Piano movers cost & DIY tips to move it safely.
With the help of friends and rellies, you are going to move this beautiful and expensive instrument which incidentally has 10,000+ moving parts that are all finely synchronised and produce the most exquisite sounds. Then you possibly end up wondering why the soundboard is cracked or why it won’t keep its tuning any longer.
Okay your choice, but firstly just enquire about the cost of having professionals move your piano for you. Always a good choice as you watch this very heavy item go out the door without you lifting a finger. An enquiry with professional piano movers won’t cost you a cent and may prove worthwhile in the long run. We have also include some average piano moving prices below.
If however, you are intent on doing it yourself let’s help you ensure that the job is done as carefully as possible.
So how much does it cost to move my piano?
For an accurate cost on your piano move, this question is best answered by getting a quote from the piano movers themselves but it’s worthwhile keeping in mind the below variables that might apply to such a single item move. We have also included below some average piano moving prices for both suburb to suburb and interstate moves.
Variables that impact the price of your piano move:
- Weight and size of piano
- Accessibility and especially stairs, lifts, docks or other obstacles to be overcome
- Distance of travel to the new location. If you are wanting to move long distance read our blog on how to move a piano long distance>>
- Closeness to both locations for mover’s truck
- Time of year (Holiday times are usually more costly)
- Insurance cover provided
- It is preferable to get an all-up quote so that you are aware of the cost to you rather than hourly rate or incurring additional costs for maybe degree-of-difficulty or other factors
Some average prices for moving a piano
|Type||Location||Average Distance||Average Price|
|Organ||Suburb to Suburb||45 - 70 km||$150 - $200*|
|Upright Piano||Suburb to Suburb||45 - 70 km||$180 - $220*|
|Baby Grand Piano||Suburb to Suburb||45 - 70 km||$300 - $400*|
|Grand Piano||Suburb to Suburb||45 - 70 km||$500 - $800*|
|Organ||Interstate||600 - 900 km||$300 - $500*|
|Upright Piano||Interstate||600 - 900 km||$600 - $700*|
|Baby Grand Piano||Interstate||600 - 900 km||$800 - $1000*|
|Grand Piano||Interstate||600 - 900 km||$1100 - $1500*|
*Note: steps and difficulty of move/location will impact your price.
What weight are we talking about?
A grand piano can weigh as much as 650kg down to 220kg, whereas an upright can weigh from 375kg to 130kg. Keep in mind these weights vary from brand to brand and type to type.
So if you’re going ahead despite the weight and awkwardness of the move then you might first consider:
The Preparation Phase
- Enlist help, preferable no less than 4 helpers, 2 as lifters and another two as guides to assist with maintaining balance.
- Make sure you and the lifters are aware of the weight involved and if you have to negotiate steps or any such hazard get professional piano movers to do the job. A damaged or broken back may be with you for a lot longer than the piano.
- Measure doorways and clear the intended path from the old location and into the new along with the new placement position for the piano.
- If there are steps or ramps to negotiate, ensure they are strong enough to take the added weight.
What you’ll need
- You will need 2 furniture dollies and a piano skid board which can be hired along with at least 2 heavy duty shoulder harnesses and furniture straps, furniture wrapping blankets, securing straps for travel and a suitable size vehicle for the move.
- Ensure your dollies are heavy-duty, able to take the weight and that the wheels move smoothly. Strap the piano securely to the dolly and get the guides to walk beside it as it is moved to assist with maintaining proper balance especially on corners or tight areas.
- Do not try to move the piano on its castors as these are not meant to travel any further than a few centimetres.
Do the piano wrap
- If the piano is a grand or baby grand remove the legs and carefully puddle them (wrap them in a furniture blanket) to be carried separately from the housing/case of the piano
- The legs are removed by ½ the crew lifting the left front corner of the piano so that the leg can be removed
- At the same time, the other ½ of the crew lift and hold the other opposite corner of the piano to minimise the excess weight on the other two legs
- The piano is then lowered onto the long side preferably onto a well-padded piano board and secured with furniture straps to the board
- Pad and secure the lid of the piano for in transit
- The other two legs are removed and the piano on the board lifted carefully onto a dolly
- Keep the piano well-padded throughout the process of securing to the board
- The piano now being vertical can be moved slowly through doorways
- For an upright piano wrap the housing of the piano in a furniture blanket and also secure the lid in a blanket taped down to restrict movement in transit
- Lift your piano carefully at one end and place one of the dollies along its length to enable it to be firmly balanced move slowly, remembering to strap it securely to the dollies
- Don’t forget to wrap and carry the piano stool also
On with the move
- Don’t drop the piano as this can be disastrous for the instrument. Get your helper guides to walk with the load to ensure it does not overbalance at both locations.
- Take your time walking the piano through both locations. Don’t hurry and remember safety first - for yourselves, your helpers and the piano too.
- Ensure the piano once removed from the old location is placed in the truck against the back centre of the truck pantech and securely strapped in place.
- First load on and last load off so that the excessive weight does not cause an unbalanced load.
- Ensure it is also fully covered in furniture blankets to avoid damage to the housing and other accessories.
- Ensure that you minimise severe bumps or movement in transit in the truck. Drive slowly, thoughtfully and carefully. Look out for speed bumps and take them very slowly and carefully.
After the move
- Make sure that the piano is retuned about a month after the move. It will need that time to adjust to the new environment as variations in humidity and temperature can affect the piano’s tuning.
- For a professional retune contact the Australasian Piano Tuners and Technicians Association.
- Use mothballs throughout the piano to discourage insects that can eat the felts thus destroying the internals of your precious instrument and ensure that you replace them regularly.
- Choose carefully where you intend to relocate your piano; for instance, not close to outside walls or in direct breezeways.
- Monitor temperature and humidity levels for a time after the move.
- Ensure the piano is not in direct sunlight or breeze.
- Purchase and place castor cups if the piano is to be located on timber floors.
So play it again, Sam
Well, there you have it. The upshot of it is that if you choose to use professional piano removalists the whole job is in the hands of professionals who are experienced in handling your beloved instrument with the dignity and care that it and you deserve. If however, you choose to DIY, then take care with you and your friend’s backs. And particularly if you have to negotiate stairs or difficult obstacles, then really consider your options carefully.
REMEMBER SAFETY FIRST!