Usually, when you need to move some furniture, all you have to do is call a couple of friends and promise them some pizza and beer to get the job done. The same cannot be said when you need to move a precious piano, though. Moving such a valuable musical instrument without damaging it is incredibly stressful. Dangerous, even.
Only a few people understand how nuanced moving a piano can be. Pianos are heavy, that’s a fact.
However, just as it is heavy, a piano is delicate, sensitive, and complicated. And with around two hundred strings and thousands of moving components that could come loose in transit, transporting one yourself is just far too risky.
That is why whether the piano in question is your most prized possession or simply something that is of some value to you, it is wise to get a professional piano mover to do the job for you.
What Is A Piano Mover?
To put it simply, piano movers are removals companies that specialise in the hauling and transportation of all kinds of pianos, including:
- Grand Pianos
- Upright Pianos
- Baby Grand Pianos
- Spinet Pianos
Piano movers are trained, skilled, and equipped in handling piano moves.
When May I Hire Piano Movers?
Again, a piano mover’s purpose is to essentially move pianos from Point A to Point B. That means you may use a piano moving service for:
- You are transporting your musical instrument to a piano storage facility.
- You are moving your piano to your new house.
- You are transporting a piano to a temporary concert or recital.
Can My House Moving Team Provide A Piano Moving Service?
If you’re about to move house and are already hiring a removals company to handle the packing and transportation of everything else you own, it would be practical for you to ask your movers if they can move your piano, too.
To answer your question, though, it depends. As mentioned, moving pianos can be a pretty nuanced task that requires more than just muscle power. Fortunately, many house removals companies in the UK already offer piano removal services, so it’s just a matter of finding the right moving company.
Why Should I Hire A Piano Removal Company?
There are far more reasons for you to hire piano movers for this job rather than to handle the packing and transportation of the piano yourself. These reasons include:
They’re Properly Equipped and Have The Proper Training
When you hire a specialist piano mover, they will use the necessary tools that will keep your precious piano safe and secure. More than just a spacious truck, almost every piano removals company makes use of specialist equipment such as a piano trolley or dolly, heavy duty skid boards, a tail lift, and many more.
Moreover, because many pianos are extremely sensitive to extreme temperatures, most piano movers have the correct climate-controlled van for the job.
Lastly, most piano movers have had years and years of experience under their belt! That means, throughout the years, they have learned all the tips and trades on the job, making them experts who can ensure the safety and security of your piano.
You May Encounter Some (Literal) Twists and Turns
While piano transport seems a piece of cake, that is not always the case. When transporting your piano, you will encounter some obstacles along the way. Manoeuvring or navigating your piano through tight corners, steep stairs, or narrow hallways can be challenging, and you wouldn’t want to deal with any of that!
You will find, however, that a piano mover will be able to navigate through the twists and turns of your property without much fuss. So, why give yourself a hard time when someone else can do it for you?
You’ll Prevent Any Injuries From Occurring
Pianos are HEAVY. Attempting to DIY piano transport may cause severe back and spinal injuries, or worse. Think about it.
A grand piano weighs between 700-1200 lbs or 317 to 544 kg, while a baby grand piano weighs about 400-600 lbs or 181 to 272 kg each. That’s at least twice the average weight of a normal male in the UK!
You may be thinking, “Well, surely I can move an upright piano myself. Right?” That is, unfortunately, wrong. While there are vertical pianos that weigh around the same as humans, some antique Steinway pianos weigh just as much as a baby grand! That means you and a couple of your mates cannot simply pick it up and load it up into a van without encountering some trouble.
Transporting a piano without the necessary tools or equipment can be risky, not only for your piano but for your back, your fingers, and your toes, too!
Also, a piano will probably not fit a regular elevator. So, if you’re moving out of or into a multi-storey flat, chances are you’ll be hauling that piano up multiple flights of stairs! Can you imagine how that’s going to go?
To make sure nothing goes wrong, spring for a piano removal service instead!
It’ll Cost You Less Money
Although it may not seem like it, hiring a professional piano mover could end up being cheaper than transporting a piano yourself.
Availing piano relocation services minimise the chances of you having to pay for costly repairs due to DIY piano removal damages such as:
- Damaged/Gouged drywall
- Scratched floors
- Scratched/dented piano surface
- Broken piano leg/s
- Detached keyboard cover
- Large pieces of veneer ripped from piano
Also, because you are letting someone else conduct this piano removals job, you are essentially saving yourself a lot of cash. You would have, otherwise, used this money on medication and physiotherapy, had you injured yourself during the piano moving process.
What Affects The Cost of Piano Movers?
Many factors influence the cost of piano removal services. Among these factors are:
- Piano size and shape,
- Type of move (Local or long-distance?)
- The complexity of the move (Are your hallways narrow? Does your building not have a lift that can fit your piano? Will you need your piano disassembled and reassembled?)
- Distance between parking and destination (How long will the movers have to carry the piano?)
- Optional storage fee
- Rescheduling/Cancellation fees
- Packing material disposal fees
- Express delivery
- Multi-stop transport
Do I Need To Retune My Piano After Moving It?
Yes, you do. While your piano is made to withstand some physical movement, the soundboards in your piano are extremely sensitive to climatic change.
Tune your piano within 2-3 weeks after moving it, especially when moving to a new location where the air-conditioning, heating patterns, and weather conditions are different.
I Really Can’t Afford A Piano Removals Company! What Do I Do?
If hiring professional piano movers truly is out of the budget, here are some tips you can follow to make your piano removals job as easy and as smooth sailing as possible.
Take The Necessary Measurements
Make sure to carefully measure the dimensions of your piano and the path you’ll be moving it along. Measure the width of doorways, hallways, stairwells, and the like. After all, you wouldn’t want to get stuck on the ground floor stairwell, just because your baby grand won’t fit through the door!
This step is crucial in ensuring that everything goes as smoothly as possible on moving day.
Gather The Necessary Supplies
Once you’ve got the measurements down, you will want to secure the following supplies:
- Tape (heavy-duty)
- Plastic wrap/blankets
- Four-wheel dolly/trolley
- Dolly straps
- Accurately-sized van/truck
- Weightlifting straps
- Moving straps
Create A Clear Path For Your Piano
Clear the path you will be manoeuvring your piano along. You will want to make sure there are no obstacles or obstructions along your piano’s path. (i.e. potted plants, floor rugs, slippers/shoes, pet toys/beds, random boxes)
Prepare To Move Your Piano
Recruit some friends who are strong enough to help you move the piano. 3-4 people would do, but you may ask more to come, depending on the strength of the movers and the size of the piano.
If you are moving an upright piano, wrap the front, back, sides, pedals, and keyboard cover with plastic or blankets, and tape. For a grand piano or a baby grand, make sure to disassemble the piano’s pedals and legs before wrapping it with plastic or blankets and securing it with tape.
Move Your Piano
Once everything has been wrapped and secured, hoist your piano onto your four-wheeled dolly. Secure it with some straps or rope, and guide the dolly through the path you have previously cleared. Make use of ramps if you need to, and navigate your way slowly and carefully. Load the piano up the van or truck ramp and make sure it is secured against the back wall with the moving straps. Follow the same steps when you arrive at your destination, choose the best place for your piano, and reassemble as required.
As mentioned above, moving a piano is no easy feat. So, while it would seem cost-effective to move it on your own, hiring a professional piano mover would still be the best course of action. That way, all you have to do is make sure your piano is moved safely, securely, and in one piece!