Moving a piano is no easy task, just ask anyone who has attempted it.

Often a piano is not just an instrument, but a family heirloom, a talking point, a piece of wooden architecture around which many happy memories are created and relived. It is often the focal point of any home.

And your piano will almost definitely be relocated to your new home.

But such a precious item must be given special care and attention during the home move, and quite rightly you will want to know everything there is to know about the best way of moving a piano.

There is absolutely no substitute for a professional piano moving service that has the equipment and skills to safely move and transport your precious piano.

Moving a piano is no easy task, and for what it would cost to get a professional piano mover to relocate your precious instrument for you, it is just not worth the risk of injury, or damage to the piano, or your property, to try to move it yourself.

A search online will reveal several specialist piano movers in your area, but be sure to check out their reviews and research them thoroughly before hiring them. This will ensure you hire the best removal company for your needs.

You may also like to read: How to Pick a Good Removal Company. The Ultimate Sep-by-Sep Guide. Choosing the right removal company for your home move is never easy so we have created a step-by-step guide for you. It is essential reading to avoid all the pitfalls of picking a good removal firm.

How Much Does it Cost to Move a Piano?

Often a furniture hoist will be needed if you need to move a piano from an upper floor so this will add to your removal costs significantly
  • A professional piano removal company will move a small upright piano, for between £180 -£320.
  • Moving a Grand Piano across the country will cost approximately £500 – £650

Ensure any piano moving cost quotes you get include adequate insurance not only for the piano itself but to cover any accidental damage to flooring or property.

Some variables will affect the price quoted to move a piano, including the size and weight of the piano, if there are flights of stairs to be negotiated, and the distance from the piano room to the removal van.

You may also like to read: Home Moving Insurance – Do I Need It? One often overlooked aspect of moving home is insurance. The vast majority of people underinsure or do not insure their home move at all. In this guide, we look at why it is essential to adequately insure your home move, the various available policies, their average cost, and whether it is worth the extra cost in your circumstances.

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How Much Does it Cost to Move a Piano Yourself?

Ensure your hire van has a tail lift or ramp. It will make loading your piano so much easier
  • Tail-Lift Van hire £75 – £130 per day
  • Piano moving dolly hire about £20 – £30 per day
  • 2 x heavy-duty furniture straps about £10 each
  • Furniture lifting harness about £30
  • £25000 piano insurance cover for approximately £25 (£100 excess)
  • Fuel
  • Tolls
  • Parking charges
  • Pizza and beer for helpers

Don’t forget to add your time, inconvenience, and stress factor to the self-moving equation. Not to mention the very real possibility of injury to yourself, or damage to walls and floors.

But if you have decided to try to move a piano without hiring a professional removal service then the following information will be invaluable to you.

You may also like to read: The Pros and Cons of Moving Home Yourself vs Hiring Professional Movers. In this guide, we look at the pros and cons of various home moving options so that you can choose the option that is best for your home move.

Must Know Piano Moving Tips

A furniture dolly is essential when moving a piano
  • Never attempt to move a piano alone
  • Wear flat, sturdy shoes and non-slip gloves.
  • Under no circumstances lift by the piano legs
  • Always secure or remove the lids
  • Do not roll the piano on the casters as they are more decorative than functional
  • Always keep the piano upright
  • Use a piano moving dolly at all times – ensure it is a piano dolly, these are made to withhold heavy weights.
  • A tail-lift will make loading the piano onto the van easier
  • Secure the piano using heavy-duty straps only
  • Remove the dolly wheels when the piano is in the removal van

How to Prepare for Moving a Piano

  • Take plenty of photographs to record its current condition before having the piano moved. This will help if you need to file an insurance claim for any damage.
  • Measure the piano and doorways to ensure that it will fit through
  • Plan the route to the removal van
  • Take into account any low-hanging or wall-mounted light fixtures
  • Ensure that you can negotiate any tight corners
  • Clear the route to the van of any tripping hazards
  • Have a furniture moving dolly, blankets, good quality tape, and loading straps available
  • Secure the lid of the piano so that it does not open when moved (do not use tape directly onto the wood as it will damage it)
  • Wrap the piano in blankets to protect it from scuff damage

How to Measure a Doorway

  • To get the dimensions of your doorways, measure from top to bottom (the height of the doorway).
  • Measure from left to right to get the width. Remember to take your measurements from the inside of the doorframe.
  • The same method can be used to measure hallways.
  • Remember to take into consideration the turning angle needed to get into the doorway if from a narrow hallway.
  • You may also like to read: How to Create a Floor Plan. It is essential that you are sure that your furniture fits in your new home, it makes no sense to pay to move furniture that does not fit. In this guide, we show you how to make a simple floor plan and how to measure your furniture.

