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RECENT REVIEWS

 

Ellen Solner

I wanted to thank you and your team for how well our move went. Everything went smoothly, the movers were very nice and professional, and we were done within a few hours. Having our actual move be such a breeze really helped ease some of the stress on our end!
Thanks!

Michael Evans

We highly recommend Chicago Office Movers for your next move. We are so very apprciative of their professional responsiveness, competative pricing and expert service. We moved our wealth management firm’s offices recently and Chicago Offcie Movers did exceptional work in a very effcient manner. I will use them again for all of our moves in the future.

Jessica Schildgen

I have nothing but fantastic things to say about this company. Everything from advice to packing supplies, I was very impressed with their services. Chicago Office Movers is highly recommended by our team!!

Patrick Panayotov

Chicago Office Movers made our move seamless and quick. The team provided all of the essentials and then some, even reminding us about some aspects of the move we were not anticipating. Great people, great service!

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How to Move Your Business During a Pandemic

How to Move Your Business During a Pandemic

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Businesses still have to move, even during a pandemic.  Businesses may relocate for many different reasons. These could range from more customer traffic and better growth opportunities to the possible need for more or less space. However, relocating a company can also be time-consuming, disruptive, and during a pandemic, even downright dangerous. A business relocation plan has always been an important part of a corporate move, now even more so with the extra added considerations and regulations in place.  A detailed checklist of relocation tasks is a must!

Is It Possible to Move During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

The short answer to this question is yes, but there are many precautions you must take to protect yourself and your employees and ensure a safe move. We understand while you may want to hold off your business relocation until after the pandemic, you may have no choice but to move due to the end of a lease, expenses, or other factor.

When preparing your company for relocation during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may need answers to the following questions:

Can I Hire a Moving Company?

Yes, moving companies like Chicago Office Movers are still providing business relocation and commercial moving services during the pandemic. Our professionals will take certain precautions to make your move as safe as possible such as disinfecting our moving equipment and trucks daily, using personal protective equipment like masks and gloves, and practicing social distancing. For more information, consult our COVID-19 moving guidelines.

Can I Tour New Offices and Buildings?

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If your business needs to move during the pandemic but has not found a new office or building, it is still possible to find a new space. If you find a space that interests you, you may be able to take a virtual tour. This will allow you to get a good look at the new space without showing up in person. If you really want to see the new space in person before making a decision, you may be able to view the space while taking precautions like wearing gloves and a mask and practicing social distancing while on the property.

How Should I Protect My Employees During the Move?

It is probably best to involve as few of your employees in the move as possible, but we understand that some employees will need to be present during the move. Direct your employees who will be present during the move to wear masks and gloves, wash and sanitize their hands frequently, and practice social distancing by keeping 6 feet of personal space. You and your employees should take every precaution necessary and be mindful during the move to protect yourself and others.

COVID-19 Business Move Plan

Once your reasons and destinations are set forth, here are some top things to put into your plan.

1. Assign appropriate people to manage the move plan

There should be an internal leader that serves as the move coordinator, department coordinators, and your moving company single source coordinator.  All these people will be working together to plan and execute all the parts of the relocation. Keep open communication between your staff and coordinator from Chicago Office Movers.

2. Assess and compare the potential risks and benefits of relocation during a pandemic

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Assuming this is something your organization must and can do during this time, make sure your staff and all parties are safe and following pandemic guidelines. Never push past the limits of what is allowed during the time of crisis. Also be aware of the moving company’s guidelines during the pandemic.

3. Have multiple contingency plans due to the unknown

There is always some sort of unknown that should be considered but in times of many unknowns, you must be as prepared as possible.  You may wonder, how should I prepare for unforeseeable issues? Check and double check the process, have a back up plan for anything of major significance, and confirm things twice before executing. Communicate with all coordinators throughout the process.

4. Use a checklist

Use our comprehensive checklist of essential activities for the countdown to your relocation including assigning responsibilities.  Include a list of important contacts for the relocation period.  This also includes things such as using our identification program for tagging items.  Schedule all meetings with department coordinators and hold meetings and training sessions via face to face or virtually during times like COVID-19.  Schedule Electric Data Processing, workstation, phone and all IT relocations.

