Piano moving tips and tricks
You’re about to move to your new home and want to take your piano with no professional help. It’s heavy yet delicate, it’s expensive and fragile at the same time and might even hold sentimental value. You also need to think of your and your helpers’ health as lifting heavy things is not a piece of cake. When you take all of this into consideration, you might want to reconsider your bold decision to do it on your own. How about hiring professional movers after all? If not – here are some tips and tricks when it comes to piano moving.
Evaluate the plan and get the manpower you need
The number of people you’ll need depends on the type and size of your piano.
There are two major piano types.
- Upright pianos are smaller ones with vertical soundboards. It’s the most common type, often found in living rooms or parlors. Small upright pianos usually weigh 300-400 lbs., while big ones range from 500 lbs. up to 800 lbs. The smallest pianos are normally 58 inches long and they reach 3 feet in height. It takes at least four people to move an upright piano.
- Grand pianos are those with horizontal soundboards. It’s the largest piano type and the most expensive one as well. The grand piano can weigh up to more than 1200 lbs. and concert grand pianos can reach 9 feet in width, but there are some smaller versions (called baby grand pianos) as well. As a grand piano usually needs to be disassembled before moving due to its size and shape and professional piano moving equipment is required, you should definitely consider hiring professional help for this one (check out Capital City Movers NYC if you’re moving from or to the New York area). It takes at least four movers to move a smaller grand piano and at least half a dozen of them when moving a concert grand piano.
Set your priorities straight
Your health comes first
Make sure to invite enough people to move the piano with no risks to anyone’s health. To do that, you need to know how heavy your piano actually is. When you start with the piano moving process, keep in mind that no matter how valuable the instrument is, your health is even more so. So if it’s either or – don’t think twice.
What’s inside of the piano comes second
Unless you only have a piano at home to show off and are never really going to play it, it’s crucial to pay more attention to what’s inside of it. And even if you never play the instrument, you should still make sure it stays in good condition. That way you could possibly sell it later on. A piano is a very delicate instrument and its complex mechanisms (including its hammers, strings, keys, pedals and more) can be easily damaged. So it’s important to understand its weight distribution and to keep its balance while moving it.
The surface only comes third
You obviously don’t want the surface to get scratched or dented, but it just can’t come anywhere close to anyone’s health or to the piano’s ability to produce music. That being said, check for some tips regarding this particular issue down below.
Wear proper clothing and ditch all accessories
Comfortable non-baggy clothes and closed shoes are necessary and accessories-free style even more so. Accessories poise a serious risk when going for piano moving. They could get tangled in the piano, which could lead to serious problems.
Get ready for piano moving
You can’t just pick up your piano and take it to the truck, it doesn’t work that way. Make sure you have a clear strategy before you do anything. You must think of each and every obstacle on the way ahead of time and let the helpers know exactly what to do. Whatever you’re doing or trying to do, communication and synchronization are the key.
You also need some professional gear, just like when you need to protect your furniture. The gear includes heavy-duty furniture straps for easier and safer lifting and carrying and two furniture dollies to roll the piano wherever possible. Don’t ever try to roll a piano on its casters for more than a few inches. The piano’s weight is just not going to be as stable as when furniture dollies are used.
Finally, you need to protect and secure the body of your piano, so use heavy blankets and moving straps to do it. Close the lid and lock it if possible, if not secure it by taping a blanket over it. You’ll need one more blanket to stuff the lid with it for extra protection. Now you’re ready for the very piano moving process.
Piano moving the easiest way
At this point you might be regretting your enthusiastic decision to move your piano yourself. But there you are, no professional movers in sight and you need to move right away.
Keeping the balance of the piano is the first thing to think about (after your and your helpers’ health, of course). This is important in order to minimize chances of any interior damage. One person should be holding onto each side of the piano and one furniture dolly should be placed under each side as well. Then comes the time when you should gently roll the piano to the moving truck. If you need to go up or down for more than a few steps, consider (again!) hiring professional help. If it’s just a bump, then you could do it, but make sure it’s one set of wheels at a time.
Placing a piano inside of the truck
A piano should never be left inside of an empty or half-empty truck. It should be one of the first items to be loaded and then should be surrounded by as many boxes as possible. These are supposed to support the instrument and keep it snug. The last thing you want is that your piano starts moving around the truck during the ride. So think ahead of time of all the items you need to move and make sure to order a truck of the right size. It is critical to secure the piano properly in the truck!
Taking a piano to its new home
It’s not the best idea to roll the piano off the truck only to start thinking where to actually place it – or even worse, to start rolling it around. So you need to know ahead of time where you’re going to keep it.
After all of this is done, you need to call a piano tuner. However, experts say you should wait for a month to do so. If you rush things, you’ll have to do it all over again when the right time comes.
Moving is never easy, especially if there’s a piano involved. Find out what kind of damage you risk if you decide to move your piano with no professional help and make sure to check the cost of moving home before you make up your mind.