The first question people ask us is how much a house clearance cost and the only correct answer is ‘until we see what we need to clear, we can’t tell you’. When you consider that jobs can vary between half-empty flats that take only a few hours, up to large houses previously occupied by a hoarder that can take 2-3 days to clear, you’ll understand why! Every house clearance is different.
Understanding House Clearance Costs
Licenced clearance companies are required by law to dispose of ‘waste’ at commercial recycling centres. These recycling centres charge us firstly by the weight of the items we take to them (minimum one ton), then on top of that, we are charged ‘penalty fees’ for items such as fridges, freezers, mattresses and soft furnishings (sofas/armchairs, bed frames etc).
So, during a quote visit we have to calculate the weight of the contents of a house. Then we have to factor in our penalty fees to work out what we’ll have to pay. On top of that there are the usual staff and vehicle costs.
Deductions for saleable items
In many houses the items we are asked to clear will either have a resale value or might be suitable for donation to our charity partners. Small items such as (nice) ornaments, small appliances/lamps can often be donated, and clothes are always donated. This reduces our costs a little. Then we look at what can be sold by us to make a profit.
Through experience we know what we can and can’t rehome. For example, sofas etc are notoriously hard to sell (look on facebook and you’ll find plenty available for free), as are dining tables and chairs, wardrobes and anything not in good condition. However, we can usually find a few things that can be rehomed, such as good condition appliances (once tested) and various other odds and ends around the house.
In some cases we will find antique furniture that our trade partners will buy, in other cases almost everything in a house can be rehomed one way or another and in some cases nothing is suitable for either sale or donation. It varies.
We then balance all these things together to provide a fair quote to you, the customer.
Rough idea of house clearance costs?
Small jobs: we have to pay for a minimum of one ton at recycling centres, plus staff and vehicle costs, so if a customer calls and says (an example of a common request) they need someone to remove a sofa, an old washing machine and a couple of mattresses, we won’t accept the booking. If we did, none of the items would have any resale value and we’d have to charge a minimum of £450 (what the job would cost us) and that would feel very wrong.
‘Normal’ house clearance costs
Simple fact: no two properties or house clearances are the same, so clearing two neighbouring properties might be priced very differently. We have cleared properties in which we needed to wear hazmat clothing, properties riddled with damp and mould and also properties that look as if they are posh furniture showrooms. The contents of those properties quite obviously varied equally in quality and condition.
Clearing Flats: we have cleared small flats where we can see that we can make our profit through selling some of the contents and which will only take a half day to complete. Others have taken two days due to the volume of contents. Prices for these have ranged between £450 and (worst case on file to date) £1600.
Clearing houses: on average, a full house will take a day to clear, but we have also cleared houses that took a team of workers three and a half days to properly clear. Again, the type and quality of contents, along with the possible resale value of any rehomeable items can make a huge difference. On one occasion we were able to quote £350 to clear a 4 bedroom house that took us two days, simply because we knew we were able to sell a large number of good quality items. On another occasion we charged £2500 to clear a 3-bedroom property which contained serious heath risks and a similar price for another which was in a ‘normal’ condition but had been occupied by a dedicated hoarder and took us a little over 3 days to empty.
That said, a ‘normal’ house clearance cost would range somewhere between £500 and £1500 depending on volume and type/condition of the contents.
Hoarder clearance costs
We’re often asked to clear properties previously occupied by hoarders and this does not present us with a problem. It may take a little time to clear a genuinely over-filled property but we are fully accustomed to it. The costs of this can vary widely, depending on the type and condition of items that were hoarded, so can never be predicted in advance.
What will a house clearance cost you?
Simple answer; if you want to know what we’d charge to clear your property, get in touch with us and we’ll arrange to visit and arrange a quote. It might cost less than you fear or more than you hope, but we’ll only know after we are able to asses the work!