5. Finish your packing ahead of time

Finishing your packing before your move is always an important step. However, having all of your items and equipment packed at least 24 hours before your move is essential during the pandemic. This is because the coronavirus can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours. Finishing your packing and leaving the boxes untouched for at least 24 hours will help ensure that the boxes are not contaminated.

If possible, get new cardboard boxes instead of using old ones that may be contaminated. Take the opportunity to clean and sanitize items as you pack. Once your items arrive to the new office or building, wait another 24 hours before beginning to unpack. Creating an unpacking plan will help reduce the time spent unpacking and lower the risk to your employees. If you need professional assistance with the packing or unpacking, talk to us about our packing services.

Work with Chicago Office Movers

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If your business is located in the Chicagoland area, Chicago Office Movers is ready with sanitized vehicles, equipment and packing materials to ensure a safe company relocation. As an essential business, our union movers practice safe handwashing, social distancing, wear personal protective equipment (PPE), and never work when sick. As always, we keep our commitment to provide a safe, quality move for businesses of all types and sizes.

Free Estimate

Get a free estimate on your next move, even during social distancing, by giving us a call at 312-244-2246 or filling out a form. We look forward to working with you.

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Which State Has the Lowest Property Taxes?

 

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Homeowners and corporations pay property taxes each year. In some locales, those who own personal property, like boats or cars, also are taxed. While property tax is unavoidable with home or business ownership, those in the American South pay some of the lowest property taxes.

What’s Behind Property Taxes?

Local governments that govern over an area where the property is located are responsible for calculating property taxes. These taxes are based on the value of the property, which may include land. The owners of the property are subject to paying property taxes, which may be deemed a regressive tax.

Property tax is used to improve the local community. Local governments use collected property taxes to pay for enhancements to the water and sewer systems. Police and fire departments, highway and road constructions, educational institutions and libraries are funded by property taxes.

Property taxes vary annually. The current market value of a property is one factor that determines the amount of property tax an owner must pay for a given year. Tax rates are normally recalculated each year by tax officials in municipal governments. A hired tax assessor assesses area properties.

Property owners have the option to either formally contest tax rates or discuss them with the assessor. Unpaid property taxes have financial consequences. Taxing authorities impose a lien against a property when the owners fail to pay their property taxes.

What’s the Average Property Tax?

In the United States, the average amount of property tax American homeowners pay every year for their homes is $2375, according to the US Census Bureau. Twenty-seven states impose vehicle property taxes, and owners are taxed an additional $441 each year.

Depending on the area of residence, drastic variances in property taxes exist. In Arkansas, for instance, property taxes can be as low as $743 per year. On the opposite end of the tax spectrum, property taxes can balloon to $7800 per year for homeowners in New Jersey.

States with a lower property tax make living in a large house with ample amounts of land financially feasible. Many southern states are known to have the lowest property tax rates in the union. The property tax rates in the American South are typically under one percent.

Which States Have the Lowest Property Taxes?Tropical-Beach-Palm-Trees-Ocean-2-Chairs

While some states may have a low property tax rate, these regions may also have a high median home value. Homeowners who live in homes worth over half a million dollars unavoidably remain stuck with a heavy property tax bill each year.

1. Hawaii

Hawaii, for instance, has an effective property tax rate of 0.29 percent. The property tax rate in The Aloha State is the lowest in the country. However, the median home value on the island is $620,400. These homeowners remain on the hook for paying $1799 in property taxes each year.

2. Alabama

Competing for the lowest tax rate is Alabama, which has a 0.40 percent property tax rate. In contrast to home prices in Hawaii, the median price of homes in Alabama is $130,500. Homeowners pay a $522 property tax bill, making this state the most affordable to own a home.

3. Louisiana

Louisiana comes a close third in property tax rates with 0.51 percent. Median home prices are among the lowest in the nation. Given the state’s combination of low property tax rates and median home values, Pelican State homeowners pay a modest $751 in property taxes annually.

