Moving a piano is no small job – the size of alone makes them a challenge. Pianos are also valuable, which means that great care must be taken not to cause any undue damage to these extravagant and often sentimental instruments.
In order to get a piano moved safely, skilled hands must perform the operation using the proper equipment and techniques. Unless you happen to be friends with a team of piano moving experts, it’s likely that recruiting your friends and family is not an option. Instead, look for experienced piano movers near me.
Professional piano movers can get your piano transported from one place to another quickly and, most importantly, safely. You’ll want to do some research to find piano movers in your area that can make sure your piano gets to its destination and your door frames, walls, and stairs are left unharmed.
Finding the best piano movers for the job can be a bigger task than many expect, so let’s explore some of the important aspects to consider when looking into working with piano moving professionals.
Types of Pianos
Pianos have gone through plenty of changes over the years but their inner workings remain true to their original design. Because there are a variety of piano styles, each job is unique and movers must adjust their technique accordingly.
Many modern pianos, though, share a similar style and can be classified as either upright – vertical – or grand – horizontal.
Upright, or vertical, pianos are very common – the most common throughout the world. They are oftentimes found in private residences, school music rooms, places of worship, retirement homes, concert halls, and community centers.
Under this umbrella category are four specific vertical piano types that vary in size, which is a big factor in determining how much piano transport services will cost. When dealing with vertical pianos, the height often changes while the width remains constant – about 58 inches.
Spinet pianos are lowest in height, sitting at under 40 inches. Their size may also interfere with the sound the piano produces.
Console pianos are often a little above 40 inches and can be easily found in residential homes just about anywhere.
Studio pianos are most commonly seen in schools and in studios. Sitting anywhere from 45 to 48 inches tall, they produce better sound than smaller vertical pianos.
Upright pianos are typically lighter than the average grand piano, which takes some of the hassles out of moving them. Their vertical shape is also an advantage, allowing them to slide through doorways much easier than horizontal pianos.
Many upright pianos were made throughout the 1920s and 40s, so they have many embellishments and hardwood sounding boards, making them heavier. If there is any ornate woodwork or carving on the piano, it will need additional protection while being transported.
Older pianos may also be lacking disassembly points, which means the entire piano will need to be moved out of the home in one piece. The sounding board may also cause tipping due to its height, so movers must be extremely careful.
This is a specific style of piano with a height above 50 inches – the tallest of the vertical pianos. These were popular choices in the early 20th century for homeowners, though now console pianos are more popular.
Horizontal pianos are often referred to as grand pianos, though you will find that there are numerous varieties of grand, or horizontal, pianos that have been developed over the centuries. Grand pianos can usually be found in concert halls, but professional musicians, enthusiasts, and those that simply enjoy lavish entertainment may also have these instruments in their homes.
The measurements of grand pianos start at the keyboard and extend to the rounded cabinet’s furthest point. Starting from smallest, let’s look at five types of grand pianos.
Petite grand pianos are the smallest in this umbrella category, getting no bigger than 4’10”. They sound similar to studio or upright pianos and are ideal for rooms that require the sound a grand piano can produce but do not have enough space for a larger grand piano.
Baby grand pianos can reach widths of up to 5’7” and are the most popular of the grand pianos and can often be seen in places of worship, recital spaces, and homes.
Parlor grand pianos are just a bit larger than baby grands, ranging in size from 5’9” to 6’1”.
Ballroom pianos are typically 7 feet long and are designed to fill large rooms with their sound. They are often mistaken for concert grands and may be considered an alternative to one.
Concert grand pianos are about 9 feet long and are the largest of the horizontal pianos. They produce the best sound when they’re placed in concert halls and are extremely valuable, requiring extensive planning and protection when moving.
They’re also heavy and cumbersome, easily making them the most challenging piano.
Smaller grand pianos are similar in weight to upright pianos, so their heft won’t add additional strain to the moving process. The legs of these pianos can also be removed, making getting through doorways easier.
Larger grand pianos are extremely heavy and can be difficult to orient correctly to get through doorways. If there is anything exposed on the piano, such as pedals or other hardware, extra care becomes a necessity.
How to Choose Piano Movers?
Check their credentials
Companies that transport pianos must adhere to state and federal rules and regulations, including holding a valid license and being registered with the Department of Transportation. Many times, a moving company will be able to provide you with piano transport services.
Ask moving professionals to provide you with either their MC number or USDOT number. Once received, verify their credentials to make sure they’re up to date.
Verify insurance coverage
Every professional piano moving team is required to be licensed and insured. When looking for movers, be sure to ask for verification of their insurance with a certificate of insurance, which you can further verify by calling the insurers.
Your homeowner’s insurance may also provide you with coverage, but it is recommended that you get into contact with a representative of your homeowner’s insurance to determine whether or not you need additional coverage.
The past performance of a piano transport service can be used to determine the experience you are most likely to have while working with these professionals, so doing research is highly recommended. Find online reviews, look for information on the Better Business Bureau, and speak to people you know about piano moving companies they have used in the past.
Keep in mind that online reviews may not always be reliable, so take each review with a grain of salt.
Piano Moving Costs
As soon as you begin thinking or hiring piano movers, one of the first questions asked is how much it will cost. This question is quite common, as piano moving can be more expensive than traditional moving services. There’s a reason for these costs, though.
Have you ever wondered just how heavy a piano is? If you’re lucky, you’ll never need to know – piano movers can handle their weight. These instruments are made out of dense woods, cast iron, metal wires, and other durable and heavy materials. Special equipment will need to be used, additional team members are required, and additional fuel costs are factored in.
While this weight is essential to enhance the sound, it adds to the costs of piano transportation.
Pianos were not designed to be moved from place to place, which makes the job of piano movers a bit more difficult. Oftentimes, a piano is moved once and then left in its original place. Any movement can wreak havoc on the delicate instruments; at the minimum, it may need to be tuned.
They’re wide and can be quite long depending on the type of piano you have – they’re also top-heavy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to know before calling a piano mover?
You’ll need to know exactly what type of piano is being moved, the length or height of the piano, the pickup and delivery addresses, and your requested moving date. You’ll also need to alert movers of any stairs, landings, turns, and other obstacles that may get in the way while moving your piano.
How are pianos moved?
The specific technique used to load and unload your piano will depend on the type of piano you have. It takes several crew members to move a piano, sometimes it can take 2 while at other times 4 movers may be required. Your piano will be protected and wrapped before being loaded onto the truck and transported to your new home.
Can you move a piano without making it go out of tune?
Moving a piano can actually cause less tuning issues than you think. Contributing factors include humidity changes and the new space the piano is in. Many parts of a piano are made of wood, including the soundboard and pin block, which are affected by humidity. While it can be impossible to prevent the tune from being affected, your piano will acclimate to its new setting in a few weeks and can be tuned.
Pianos take care and experience to move properly if you want to make sure they remain functional and you avoid paying for piano repair services. Working with the right moving company is paramount, so look for the best piano movers near you when you want to relocate your instrument.