In general there are two kinds of people in the world. There are those who think that they can save themselves a few dollars by moving their piano themselves, and those who have already moved a piano once and now know to hire a professional piano mover. The truth of the matter is that pianos are heavy. Very heavy. Some of them can even border on obscenely heavy. The smallest of pianos still weigh about 150 kg [300 lbs.], with a concert grand weighing somewhere around 500 kg [half a ton]. To put that into perspective, that washing machine that you had so much trouble relocating in your laundry room probably only weighed about 75 kg [150 lbs.] at the very most. And just add to the fun, pianos are bulky and awkward to carry, and have a finish on them that will scratch or scuff if you even give them a harsh look that you should happen to drops crushed. And if you should happen to drop it because you crushed your hand against the corner of a wall, the cost of renovating or replacing it can be… somewhat expensive. If you think that moving a piano is too expensive, try to find out how much it is to have one renovated or refinished and you’ll feel a lot better. While some residential moving companies will be able to handle moving a piano, you’re probably better off in hiring a specialized piano moving company.
My father used to tell me that with the right tools, all jobs become easy. That being said, three of your friends, a case of beer, and some pizza are NOT the right tools for piano moving. Qualified piano movers have a multitude of specialized moving equipment specifically geared towards moving pianos. Pianos are exceptionally delicate musical instruments, and even a moderate amount of force in the wrong location can permanently alter the piano’s acoustic output. If you still have your mind set on moving your piano yourself even after reading this, here are a few pieces of advice to help you try and minimize the inevitable horror to come.
Moving a Piano Yourself
- Properly wrapping and packing the piano to the two most important elements of any piano move. If your piano has a key lock, engage it. You’ll also need to secure all of the delicate internal parts of your piano prior to moving. Then, begin to wrap the outside of it so as not to damage the finish. Lots of blankets and pads will be needed so that you don’t scuff the exterior.
- Completely clear the area that you will be moving the piano through. Smashing your wife’s delicate collection of Hummel figurines because you couldn’t control the piano’s momentum will only give her plenty of, “I told you so”, ammunition.
- As with lifting any heavy object, make sure that you bend your knees and keep your back straight throughout the exertion. Chiropractic bills can add up.
- Try to secure the use of an extra-large platform which has wheels large enough that they will not begin to gouge into the floor as a result of the weight of the piano.
- If you’re moving at an exceptionally long distance, remember that heat and humidity can permanently alter a piano’s sound. You should either try to move during the cooler seasons, or get a truck with a climate controlled container.
Hiring a Piano Mover
- Ask all of your piano owning friends to see if they have anyone whom they would recommend. Alternatively, you can go into a few piano shops and see if they have any recommendations as regards movers. You might also wish to call some of the piano manufacturers and see who they use.
- When you have finally settled on a piano mover, look into the amount of insurance that will cover your instrument, and whether there’s any deductible in case of damage.
- Again, as with moving any large object, be sure that you completely clear the route through your home which the piano will be navigating.
- Some piano movers will remove the keyboard of your piano in an effort to make it more portable. Unless it is absolutely necessary, you don’t want this to be done.
- No matter how good the moving job is which your piano movers perform; you will probably need the piano retuned once it gets to his final location. However, be sure to give it enough time to acclimatize to the new temperature and humidity levels that it will be experiencing in your new home before doing so.
For most people, their piano will be the third most expensive object which they purchase in their lifetime, after their house and their car. Unless your piano is already in terrible condition, it makes a very little sense to try to move it yourself. Trust us that you don’t want to do it yourself, and hire someone who knows what they’re doing.