4. Lowest Business Property Taxes: New Mexico, Indiana, Utah

Business properties differ when it comes to the lowest states for property taxes. The Tax Foundation’s research concludes that New Mexico, Indiana and Utah are among the states that have the lowest tax rates for business properties. New Jersey has the highest property taxes for businesses.

What are Possible Exemptions?

Some states, counties or local jurisdictions offer property tax exemptions to people who qualify. Homestead exemptions (where owners do not pay taxes on a portion of the home’s value) reduce the cost of property taxes for those who meet age or income requirements.

Exemptions may be offered to eligible homeowners, such as older people, military veterans and those with disabilities. Homeowners who invest in certain renovations, like solar panels, are eligible for discounts and should ask their taxing authority for a reduction of their tax bill.

Some business properties may be eligible for a property tax exemption, as well. Such businesses may include nonprofits, those situated on historical land and agricultural properties. In New York, for example, businesses may also receive exemptions for temporary greenhouses and forest land.

Depending on where a property is located, a property tax bill can almost equal a mortgage. When either your property tax or business property tax bill is overburdensome, you may want to consider moving to a state with low property tax rates.

Work with a Trusted Commercial MoverChicago-Office-Movers-Truck

Chicago Office Movers will get you to a more affordable destination fast. As one of the Windy City’s most reputable commercial movers, we are positioned to offer a range of comprehensive services that make relocating a business affordable and reliable.

Moving services provided by Chicago Office Movers include corporate relocation, machinery moving, lab and equipment moving, library moving and long-distance moving. Our experienced crews are also available to shift heavy office goods when you are in the midst of renovating or remodeling.

As a part of our professional moving services, Chicago Office Movers helps companies pack and unpack. Once we arrive at your new destination, our crews set up the desks, computers and machinery. Our reliable storage solutions are ideal when your new location is not yet ready.

Reputable Union Movers

Chicago Office Movers has earned a reputation for excellence in Chicagoland. We’ve moved prestigious institutions, like the University of Chicago, and major companies, like Alcatel Lucent. As a plus, we are committed to employing green practices to help preserve the environment.

When it is advantageous to relocate your business to benefit from lower property tax rates, choose Chicago Office Movers. Our dedicated team of professional office movers will ensure that the transition to your new space is done seamlessly.

Free Estimate

For a free estimate on your next commercial move, contact Chicago Office Movers at (312) 244-2246.

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7 Money Saving Tips for Your Office Renovation

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5 Reasons to Buy New Office Furniture When Moving

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The upcoming office relocation invokes a flurry of anticipation as well stresses. One of the hassles is deciding whether or not to discard the existing office furniture and replace them with pristine ones to better suit the brand-new digs.

Reasons abound for selling off the old furniture in favor of the new:

1. Size

Businesses shift gears when their company downsizes or expands. Your future office space will accommodate the changes in business structure. For example, when companies expand, business owners are likely to invest in extra square feet, meaning the building will be larger.

Relocating to Smaller Office

When your business merges with another company or is forced to lower costs in order to stay afloat, downsizing is the solution to remaining profitable. As a consequence, relocating to a smaller office will be in the business’ foreseeable future.

In either scenario, business owners will want furniture that fits into their new workspace. Properly sized desks, chairs and cabinets add to, rather than detract from, the ambiance of the future setting. Old furniture may be either too big or exceedingly small to suit the new floorplan.

Relocating to Larger Office

Office staff may feel awkward working in a huge room fitted with tiny desks. The atmosphere hardly sits right. On the other hand, lugging the enormous desk and chairs from the previous office and stuffing them into the new, cramped room will be equally uncomfortable for employees to work in.

The solution is to invest in brand new office furniture, ones that ideally fit the new floorplan. What results are comfortable employees who can focus on their tasks, rather than letting their minds wander in either the vastness of the office space or the squeezed, snug room they inhabit.

2. AestheticModern corporate office interior.

Akin to producing a pleasing workspace is tending to aesthetic. The parrot-green chairs from the 1960s may have served the company well for decades but introducing these outdated furniture items into a contemporary space with clean lines and neutral colors fails to incorporate style.

BICOM Communications, for example, renovated its office spaces to include contemporary wood paneling and faux grass. Imagine bringing in heavy, antique desks and chairs. You can see how the resulting mood would undermine the designer’s original vision of creating a space that inspires creativity and collaboration.

