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How to move house with chandeliers and fragile items!

When you move house it is often the case that you wish to take your most precious fixtures and fittings with you. A beautiful chandelier is often something that you want to keep, so unless you’ve agreed to leave or sell it to the next occupant it’s time to take it down and pack it up safely. Now we don’t want to create a scene similar to the famous Only Fools and Horses sketch where Del Boy and Rodney watched on as a chandelier they were supposed to be removing crashed to the floor! So here’s some essential advice to help you:

There are of course many types of chandelier. They range from small, lightweight pendant styles that you can lift with one hand through to enormous fixtures supporting hundreds of crystal drops. If yours is that big you probably need a professional to do the job for you. Yeates can help you find a specialist firm if you need one or search online for a local expert.

However let’s assume that the size of your chandelier is manageable and you’re going to tackle the job yourself.

  • First turn off the electric power to the chandelier at the fuseboard/consumer unit.
  • Using a suitable stepladder, climb up and remove the light bulbs and any pieces of glass which hook off easily. Carefully wrap these and label them indicating where they fit. It might help to take a few digital photos at this stage to help with re-assembly.
  • Now release the ceiling rose which is the cup-shaped metal dish which sits flat to the ceiling. There will usually be a small grub-screw holding this in place. Undo the grub-screw with a suitable sized screwdriver and let the rose drop. This will reveal the hook in the ceiling which is supporting the chandelier. Also the electrical connection will now be visible. Disconnect the wires which run from the chandelier to the electrical junction block and leave the block safely blanked off with insulating tape.
  • If your chandelier is light enough to lift you can now unhook it and gently lower it to the floor. Place it carefully on a pre-arranged bed of bubble wrap or soft blanket.
  • It can now be either placed in a suitable sized removals packing box, cushioned with bubble wrap or blankets or if it is a delicate design with glass drops for instance, then you should lower it into an open plastic bin-liner and fill the bag with polystyrene granules until the chandelier is completely surrounded and supported. Then place in the box as before, again with plenty of bubble wrap.
  • If the chandelier is heavier or particularly delicate it is better to suspend it in a strong box or wooden crate. Bag it as above and then hang it so that it does not touch the bottom of the box. A metal butchers hook is useful for this. Suspend the chandelier by the hook onto a strong wooden batten which spans the open box or crate top. Backfill around the suspended bag with granules or bubble wrap so that the chandelier cannot move around. Remember to secure each end of the batten to the box with either packing tape or nails if using a wooden crate.
  • Some chandeliers are designed in such a way that all the glass drops can be removed easily from the frame. If this is the case, remove them whilst the chandelier is still hanging from the ceiling, carefully wrap them and pack into suitable boxes. Glass is heavy so don’t overload the boxes. When the pieces are packed, remove the bulbs from the frame, lift it down from the ceiling and then bubble or blanket wrap it and place in a strong box ready for transport.
  • Before you put your chandelier up in your new home this is the moment to give it a good clean. Depending on style either wash and dry or just dust the glass pieces before re-hanging. Always ensure that all pieces are completely dry before re-assembly.
  • To re-install the chandelier in your new home simply reverse the above instructions, making sure of course that you have a strong ceiling hook in place suitable to take the weight of the chandelier.

REMEMBER: Whilst it is often possible to do-it-yourself, today’s stringent building regulations mean it is always best to employ a registered electrician to check and connect any light fitment.

Finally, sit back and enjoy your beautiful light in it’s new home.

You can contact Yeates on 01275 872251 or email info@yeates.co.uk