Moving A Hand-Me-Down Piano To Your House

Posted on: 7 November 2015

If you come into possession of a piano via an inheritance or other means and need to transport the instrument from someone else's home to yours, you need to understand the special requirements of moving such a large apparatus. You need a large crew of strong bodies, preferably licensed movers that specialize in transporting pianos, to move the instrument properly so it does not suffer any long-term damage.

If you have no experience in transporting pianos, the following guide can help you understand the ins and outs of the process before you call a moving company.

Handling Precautions

First of all, do not underestimate the weight of a piano. They can weigh up to 1,000 pounds depending on the instrument type and size. Custom grand pianos can even weigh in excess of 1,000 pounds.

Do not attempt to slide the piano around before movers arrive. The casters on the piano will damage the floor as they primarily serve as decoration and are not meant to function as rollers. Over time, the casters may become stuck. If you attempt to move the piano, you will create grooves in hardwood floors or tear up the carpet.

Furthermore, if the piano is very old, you can damage the casters or break one of its legs if you try to shift the instrument on your own.

Proper Equipment

Expert piano movers will wrap the piano properly with padding, blankets and tape before moving it. It is important that no part of the instrument touches the floor or gets damaged by bumps.

After wrapping the piano, the movers will shift the instrument properly to fit on dollies. Depending on the shape and size of the piano, it may be shifted on its side or centered properly on a large dolly. For grand pianos, movers will use their special tools to remove the legs of the instrument and center the body on a large dolly before the move.

Dealing with Stairs

When the piano is moved to and from different levels, such as from the ground to a truck, piano movers will use heavy duty ramps and assign several people to shift the instrument from one level to the next.

If there is no elevator to move a piano up and down stairs in an apartment building, movers may use a system of dollies and special straps to shift the instrument from floor to floor. However, the most dangerous part of transporting a piano is moving it up stairs.

Under no circumstances should you and your family members or friends attempt to do this on your own. It is dangerous and can result in serious injury. Even the slightest miscalculation in balancing the piano can send it sliding down the stairs.

Post Move

Once your piano is loaded properly onto a truck and on its way to its new home, you are almost done. Movers will unload and set it up for you in your house. However, piano strings are sensitive to humidity, temperature and movement. Some piano moving services will tune the instrument on arrival, but you may need to call a professional tuner to service the instrument if the moving company does not.