    How to Measure an Upright Piano

    • Measure from the floor to the top of the lid to get the height measurement.
    • The length can be measured along the entire length of the rear of the piano.
    • The width of the piano should be measured from the rear wall to the front of the keyboard.
    • Remember to include the height of the dolly if you have low doorways.

    How to Measure a Grand Piano

    • The legs of grand pianos are removable so do not need to be included in the measurements
    • The width can be determined by measuring the length of the keyboard
    • The length should be measured on the longest side of the piano, back to front.
    • Again remember to include the height of the piano moving dolly in your calculations

    Advice on Moving Antique Pianos Yourself

    In a word: Don’t

    Due to their fragility, high value, and emotional attachment, the risks involved in moving antique pianos are far too high.

    Always seek a professional, specialised piano removal service.

    You may also like to read: How to Pack Antiques and Collectibles. This is an essential guide for anyone who is packing and moving valuable antiques or collectibles.

    Where is the Best Place to Put a Piano?

    • Think carefully about where you intend to place your piano in your new home. If the piano becomes dried out due to excessive heat it will be untuneable.
    • Apart from the physical trauma of moving a piano upstairs, it is not a good idea to place a piano upstairs as heat rises and can damage your piano.
    • Never place a piano in a sunroom, conservatory, cellar, garage, shed, kitchen, or in front of a working radiator.
    • Ideally, it should be placed in a position that is out of direct sunlight and with a stable room temperature.

    How to Move an Upright Piano

    • Move the piano away from the wall
    • Secure the lids of the piano by locking or sealing them with plastic wrap
    • Cover the piano in moving blankets and secure in place with quality packing tape
    • Move the dolly so that it is beside the pedals of the piano
    • With a helper, tilt the piano backward
    • Meanwhile, a second helper positions the dolly under the piano
    • Tilt the piano forward onto the dolly so that it is balanced centrally
    • Using heavy-duty furniture straps, secure the piano to the dolly
    • Once in the removal van, place wooden blocks on the floor and slide the piano onto the blocks, (this will make it easier to lift onto the dolly again later)
    • Remove the dolly and secure the piano to the van walls with ratchet straps

    How to Move a Grand Piano

    It would be impossible for you to move a grand piano without specialist help
    • Remove all lids and wrap them in blankets if they cannot be secured in place
    • Secure blankets on the long edge of the piano
    • Place a piano moving board (dolly) on the floor with securing straps running under the board
    • With at least 2 helpers tilt the flat long side of the piano onto the moving board
    • Whilst a helper steadies the piano so that it does not topple, remove the legs
    • On larger grand pianos it may take two people to remove the legs, one holding the leg for support whilst the other person undoes all the nuts.
    • Wrap the entire piano again in blankets and secure it with tape or shrink-wrap
    • Once wrapped run the securing straps over the top of the piano and tie it down so that is secure on the board.
    • It can now be maneuvered to the removal van
    • Put blocks under the piano board which will make it easier to lift the piano onto the dolly again later.
    • Remove the dolly wheels and secure the piano to the van walls so that it cannot move.

    How to Move a Digital Keyboard

    • Digital keyboards are best protected by a hard shell case.
  • The original packing box will protect your keyboard best.
  • Remove the keyboard from the stand, which is usually just a case of removing a few screws (ensure you label them, put them in a sealed packet and attach to the legs so that they do not go missing.
  • Wrap the legs in a blanket to protect them.
  • The keyboard should be covered in at least two blankets to stop any damage being caused.
  • This can then be placed inside a box which should have a layer of at least 10cm of cushioning protection on all sides.
  • Seal the box well and be sure to mark it as fragile.
  • A bicycle box from your local bike store would be ideal for this.
  • Failing that wrap it several times in cardboard if you cannot find a box to fit it.
  • You may also like to read: How to Move Heavy and Large Furniture. In this guide, we share some invaluable tips on how to pack and move large and heavy pieces of furniture.

