Moving a piano is not for the faint of heart. As anyone who’s ever done it will tell you, this arduous task requires some serious manpower and preparation. The process of moving a piano is so tedious and strenuous that it has even managed to carve out its own niche in the moving industry. Nowadays, you can find moving and storage companies all over the country solely dedicated to piano moving.
Considering the fact that pianos typically weigh anywhere between 300 to 1,000 (or more!) pounds, we certainly recommend hiring a professional moving company with piano moving experience to do the job. Many times, a piano also happens to be the most valuable and expensive item inside a person’s home. The price of a quality piano ranges from the low thousands to upwards of $100,000. Given a piano’s value, it’s especially important that the instrument is handled with the utmost care, making professional movers all the more necessary.
However, if hiring professional movers simply isn’t in your budget or timetable, it is possible to move most pianos with the help of friends. However, if you own a grand piano weighing 1,000 pounds, I strongly recommend investing in professionals. These exceptionally large pianos often require special equipment and handling that only true moving professionals can provide. Also, if there are steep stairs or particularly narrow hallways involved, I advise enlisting professionals as well.
Still convinced you want to move the piano yourself? Take a look at our helpful tips below.
Before the Move
Find the appropriate moving supplies and materials
First, you’ll need to make sure you have all the appropriate supplies and materials to safely and securely move the piano. For both an upright piano and a grand piano, you’ll need plenty of moving blankets for protection. After all, the last thing you want happening is a scratch (or worse!) on your valuable instrument. Tip: you can also use thick towels and blankets to cover the piano. Multiple rolls of tape will be needed to help secure the blankets in place. Moving an upright piano will also require a dolly capable of holding the piano’s weight.
Due to their size and structure, grand pianos are a bit more complicated to move and also require additional supplies. Besides moving blankets, I recommend finding the appropriate size piano board (also called a piano skid board) to handle your move. To hold your piano in place on a skid board, you’ll need straps and a screwdriver as well.
Enlist as many helpers as possible
Once you have your supplies in order, I recommend assembling a strong team of helpers. You’ll need at least four people – maybe more, depending on the size of the piano and the complexity of the move. It’s best to enlist friends, family and neighbors who have experience moving heavy items and are in relatively good shape. Make sure they’re all wearing appropriate moving clothing, as well as sneakers with good traction.
Measure doorways, staircases and hallways
Prior to the move, you should measure any place in your home that the piano will pass through. Make sure to thoroughly measure all doorways, staircases and hallways to assess how easily it will be to maneuver the piano and piano board through your home. It’s also a good idea to make sure doors are open, floors are properly protected, and furniture that could potentially hit the piano are removed before moving your musical instrument. If you’re worried about the piano nicking a corner or getting scratched along the way, try covering any sharp edges of the doorway with baby-proof bumpers or extra towels.
Moving the Piano
Moving an upright piano
Moving an upright piano and a grand piano both require plenty of preparation. To move an upright piano, you’ll want to protect the piano keys and piano pedals. Cover with a blanket and tape to secure. Follow by covering the piano with moving blankets, placing them on the front, back and sides. Tape all blankets to secure them in place. Once the piano is protected with moving blankets, you and your team can safely hoist the upright piano onto the dolly. When lifting the piano, be sure to have someone on all sides of the instrument. To avoid injuries, your moving team should take special precautions, making sure to bend the knees to prevent hurting their backs. Once the piano is on the dolly, carefully carry it to your moving truck.
Moving a grand piano
Before moving a grand piano, it’s especially important that you lower and secure the top lid. If you can, take a screwdriver to disassemble the piano pedals and legs. Carefully, take all legs off the grand piano. When taking the legs off the piano, make sure your team is in place to prevent the side of your piano from hitting the ground once the legs are removed. Wrap the lid, keys and all sides of the piano in moving blankets. Secure all blankets with tape. You’ll also want to wrap the piano’s legs and pedals in separate moving blankets. Make sure these pieces are safe and secure, then gently tilt the piano onto the piano board. Secure the piano to the piano board with straps. When pushing the piano board, I recommend having several team members help to prevent any accidents. After you successfully move the grand piano into your new home, you’ll need to re-assemble the legs and pedals. Make sure to have a team of people there to assist you with this part as well.
Once the move is complete, I recommend re-tuning your piano and giving it a good clean using a damp washcloth.
Prefer to hire professional movers?
If moving a piano DIY-style isn’t for you, there are plenty of professional moving companies that can handle the task for you. At Advance Moving and Storage, INC. we are movers who are here to help you have the best move possible in Greenville, NC, New Bern, NC, Kinston, NC, and surrounding areas. We’re dedicated to making sure you get everything you need on your next move. Large and small moves welcome, whether you’re local, intrastate, or interstate, our courteous, experienced, personnel are ready to help. We’re happy to do the heavy lifting for you!