Or, take a cue from Google Japan. The company renovated its workspace to feature bold wall colors and splashy patterns. Bringing in dated furniture from a prior space would hardly sit ideally in this new one. Colors would clash, making moot the point to create a fun, upbeat office environment.

Rather than repaint the new office walls to suit old furniture, the more sensible approach is to exchange the existing furniture for items that meet the aesthetic requirements of the new setting. Even natural lighting, or the lack thereof, can alter the look of the furniture and the overall space.

3. ConditionFurniture Assembly in Chicago, IL

Practicality has its place during a relocation. Old furniture may be so worn that it begs for an update. When shifting to a new building, seize this prime opportunity to invest in new furniture. Your mint desks and chairs will last far longer than the tired ones from years prior.

Plus, what employees would want to put forth their best effort while sitting in ripped chairs, working from dented, scratched desks and pulling paperwork from file cabinets that stick? Your staff will experience a boost in happiness and productivity from a simple, timely furniture update.

4. Surplus

An office move inspires change and evaluation. When considering the layout of your new office space, factor in what is necessary and what is not. Over time, office buildings can accumulate a medley of excess furniture, including broken chairs that have yet to see the insides of a trash bin.

Or, during the process, you discover your staff requires only one cabinet instead of four. Relocating prompts business owners to re-evaluate. You are forced to toss the surplus and nonfunctional. Shifting gears provides excellent reasons to purchase furniture that is more relevant to the new workspace.

5. ConvenienceRose-Hotel-Furniture-Installation

Matters of convenience can spark change. Consider that wrapping the shaky cabinet with loose hinges in order to prepare for moving day will cost business owners more in time and money than investing in a new, functional one. Avoid the hassle and sell the old goods.

Selling used office furniture can provide business owners with some cash, especially if the furniture is desirable and in high demand. However, companies are rarely in the know when it comes to understanding what items are in demand and at what times. Demand is extremely unpredictable.

If 150 office chairs need to be sold and there is no demand or interest from third-party companies, some services will provide the labor and time to remove these goods from your workplace. You may feel satisfied getting rid of the old furniture, even if there is no monetary payout.

Work with a Commercial Mover

When a corporate move is on the horizon, Chicago Office Movers has you covered. Our experienced team of union, commercial movers have successfully relocated common office equipment, like heavy electronics, HVAC equipment, assembly lines, libraries and various standard furniture items.Chicago Crating Services

As dedicated, professional office movers, the team at Chicago Office Movers does not stop with simply shifting your office property to a new building. We will also help you set up your new furniture and equipment in the new space. Plus, our dependable storage solutions are ideal when your new office is not yet ready to be moved into.

Chicago Office Movers reliably serves the Windy City. We’ve helped our customers move from the city, into Chicago and within the metropolitan area. No matter how large or small your business happens to be, Chicago Office Movers is prepared with the skilled manpower and equipment to safely and efficiently relocate your business.

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A free estimate is available at 312-244-2246 for business owners who are ready to plan their upcoming office move.

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How to Budget for an Office Renovation

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Attracting new clientele, enhancing productivity and simply working in a pleasing, aesthetic environment are all legitimate reasons to renovate an office space. When given the opportunity, most business owners will jump at the chance to improve the look and design of their workplace. The big question property owners must ask themselves is, how much do renovations cost?

The location of an office plays a major role in determining the cost to renovate. An office in New York will require higher labor costs than a space in Arizona. Silicon Valley, California, has the highest office build out costs in the country, while Washington, DC, has the lowest.

Consider the Square Footage

Property owners should also consider the size of the office space that will undergo renovations. For instance, an office with a square footage of 5,100 will require far less upfront costs to renovate than one that takes up 110,00 square feet in a six-story building.

For comparison’s sake, a smaller office space, let’s say 5,100 square feet, can average $450,000 in renovation costs and include enhancements like new skylights. The larger 110,000 square feet building can cost around $9 million to renovate, which includes both interior and exterior renovations.