    How to Move a Piano up a Flight of Stairs

    Ever wished you had never attempted to do something yourself?

    As they say, please don’t try this at home!

    Maneuvering a piano up and down stairs is best left to the professionals, but if you really do intend to do this yourself, please be extremely careful. This is extremely hazardous.

    • Check that the staircase can support the weight of the piano and the people moving the piano.
    • If in any doubt at this stage abort the move and call in professional help.
    • Now you can either use furniture lifting straps which you can hire, or use sliding boards.
    • Follow the safety instructions implicitly when using lifting straps and if the staircase is wide enough, have a helper steady the piano
    • If using sliding boards, have at least two people haul up the piano on ropes, and three to push the piano up the stairs.
    • Wear non-slip gloves to give you a better grip on the piano.
    • Ensure that everyone has enough room to get out of the way if the piano slips backwards
    • When moving a piano down a flight of stairs have the majority of helpers at the lowest point of each step to support the weight of the piano.
    • Two people should be holding the piano from the top of the steps.
    • Again, ensure there is an escape route in case the piano slides away from you.
    • Take your time moving up and down flights of stairs
    • Regularly stop to regain composure and have a breather
    • Always maneuver around corners with the keyboard facing outwards, pivoting from the back end of the piano.

    How to Move a Piano Across a Room

    • Even moving a piano a short distance can result in injury to you and damage to your piano and home.
    • Don’t just try to push your piano across the room, the casters are not strong enough to withstand the stress of moving.
    • Follow the tips above as if moving home.

    How to Move a Piano on Carpet

    • Follow the tips above and use a piano dolly to move even short distances.
    • You will need extra help to move the piano on carpet as it will not glide as easily as on hard flooring.

    Bonus tip: How to get rid of piano caster dents in your carpet

    • Test the carpet for colour fastness first in an inconspicuous area
    • Protect the floor under your carpet with a towel
    • Fill the dent with ice cubes
    • Leave for at least 6 hours or overnight if possible
    • The carpet fibres will absorb the water and fluff up.
    • When the ice has melted blot the area dry
    • Then use a spoon or coin to fluff up the fibres
    • For natural fibre carpets use a steam iron to remove the dents
    • Protect the floor under the carpet as above
    • Place a damp cloth over the dent
    • Then place a medium-hot iron on the dent
    • After no more than a minute, the dent should have come out
    • Fluff up the fibres as above

    How to Prepare a Piano for Storage

    Furniture blankets will prevent your piano from sweating whilst in storage

    Whether for long or short-term storage you will want to ensure that your piano remains in perfect working order. Follow these simple steps to ensure your prized piano is stored in tip-top condition.

    • Thoroughly clean the piano before having it moved.
    • Take photographs as proof of the current condition should you need to file an insurance claim at any time.
    • Rent only a temperature-controlled storage unit as humidity and extremes of temperature can do irreversible damage to your piano.
    • Ideally, humidity should be at 50% and the temperature between 65-78F
    • Ensure that the piano is properly protected for transit as described above.
    • Never wrap your piano in plastic if it is to be stored as this may sweat and cause damage
    • Have adequate insurance in place to cover all eventualities
    • Seek professional advice from specialist piano storers.

    You may also like to read: How to Choose a Storage Unit. Not all storage units are equal, so in this guide, we look at different storage options, their average costs, and what to consider when renting a storage unit.

    How Much Does it Cost to Retune a Piano?

    • After having had the piano relocated, wait a few weeks before having it retuned. This will help the piano adjust to the ambient temperature of your new home.
    • A piano should be retuned every 6 months depending on the room temperature and humidity.
    • The amount of use a piano gets has no effect on making it go out of tune.
    • Usually if just moving a piano between rooms, there is no need to retune it.
    • It is the change of environment that affects the tuning of a piano and so if moving to a new home, it will require a full retune.
    • A retune will cost between £50 – £65
    • Often if the piano is badly out of tune a second retune will be required but this is usually cheaper at around £20
    • If you plan on having your piano restrung now it has a new home a single string starts at about £13, a bass string is about £35 and a full restring can cost in the region of £1400

    Moving a piano is never going to be easy, and most people who have attempted such a task without hiring a specialist removal company will, with hindsight, say never again.

    Out of all the advice above, we hope you heed this warning.

    We wish you a successful rehoming of your piano and that it continues to give you years of pleasure.

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