If you’re the musical type, you might have a piano in your house. They provide hours of entertainment – but they’re also tricky to move. And while there are “budget” pianos, a good quality piano costs in the thousands (depending on quality, rarity, etc). Some ultra-high-performance grand pianos can cost over a million.
When it’s time to move, many people want their piano to get special treatment. So the big question is –
How Much Should it Cost?
- The national average price for moving a piano is $405. Depending on where you’re located, the typical range is between $256 and $589.
- Short distance moves average between $150 to $400. These trips within the same city are much cheaper than cross-country relocations.
- The national average for long-distance piano moves is between $600 and $2,000. This disparity in pricing can be attributed to the quality of movers and a wide range of distances that can be covered under the umbrella of a “long-distance” move.
- When moving a piano overseas, expect the cost to range upwards of $3,500 to $4,500.
Why Should You Hire Professionals?
Moving a piano is a task that demands planning, strength, the right tools, and a lot of help. Pianos are large and weigh anywhere between 300 and 1,000 pounds.
It’s entirely possible for three or four strong guys to move a small upright piano. Still, it becomes much more difficult to DIY a piano move when moving a grand or baby grand where there are stairs or tight corners.
With careful planning and help from friends, a DIY move is possible. But we recommend hiring professionals. A professional moving company with piano moving experience is preferable because of their knowledge and skill – something that is priceless when moving expensive instruments.
When moving by yourself, one wrong move or a lack of planning can lead to injury and damage to your piano or home. Enlisting the help of a professional moving company gives you peace of mind and insurance coverage in case if something goes wrong.
When to Hire Professionals: 6 Reasons
- When the piano is too heavy for you and your friends to move safely.
- When moving larger pianos with more complex systems. Grand and concert grand pianos often require parts to be removed and secured.
- When you’re moving a piano into or out of a location with stairs, elevators, sharp corners, or tight doorways.
- When you need to avoid the possibility of damaging an expensive piano
- When you don’t have the correct kind of transportation to move a piano. Many specialty movers will be able to navigate state and federal regulations regarding the transportation of ivory. There is a US Fish and Wildlife regulation governing the transport of old ivory products.
Because piano moving companies are specialty movers, it is highly recommended to book these professionals far in advance. You will be able to get a moving date secured (and often lower rates), and (likely) your choice of the most qualified piano moving companies in your area.
How Professionals Determine the Price
1. Piano movers that charge an hourly rate for their services account for several factors when giving their estimates. The biggest determinants of the price are:
- The cost of labor
- Number of movers
- The time that it will take to complete the job
- Equipment used
- Per-worker rates
- Travel fees
For example, a small upright piano will take less time and manpower to move than a concert grand piano – which often requires a full team of movers over a long period of time. The more complex or long distance the job, the more it will cost.
2. Piano movers that charge a fixed rate for their services determine the approximate moving cost from previous experience. These costs are based on the size and weight of the piano, its location in the home or building, obstacles to moving the piano (stairs, corners, etc.), among other factors.
To receive the best and most accurate quote, provide the company with specific details about your piano and its location within the house or building.
Measurements help give piano movers a rough estimate of what the piano weighs. This allows them to decide the number of movers and equipment needed for the job.
- Upright pianos are measured by their overall height
- Grand pianos are measured by their overall length.
Knowing the make and model of your piano can provide companies with crucial information about the size and weight of your piano. This information helps them to provide the most accurate estimate.
How to Screen General Movers
General movers might not have the experience or equipment to properly move your piano. But many full-service movers have the know-how and team to pull off even the most demanding piano relocations. But you won’t know unless you ask.
When shopping around for expert piano movers, as questions like:
How long has your company been moving pianos?
How many full-time (year-round) movers will be on this project?
How much notice do you need before moving
What happens if my piano is damaged during the move?
What is your moving process for a piano and location like mine?
What kind of equipment do you use?
Hiring a professional moving company can seem expensive compared to doing it yourself. However, it is highly recommended if you want to avoid personal injury, damage to the piano, or damage to the house. All of these missteps could end up costing more than the cost of getting quality movers to do the job.
Always ensure that you are getting the best movers for your situation at the best price by booking early and getting quotes from multiple companies. Moving a piano doesn’t have to be difficult. It doesn’t have to be expensive either.