How to Move a Piano
Should You Do It Yourself or Hire Professionals?
The piano is one, if not the most valuable item in your home. It is heavy, delicate and awkwardly-shaped that moving it across the room requires careful planning and some muscle. Now imagine the kind of effort you need to put when you need to transport the piano through a flight of stairs, elevator, and then load it into a truck before heading towards its new home interstate.
Sure, you might think that you have enough strong friends to help you lift the piano up and place it into the truck, but you probably didn’t realize how things can go wrong in so many ways just by attempting to do it yourselves. The small delicate parts could move inside, its surface can get scratched, it might hit walls and furnishings or you might even break your back. Without expert knowledge and understanding, these mistakes could very well be more expensive than you thought.
How to Move a Piano
What type of piano is it?
It is essential to know your piano first before you move it. Spinet pianos are the most common types of piano found in most homes. It stands upright, weighs approximately 300 lbs. and around 3 feet in height.
There’s also the upright piano which varies in size and weight. Smaller “studio” versions can weigh between 400 to 500 lbs., while large ones can go half a ton. They also stand somewhere between 4 to 5 feet.
And then there’s the grand piano. Baby grand pianos weigh around 500 lbs. while grand concert pianos typically weigh around 1300 lbs.
Now, knowing what piano you need to move, you can remove the legs if they are removable, close the lid and then cover it up.
Get the right measurements
First, you need to measure the piano itself, as well as the staircase, doorway, and elevator which it needs to pass through. You also need to measure the space where it will be relocated to make sure it fits. Its new home must have little to no sun exposure and ideally has enough room for an audience.
Get the right gear
Don’t attempt to lift and move the piano with your bare hands. It wouldn’t suffice, and it’s only a disaster going to happen. You must secure some heavy-duty straps and non-slip gloves to help you lift the piano up safely. You also need a thick padding to cover the piano up as it is being transported and prevent the risks of scratches and dents. Importantly, you need a dolly to easily bring the piano up to the truck and then bring it down when it reaches the destination.
Cover it up
Although the piano looks massive and heavy, it is also very delicate. A scratch can easily mar its beauty. You need to cover it up with a thick blanket or padding to keep it safe and secure on the move. For added measure, secure the blanket or padding into the piano with a packing tape.
Plan your route
You should have a clear path as you move the piano. Move furniture that may be blocking your way as well as keep the door open. If the door has any sharp ages that may scratch the surface of the piano, cover those up with towels. It is also essential to set up ramps and dollies to make the transport as seamless and straightforward as possible. Set up the ramps should you need to go through a flight of stairs and get the dollies ready to load the piano up the truck quickly and securely.
Lift the piano the right way
Improper lifting can cause severe damage to the piano, as well as to your back. Before lifting it up, you need to use heavy-duty straps to secure the piano in place. You also need at least one person each side to lift the piano properly and safely. Do not lift the legs of the piano as they aren’t as strong and solid as they seem to be. Remove the legs first then lift the piano up. Gently place it down on the dolly and slowly move it inside the truck.
If you’re planning to move the piano by a great distance, such as to a new city or interstate, you need to make sure that the piano is stored correctly to keep it in good condition. It should be the first thing you load into the truck. You can then load other boxes to keep the piano in place and stable during the drive. When you reach the destination, the piano should also be the last thing you unload.
If you find it problematic where to store the piano for the meantime, you can enlist the services of professional piano movers who can both move and store the piano for you. When it comes to storage, your piano must be kept in a secure and well-ventilated place. The piano must be wrapped with a thick padding or wrap and elevated for a couple of inches to maintain the right airflow.
Should you do it yourself or hire professional piano movers?
The piano may be a huge musical instrument, but deep inside it is thousands of tiny moving parts that can get knocked off or misaligned due to poor moving practices. It may be tempting to ask friends for help, but without proper experience and the right knowledge, the move could end up a disaster.
It is in your piano’s best interest, then, to find the right people to move it. Professional piano movers are equipped with the right equipment to make the move as seamless as possible. They are insured and bonded which serves as protection for your precious piano as they do the job. They also know the piano and understand how delicate the moving process can be. In short, they make sure that your piano is in good hands and will arrive at the destination, safe and sound.