Blog December 1, 2020

How to Move a Piano by Yourself: A Complete Guide

Posted in How-to
Madison Rogers

Born and raised in Houston Madison is a content writer who loves traveling. She has lived in different states and is always eager to share her knowledge with others.

Are you thinking about how to move a piano by yourself? If that’s so, you should know that it’s not easy, but it is manageable. We have prepared a list of steps that will help you go through this process with as little trouble as possible.

Gather a Team

Pianos are difficult to handle. Even uprights are quite heavy, and their legs can be fragile. Therefore, when you decide to move a musical instrument such as this one, you will need some extra hands – eight, to be precise. Without that kind of help, this task will simply be impossible.

Gather your friends and create a team of reliable movers.

Preparations are Crucial

Before you move your musical instrument, you should prepare it properly in order to avoid any potential damage during transportation. These are our tips for the most crucial preparatory steps.

Don’t Forget to Take Measures

Before you do anything with an instrument, don’t forget to carefully take measures and write down dimensions of the path you’ll move it along. Take measurements of certain parts of your home, including doorways, hallways, and stairways. It is crucial to have all the measures; otherwise, you are in danger of getting stuck halfway through and not being able to move.

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Relocating Pianos Requires Adequate Equipment

If you want to avoid damaged walls, railings, instruments, and, most importantly, injuries, make sure to use the right equipment. Your shopping list should include:

  • Work gloves
  • Plastic wrap or blanket
  • Heavy-duty tape
  • Four-wheel dolly
  • Dolly straps

Also, rent a vehicle for relocation and get additional equipment, including a van or truck, ramp, weightlifting straps, and moving straps. Once you have all the equipment, you’ll be ready to relocate your things safely.

One of the Most Important Steps Is to Secure the Keyboard

Protecting the keyboard is one of the crucial things when it comes to relocating pianos. Keys are fragile and should be protected. The best way to secure it is to close and lock the keyboard lid.

In case there’s no way to lock the keyboard lid, don’t forget to close it anyway before you wrap the instrument. However, we don’t recommend using tape for sealing the cover because it could damage the wooden surface. Instead, sticky plastic wrap should do the trick.

Finish the Preparations by Wrapping the Piano

Use paddings or blankets to Wrap the whole thing, and ensure the corners are well-protected while securing the protective sheet with packing tape. Also, ensure that tape doesn’t come into contact with the wooden surfaces because it can damage it.

Additional tip: A grand piano has to be disassembled before the wrapping, while an upright one can be moved as-is.

Adequate equipment is the key to a successful relocation.

Review and Clear the Path You’ll Take

In case you have to move your heavy instrument up or down the stairs in your home, make sure that stairs can bear the weight before you start heavy-lifting. Also, don’t forget to clear the path and avoid any obstacles that could prolong the relocation, such as cables, boxes, or other small and large objects.

Ensure clear and safe paths for relocating your music instrument.

Tips to Move Upright Pianos

If there are no stairs in your home, to move an upright piano, you’ll need two movers to get the job done. One person is enough to lift one end of the music instrument, and another to put the 4-wheeled dolly underneath. But, if you have to go up a flight of stairs, at least three people are needed to lift and make balance.

The entire staircase requires a third person. Their job is to help out on the lower end, whether going up or down. The mover handling the higher end will have to keep their side under control.

What About a Baby Grand Piano?

To move a baby grand piano, you should first disassemble it. Start by removing the music stand and pack it separately if possible. Also, it might be best if you considered eliminating the pedals as well to avoid breakage. To do that, you should only remove the screws that hold the pedals with rods and wrap each piece.

Next, you need to place the long edge of the musical instrument on a board to support it for lifting and installing a two-wheeler. The board, commonly known as skid board, is a moving tool designed to be strapped to the instrument, then placed on the dolly.

Using a skid board provides a robust flat base for the instrument to be supported on. The board is made of two-inch pine, and it is about six feet long and eight inches wide.

Both an upright and a baby grand should be well-protected and prepared for transport.

Moving a Piano by Yourself – a Fantastic Idea, or…

Moving a large instrument is one of the most challenging moving tasks. You need to use adequate equipment and have a reliable team. Even if you are looking for the cheapest way to move out of state, and it seems that relocating a piano by yourself will save you some money, it can cause you more damage than you can imagine. So, to avoid any accidents, consider contacting reliable movers and ensure the safe transport of your beloved musical instrument.

Hiring professionals is always the best idea.

The Cost of Moving a Piano

The cost of moving a piano depends on the kind of instrument you want to move and how much it weighs. When hiring professional movers who provide moving and packing services, you should take into consideration obstacles, such as stairs, that could cause some problems during the move. Due to this, moving could cost more but it will still be much safer, both for you and the instrument.

When it comes to prices, moving a heavy instrument usually comes at between $200 and $1,000. You can calculate the cost yourself. For instance, to move an upright piano, you will need 2-3 movers, and up to 6 to move a baby grand. The number of movers multiplied by their hourly rate (around $25-40), is the cost of relocating the instrument.

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