Given the potentially skyrocketing costs, how do property owners budget for a renovation? Factors that should be considered in any renovation include the professional services of architects and labor, plus lighting, finishes, walls, floors, bathrooms, kitchen, fire protection and HVAC.

Architects or Designers – 20 Percent

Bringing in a design professional, such as an architect to lay out the office space and ensure it will serve its dual purpose of functionality and comfort for employees and customers, will be the initial expense. Architects and designers consume about 20 percent of the total renovation budget.

Architects are instrumental to renovation projects. The benefit of hiring an architect is that the professional follows specifications that meet building codes. Plus, employees and customers who are handicapped will easily enter and exit the property when the space is designed to be handicap accessible.

Labor – 10 Percent

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Union labor is significantly more expensive than non-union labor. When hiring union labor in Chicago, a 20 percent premium is applied to contracted work. Cities like Chicago and New York City have long-standing practices where hiring union labor to work on union buildings is mandated.

Additionally, as mentioned earlier, the location of the building being renovated has a major impact on labor costs. Labor costs in New York City climb to 70 percent above the national average. Since Washington, DC, has a plethora of available spaces, renovating an office there is the least costly.

Kitchen – 25 Percent

Employees are likely to retreat to the office kitchen during coffee breaks. When an office kitchen renovation is planned, expect the task to take up about a quarter of the budget. A kitchenette may be simple, with just cabinetry, or elaborate, with a combination of a microwave, sink, and fridge.

The renovator’s job is easier when the kitchen and bathroom are in close proximity. The shared plumbing reduces the overall renovation price. Depending on how complex the kitchen and plumbing will be, business owners can expect an office kitchen renovation to be around $4000 of a $16,000 job.

Windows – $5,000

New sky lights, integrated windows with specialized low-e glass and minimizing UV radiation from windows are all options to consider when renovating the office. Energy saving windows are pricey upfront but saving on heating and cooling costs are recouped over the next several years.

Fire Sprinklers – $5,000 to $10,000

Installing a new fire sprinkler in a small- or medium-sized office averages $5,000 to $10,000. Each sprinkler head costs about $200. Costs for permits, inspections and plans soar to $2,000. If existing fire sprinklers are in place, scheduling an inspection costs a few hundred dollars.

Lighting – $250+

If the office space welcomes customers, investing in high-quality lighting is key to presenting an optimal environment. LED lights are the preferred choice when it comes to cost-efficient lighting in office spaces. Basic lighting costs start at $250 per point and increase with the various types of lighting options.

The type of office environment plays a big part in lighting. An open ceiling office, for example, requires suspended light fixtures. Drywall ceilings do well with linear wrap lighting fixtures. Commercial lighting options suitable for drop ceilings include recessed office lighting, which is both energy efficient and attractive.

Floors – $2 to $7 Per Square Foot

Depending on whether the renovation space is a warehouse or an upscale office, costs for flooring differ markedly. Concrete flooring is the least expensive, at $2 per square foot. Vinyl tile starts at $4 per square foot. In a 5,100 square foot office, wood flooring averages $7 per square foot.

Work with a Commercial MoverCommercial-Move-COM

If you are planning an office renovation, temporarily moving the existing desks, chairs, and equipment will be necessary to allow plenty of room for the exciting project to begin. Count on Chicago Office Movers to handle the task of moving all office property efficiently and carefully through decommissioning services.

Whether your office space is staffed by hundreds of employees or limited to just a couple, Chicago Office Movers is prepared to handle the moving job with skill and timeliness. We also offer short-term storage facilities to house office property until the renovations are complete.

Our team of union movers are licensed and background checked to give business owners maximum peace of mind. The skilled movers at Chicago Office Movers are experienced in successfully moving all types of office property, including lab equipment, major electronics, machinery (such as HVAC equipment and assembly lines), large inventory and even libraries.

Chicago Office Movers is headquartered in the Windy City, but we cater to businesses across the country. If you are renovating a commercial space or relocating an office to or from Chicago, make the best choice and contact Chicago Office Movers. Take the stress out of renovations or office relocation by giving Chicago Office Movers a call.

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To get a free estimate on your next commercial move, contact Chicago Office Movers at 312-244-2246.

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