and just outside the town is The Hop Farm. Formerly the site of the hop gardens which earned the county its status as the garden of England, it’s packed with attractions for kids. The town is close to the lovely Wealden countryside and itself has plenty of green spaces. Connections to London are excellent from Tonbridge: there are eight or nine peak-time trains an hour to Charing Cross and Cannon Street, all taking around 45 to 50 minutes and calling at London Bridge too.

          Maidstone, Kent

          Kent’s county town has it all: beautiful green spaces, cultural attractions galore, lively nightlife and fantastic shopping. Just outside the town stands the stunning Leeds Castle, popular as much for its gorgeous parkland as for the fascinating former royal residence itself. Mote Park, a 450-acre expanse of woodland and open grassland with a huge lake and a model railway, is a delightful place to spend a family afternoon; for a rainy day, there’s a theatre, a museum and a range of shops. Maidstone East has two or three trains an hour to London Victoria, taking around an hour and ten minutes. 

          Southend-on-Sea, Essex

          Out on the coast, Southend is within an hour of central London – there are 15 trains from 7-8am to Fenchurch Street and Liverpool Street, mostly taking between 55 and 65 minutes. The seven beaches will provide endless joy if you have kids, but there is much more to the town than its seaside resort status: two theatres, an art gallery, several leisure centres, a cinema and an airport are here too. Leigh-on-Sea in particular is popular with commuters, and has period houses, vintage shops and independent cafés.

          Folkestone, Kent

          Once a seaside resort beloved of Edward VII, Folkestone has recently experienced significant regeneration, both in the town centre and the harbour area. There are trendy, upmarket bars and restaurants, a thriving arts scene and a creative quarter of independent shops, galleries and cafés along the cobbled Old High Street. The west end of the town has splendid Victorian and Edwardian villas, tree-lined boulevards and a charming seafront, and runs into villagey Sandgate, full of little shops and cafes and cute cottages, upmarket Seabrook and then the quiet, historic former Cinque Port of Hythe. 

          Ashford, Kent

          A quarter of an hour up the line from Folkestone is Ashford, a town transformed by the advent of its high-speed rail link. There are ten trains to various London stations running between 7-8am, with Stratford just half an hour away and St Pancras a 38-minute ride. A lot of redevelopment is underway here, with independent shops, cafes and restaurants and a new cinema springing up, but the really big draw is still the stunning Stour Valley and Wealden countryside which surrounds the town.

          When you’re moving house, you need a removal firm who you can trust with your most treasured possessions. An award-winning, family-run Kent removals company, Colin Batt Removals have been helping people settle into their new homes for more than 40 years. Finalist for the British Association of Removers’ domestic remover of the year award in 2018, we’re specialists in piano removals and have moved some of the world’s most expensive and treasured instruments.

          When you work with us, you know your belongings are in safe and capable hands. As well as our house removal service, we also offer a packing service for moving house.We’re based in Ashford, Maidstone and Canterbury, and also cover the Folkestone and Tonbridge areas.  To find out more about our services, give us a call on 01233 740395.

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