5 Tips to Moving the Piano

Steinway concert grand piano, model D-274Image via WikipediaMy favorite instrument to play is the piano. I like the sounds that come from the many different types of pianos that are available. They are such sensitive instruments and just hearing classical music on the piano is so relaxing to me. 

As a matter of fact, I love to hear all genres of music on the piano. The instrument is so different than a keyboard. I like them as well but there's something quite special about acoustic instruments. 

Now pianos can cost you quite a bit of money these days to own. The simplest piano can be around a few hundred dollars and then the price escalates to thousands of dollars on more complex ones. 

So it seems more and more folks are renting pianos first before making the decision to buy one. Whether you own an upright or grand piano, when the time comes to moving your piano to a new location the size and weight become a huge determining factor. 

Lightweight pianos are around 300 pounds or so. The heavier ones start at 500 pounds and can easily weigh 1300 pounds depending on the year and the make of the piano. So, if you are thinking that all you need are 2 people to move a spinet piano, perhaps you can get by safely with that. 

Piano Moved to the First Floor

But when it came time to moving my 1910 upright piano it took 4 strong guys and lots of wooden planks to roll it through an 8 foot glass slider door. 

I've seen 7 guys move a baby grand piano out of a church before. And many folks do not recommend rolling a piano on its metal casters for fear of scratching wooden floors. 

Pianos are sensitive to climate/temperature changes such as humidity and movement as well. If you have one stored in a damp garage against a cold wall, I suggest you move it quickly into a warmer dwelling. 

Why even bumping a sensitive piano can put it out of sorts, so to speak. Plus, a cracked or damaged part of the wood can affect the overall sound tone as well. 

You might want to consider a professional licensed piano mover who has all the right equipment with crates, ramps, blanket coverings, and pads ramps to prevent shock damage if bumped a bit during the move. No slipping and sliding and no runaway pianos allowed! 

So the cost of moving a piano varies by: 

1. Type of Piano
2. Distance of Move
3. Difficulty of Move
4. Amount of Help
5. Urgency of Move 

And the cost can be hourly or just one flat rate price. I would suggest calling around, chat with your local piano tuners in town and get an idea on an estimate. 

Fortunately for me the moving distance wasn’t too far. I would say the travel time was a half hour. It took 4 guys to load my old upright piano on ramps (wish we had a hydraulic lift) and onto the truck bed. No, we didn't have a piano dolly and that would have been another nice tool to have. Then we securely tied the piano down. 

Taking it out of the truck was a little scary but once we landed we were so thankful to be on the driveway. I’ve heard others tell that pushing a piano through grass is as difficult as pushing a piano up a flight of stairs. It's the heavy metal castings that add to the weight of the piano, too. 

The rule of suggestion is to move a piano with the front side facing forward and walk directly keeping it balanced. Fortunately for us, there were no tight turns in the process and no stairs to climb. We set the planks down on concrete to roll the old upright indoors and our mission was successfully accomplished with no hurt backs in the process. 

Be sure and wait a couple of weeks for your piano to acclimate to its new climate surroundings before giving your local piano tuner a call. 

Whether you move a piano by yourself with a little help from your friends or pay piano movers, I hope you only have to do it once! 

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