Moving a Piano

Are you moving, Mozart?

Pianos are the quintessential moving nightmare. The idea of moving one coats the brow of even the most experienced movers in a cold, thick sweat.

Pianos meet all four characteristics of a difficult thing to move: they are large, heavy, fragile and expensive instruments. A mistake can cost thousands of dollars, or worse.

When moving your piano, you have two choices: hiring a piano mover or doing it yourself.  Because of the care required, hiring a piano mover is recommended.

Hiring a Piano Mover

You can move your piano yourself, but it is highly recommended that you hire a piano moving specialist. Here’s why:

  • Prevent injuries – small, upright pianos and spinets weigh about 300 – 500 pounds; babygrands weigh up to 1,000. You put your own health at risk when you attempt to move such a heavy, awkward piece of furniture without experience.
  • Avoid damage – One bad bump, scrape, or drop can cause permanent damage to a piano. What you pay to a piano moving specialist is far cheaper than replacing most pianos.

How to find a piano mover – The Internet, yellow pages or your local piano store are great places to begin when looking for a piano mover.  When you contact piano moving companies, ask the following questions:

  • How long have they been in business?
  • Do they contract out their work or use company employees?
  • How much will it cost to move a piano x-amount of miles?
  • Are they licensed, bonded, and insured?
  • Are they a full service company: packing, crating, and shipping/storage?
  • Is there a fee for stairs?
  • How much per flight?
  • Can you contact some references?

If you can’t find a piano mover, a moving company can probably get the job done as well.

Do It Yourself Piano Move

If you intend to move your piano yourself, here’s what you’ll need to do:

Get the proper tools – You’ll need:

  • A furniture dolly
  • Moving pads/blankets
  • Ratchet straps
  • Shrink Wrap – it protects the wood from moisture.
  • Plywood to use as ramps over door entries, gravel, curbs, etc.
  • A moving truck with a retractable ramp

How to Move Your Piano:

  1. Remove the legs from spinets and grand pianos to prevent breakage.
  2. Make sure the lid is down and locked.
  3. Lift one end of the piano so it’s in tilt position, and have someone slide the dolly underneath the middle of the piano.  Then lower the lifted side so the piano is resting on the dolly.
  4. Move the piano sideways on the dolly.
  5. Lift with your legs, not your back.
  6. Move the piano to the truck and place it on a blanket so that it isn’t scratched.

Return to: Specialty Moves

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