With the right amount of care and love, your piano should last for years, if not decades. While pianos are certainly a delicate instrument, they are built to last, providing you give it routine maintenance and handle it correctly.
One big issue many piano players face is moving their piano to a new home. All types of pianos are large, heavy, and cumbersome, so should be handled with great care whenever being moved from property to property.
Whether you’re relocating a few miles or halfway across the country, it is important to take appropriate measures to ensure the safe transportation of the instrument.
Many people make the mistake of treating piano like any other piece of furniture – this should never happen as pianos are fragile and expensive to repair or replace!
Should I Hire a Professional Piano Mover?
If you want to ensure your piano is safe and secure during a home move, then it is a good idea to hire a professional piano mover.
A piano is a delicate instrument that can easily break if not properly handled during a move. There are many fragile components within a piano, any of which can be easily damaged during a move if proper precautions aren’t taken.
Replacing piano parts such as keys, strings, and pedals aren’t just difficult due to low availability of parts, but also how much these parts cost.
Simply put, the money you spend hiring a professional piano mover pale in comparison to the cost of repairing a piano damaged during a move.
Pianos are not cheap instruments, while many carry strong sentimental value to their owners, often passed down from generations. To ensure the piano remains in the safest condition possible during a move, it is recommended that you hire a professional piano mover.
How Easy is it to Damage a Piano During a Move?
The short answer – very easy!
Pianos feature countless intricate components working in harmony to produce the magical sound we know and love. Both internal and external components are at risk of damage whenever moving the piano, whether it’s down some stairs or several miles in a van.
The interior components are certainly the most difficult to replace, especially if you own an older piano. Many of the parts are sparsely available, making it incredibly challenging to find replacements.
If you are lucky enough to find replacement components, the cost of repairing the piano is quite expensive.
Even the exterior components are difficult to repair. For instance, if you damage the piano cabinet, repairing it will set you back a lot of money.
Equipment You Need to Move a Piano
Safely moving a piano requires some specialist equipment that most people don’t have. Even some professional moving companies lack the right equipment, so be sure to check that they specialise in piano moving!
One of the most important pieces of equipment needed to move a piano is a piano dolly. This is designed to fit the dimensions of a piano, with dollies available for each type of piano. For example, a piano transit shoe board is designed to safely transport grand pianos.
Piano wheels aren’t intended for long distance transport, so a dolly is essential for safely moving the piano without damaging it.
You also need strapping to the keep the piano in place during the move, along with appropriate padding to avoid any impact damage.
Other specialist equipment needed to move a piano includes a temperature-controlled vehicle. This is vital to protect the wood of the piano, as too much moisture may cause swelling, while too little moisture can cause it to dry out.
Damaged wood serious issue for a piano, highlighting the importance of hiring a professional moving company that can handle the unique requirements of moving a piano.
Does Every Moving Company Offer Piano Moving Services?
It depends on the company, with lots of standard moving agencies not truly specialising in piano transit. Some may claim they take pianos but lack appropriate equipment to do the job properly, so always be sure to ask how they handle piano transportation.
The best moving companies will have necessary equipment to safely move your piano. As mentioned above, you’ll want a company that has any of the following equipment to safely move a piano:
- Piano Dollies
- Piano Strapping
- Piano Padding
- Temperature Controlled Vehicles
Choosing the Right Piano Moving Company
When choosing a piano moving company to help move your piano, you get the peace of mind that your valuable instrument is in safe, capable hands. They’ll; know the best processes to safely move the piano, even disassembling it where needed.
Here’s some tips for how to choose a good piano moving company:
- Ask if they have specialist equipment for moving pianos, such as dollies, padding, strapping etc.
- Check for references from former clients that had their piano moved – this should let you know if they are reliable
- Determine whether they have the knowledge to dismantle a piano if needed.
- Ask what type of insurance they provide and whether they offer a guarantee should something go wrong.
- Request a pricing breakdown to see the different costs for moving pianos based on size, weight, and the distance travelled.
How Much Does It Cost to Move a Piano?
The best piano moving company will offer a detailed breakdown explaining the overall cost of the service. This should cover pricing information based on the following details:
- Piano Size and Weight
- Piano Type
- Distance of the Move
- Date of the Move
- Any Extra Fees (e.g., moving a piano from a high storey building)
Also, some companies use different pricing methods, including either fixed pricing or an hourly rate. This often makes comparing moving rates challenging, as the costs don’t become clear until after the move.
Most companies charge a fixed fee that is based on the various factors listed above or hourly rates, with the latter usually charging a minimum of two to three hours.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to contact a few companies for a quote to get a better idea of the average pricing for the service. As there are many variables that impact the cost of moving a piano, you’ll need to be upfront about your piano and what the movers can expect.
Be sure to provide the following info:
- How many steps it takes to move the piano up and down the properties
- Whether stairs are indoors or outdoors.
- What type of stairs are being navigated (e.g., straight stairs, spiral stairs etc.)
- The number of narrow corridors and tight corners the piano is being moved around
Also, before you choose a piano moving company, make sure they offer appropriate insurance! Not only that, make sure to check what the insurance covers, just in case something goes wrong and your piano and/or property is damaged.