How to Move a Baby Grand Piano Upstairs or Downstairs
Moving a piano is always difficult, but owners of baby grand pianos face even more problems during a move. There are numerous obstacles to overcome, and each poses a threat the piano might be damaged. That’s why it isn’t recommended for piano owners to move without professional help.
Areas that Create Problems
Professional piano movers know all tricks required to move a piano successfully, but they must still consider a number of factors when moving baby grand pianos, especially when the move involves going up or down steps. Here are some of the problems professional piano movers expect to encounter when moving a piano up or down steps.
- Slippery surfaces. Not all types of floor coverings provide a stable surface, with many providing little traction. Carpeting on steps isn’t bad when walking up or down the steps but can be slippery when trying to control heavy objects like pianos.
- Narrow stairs. Many homes, especially older homes, were constructed with steps that are quite narrow. When a home’s steps are too narrow, it becomes difficult to control the piano during the move.
- Curved staircases. Anytime the staircase turns, moving a piano becomes more complicated. The size and weight of a baby grand piano make it awkward, at best, to move around a corner in the staircase.
- Doorways. Any doorways can present challenges, but narrow doorways and doorways with sills can create problems for the piano movers.
- Weather conditions. If moving the baby grand piano involves exterior steps, weather conditions may make a move difficult. Snow and ice, for example, will certainly cause problems, but even light rain or winds can exacerbate issues.
Of course, other problems may exist at some homes, which is why it’s always a good idea to have the piano mover visit the site before the moving day to determine what conditions may cause problems for the movers.
Steps Taken to Prepare for the Move
Pianos are large, heavy, and prone to damage during a move. That’s why moving experts take the time to disassemble a baby grand piano for a move up or down steps. Since baby grand pianos can weigh anywhere from 500 to 1,200 pounds, it makes sense to reduce that weight as much as possible to make a move easier. Moving individual parts is far simpler than attempting to move an intact piano up or down steps.
Here are a few of the steps commonly needed to prepare a piano for moving.
- Remove the lid. In the majority of cases, it’s a good idea to remove a baby grand piano’s lid prior to moving the piano. The lid is heavy, and any surface damage would be difficult to repair.
- Disassemble the lyre and pedals. The lyre is the component that connects the pedals to the main piano body. The disassembly is relatively straightforward, but care must be taken to minimize the potential for damage.
- Remove the legs. In many cases, it makes sense to remove the legs, and that’s especially the case if there are narrow doors or turns in the steps. Again, piano movers know when removing the piano’s legs is necessary.
The movers will also wrap all parts of the baby grand piano to minimize the potential for any damage during the move. Each type and model of baby grand piano will pose slightly different issues during a move up or down steps, but the moving experts have the expertise to identify problems and deal with them correctly.
Safely Moving the Piano
Once the piano is prepared for the move, it’s time to start the actual process of moving the baby grand piano up or down the steps. This is when the knowledge and experience of the moving experts are critical. Here are some of the steps the experts will take.
- Plan the route and deal with obstacles. Once the move is underway, no one involved will want to stop and deal with unanticipated issues. Moving professionals will remove doors when necessary, move anything that will be in the way during the move, and make sure everyone involved understands how and where the piano will be moved.
- Depending on the circumstances, the experts may need to prep the stairs for the move. That may mean creating a ramp to make the move easier. Moving a baby grand piano from riser to riser is difficult, and that jarring can make it more difficult to tune the piano later.
- Next, the piano must be secured to the dolly being used. The type and size of the dolly will depend on the size and weight of the piano. Remember, the goal is to complete the move without causing any damage to the piano. That means the moving experts will use the best dolly for the piano model.
- Now the hard part starts. Generally, it will take at least two or three movers to get a baby grand piano up or down steps, and each of the individuals will know their part of the job. That’s why the experts will rarely damage a piano during a move, even when the conditions are less than optimal.
Depending on the piano and the difficulty of the move, it can take several hours to move a baby grand piano up or down steps.
Reassembling the Piano
Once the move is completed, the piano movers will carefully reassemble the piano. During this phase of the move, the experts will remove all the protective packing and reverse the disassembly process.
Once the baby grand piano is reassembled, the experts will make sure it functions correctly. However, pianos should always be tuned by an expert once they are in their new location. Careful tuning will ensure the piano sounds like it should and provides the owners with years of pleasure.
Taking the First Step When a Piano Must be Moved
If your piano must be moved, it’s always a good idea to contact piano moving experts well in advance of the move. That will allow plenty of time for the mover to visit the site, determine what types of problems may present, and make sure the appropriate moving experts will be available for the move.