Everyone knows what a pain moving can be, especially if you are a piano owner. Whether you are moving to a new home or moving a new piano into your home, figuring out how best to move your instrument can be an ordeal. Pianos require special consideration of all its intricate parts, and they are a big investment. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning how to move a piano safely.
Self-Move versus Professionals
When Choosing to Move a Piano: Self-move
If planning on moving your investment yourself, there are some important considerations to think about. First of all, you need to make a plan. Taking accurate measurements and weight estimates will form the rest of your plan, so measure not only the piano itself but also the doorways and passageways you will be moving it through, as well as the space where the piano will be placed. Second, consider the risks. You don’t want anyone to get hurt, and you don’t want your piano to get damaged.
Many piano owners try and move their instruments themselves, enlisting the help of their strongest friends. The issue is not so much strength as smarts. Upright pianos can weigh between 400-600 lbs., grands from 500-700 lbs., concert grands up to 1,000 lbs. Knowing how to leverage these heavy instruments, overcoming the problems of balance and inertia, is key.
According to Larry Fine, “Piano moving may conjure up images of men with monstrous arms and huge torsos, but actually two or three people of average build can do most piano moving jobs—even grands—if they have some brains, experience, the right equipment, and a knowledge of just when and where to apply a little force.”
Moving a piano will take shifting and tipping of the instrument, and it can be dangerous for those who are not skilled heavy lifters. Not only will it be difficult to lift the actual piano, but there may be a lot of moving of other furniture out of the piano’s path. Navigating to an appropriately sized moving truck and unloading at the new location will be the most difficult parts, so for these reasons many people opt to hire professional piano movers.
Easiest Way to Move a Piano: Hiring Professionals
Because of the labor-intensive process and the value of the piano itself, hiring professional piano movers is usually the best option. Regular furniture movers may not have the experience of moving pianos, so find professionals with skills necessary to handle your piano properly.
Many piano owners think hiring professionals will cost more, but in the end, it will actually save money. First of all, those experienced with moving an expensive item like a piano help avoid damage to the instrument itself and your property. Secondly, hiring professional movers means you do not run the risk of injuries sustained while trying to move the heavy item yourself. Finally, professional movers will have the special equipment needed to move a piano. Most average people do not have a moving dolly, straps, moving pads, grip gloves, etc. lying around.
If you cannot hire professional piano movers to handle the piano from point A to point B on their own truck, at least contact them for advice. Grand piano lids should be locked, upright pianos should rest on wooden blocks (not on their casters) during the move, and all pianos should be wrapped carefully in blankets and strapped at key locations on the instrument to prevent damage. Consider having piano experts load your piano on your moving truck for you, so it is secured and protected properly during transit. Then hire local piano moving experts to unload and set up your piano in your new home upon arrival. They can assist with optimal aesthetic and acoustic placement of your piano as well as ensuring the instrument is in the best location to hold its tune and prevent unnecessary maintenance problems.
In conclusion, there are a few options to consider when planning to move a piano. While you can always choose to move a piano yourself, there are a lot of safety factors to think about. Many piano owners think moving their piano themselves will save money, but in the long run, hiring professionals will be the most cost-effective and safe method. Even if something goes wrong, the professional piano mover will be responsible for it, and they have insurance to cover it. The best piano move is the one that is “uneventful”!