How Much Does It Cost to Move a Piano (2023)?

The cost to move a piano depends on several factors such as the type of piano, the weight of the piano, and the distance to which it has to be carried down. Roughly we can say that the cost of moving a piano ranges from $150 to $550 and it depends on the location (Different floors of a building), transportation distance (within the state or to a different country), etc. Most digital pianos can be moved by themselves as they are lightweight and portable models. Even the digital piano with cabinet-style furniture can be disassembled by itself and moved to the new location.

But moving the grand acoustic piano is not easy and simple. If you are trying to move the antique grand piano to a new home in the same locality, or in a different place, it is not like moving any other piece of furniture, even if it is like moving it to the next room in the same house. The acoustic piano is an ensemble of many unique features such as pedals, wires, keys, and other components that are quite expensive and impossible to replace. It might be required to hire professional piano movers so that the beloved instrument is maintained in its best class during and after transportation.

cost to move a piano

Factors That Determine The Cost To Move A Piano

Many different factors determine the cost to move a piano and some of them are discussed here.

1. Size and the type of the piano

The weight, height, width, and length of the piano determine the challenge of moving it, and accordingly the cost of shifting and moving also varies. There are many types of acoustic pianos, namely the grand, baby grand, and upright pianos and the easy of them cost differently for transportation. The upright pianos can cost between $100 and $300 to transport. The spinet pianos can weigh around 300 lbs. and the heavier upright pianos can weigh around 500+ lbs. and this plays a major role in their transportation cost. It might be required to dismantle the grand piano for shifting it and this much cost an additional dismantling cost.

2. How much distance should the piano be moved?

Distance will influence the cost of moving a piano. Grand pianos can take anywhere between $250 to $550 to shift and it is not uncommon for long-distance piano movers to charge between $2 to $3 per mile. It has been estimated that the local movement of a piano could cost about $650 and a long-distance move would cost around $1000 – $2000. If the piano has to be shifted across the country, then the shipping cost would be around $950 to $2500, when it is shifted through consolidated freight, where the items of multiple people are shifted in the same direction.

3. Cost of moving the piano through the obstacles

When there are obstacles on the way such as doorways, stairs, tight turns, and other things that hinder the shifting of the piano, then it will enhance the cost of the move. If the piano has to be down the stairs, it will cost another $5 per step and can mount to $50 to $100 for a plight of stairs. If it is too challenging to move the piano up a flight of stairs, then a crane has to be used, which could increase the cost of the move drastically. 

4. The location

The cost of living in the city in which the person lives will affect the moving cost. In rural areas, the cost of shifting will be more to move the piano, as the distance will be more to shift the piano to the city.

5. The equipment required

The movers require specific equipment to move the piano and depending on the type of equipment that is used, the cost of shifting can alter. If moving trucks, locking belts, pads and skid boards, slings, ramps, and packing tapes are used, the cost of shifting can alter accordingly.

6. Miscellaneous cost

The cost of insurance is included in the shift and generally, the moving companies will charge an additional $15 insurance for every $1000 of the worth of the piano. And tipping is expected in the moving industry and can be around 10% of the total shifting cost. You can also tip more if they render exceptional services. Tip them if they are very careful in moving the piano up the stairs, through the doorways, and even around the corners, especially if they are responsive to the specific requests made.

cost to move a piano

Challenges In Moving The Piano

Sometimes small console pianos weigh between 300 and 400 pounds, making them difficult to handle on their own for even the fittest homeowner. Bigger pianos can weigh up to about 1,000 pounds, adding to the difficulty. A professional mover will arrive with dollies, blankets, as well as straps to ensure a smooth and damage-free relocation.  Another consideration is the distance that the movers must travel to transport your piano. There are 2 kinds of distance to consider:

  • The distance between the piano’s present location in the house and the truck’s destination. The shortest path should be taken, as well as the homeowner should prepare a route for the moving companies to do their work.
  • The distance that the piano will travel after being loaded into the truck. Movers must maintain a high standard for this large instrument due to weight considerations so that it can travel a long distance without trying to shift or tilt. This movement has the potential to damage not only the piano but also any items nearby. 

Most objects have a clear path out of the house, easily transporting themselves through the front door and into the truck. However, pianos are also too large to pass into the front door, so you will have to think outside the box. The movers could possibly use sliding patio doors. Even if the piano is removed from the house, some other route other than walkways but also sidewalks may be required.

This may entail carrying the piano across the front yard, which may be uneven and wonky. It’s necessary to take precautionary measures to ensure that the path is level. Uneven ground can cause tripping, which can result in a piano being dropped. 

Temperature influences pianos. They usually require a constant room temperature to function properly. Adverse or fluctuating temperatures can render the piano unplayable or cause costly damage. Consider the season you are moving in, and avert summers if possible due to high humidity and heat. If your piano is left in a moving truck for a prolonged period in humid weather, it can sustain significant damage. If possible, use moving services with temperature-controlled trucks; the extra cost will be good enough to justify it if users truly value the piano.

Stairs are another obstacle when moving a piano. Most moving companies will charge you extra if they are required to carry the piano up and down stairs. Because of the narrow stairwells, tight corners, and immobile objects like hand railings, they are difficult to navigate. 

With as many as 7,000 moving parts in some pianos, any motion can damage any of those components, resulting in poor performance. The delicate nature of a piano is one of the toughest tasks during the move. Movers have a variety of techniques at their disposal to ensure a productive piano move. If a piano is too large to depart the house by conventional means, they can use a crane to lift it through a window. While it is a risky and complicated process, it’s the most effective method in many situations. Before attempting this technique, movers must wrap the moving parts.

Steps to Move the Piano by ourselves (Do It Yourself – a DIY type of step) 

  • Enclose the seat with a movable blanket and tape it down. To decrease the likelihood of scratches and damage, wrap the blanket’s corners around each of the legs.
  • Take down the music rack.  Cover it in a moving blanket and secure it with tape.
  • Remove the lid and completely cover it with moving blankets. Tape all around the blanket-covered lid three times in a variety of locations to keep the blankets from slipping off. 
  • Remove the piano’s legs with a screwdriver. Assemble your team to tilt the piano on its side so that it can be kept away from falling over.
  • Cloth moving comforters around the grand piano’s body, completely covering it. To keep the blankets in place, wrap the tape around its width several times.
  • Take into account covering the piano in a plastic cover to keep the blankets in place. 
  • Adjust the piano back gently and slide the piano deck below it. Place it cautiously on the board. To avoid damage, enlist the assistance of several team members.
  • Guide the piano through into the house and into the moving truck with a person on each side.
  • Ratchet straps ought to be used to secure the piano to the truck.
  • Come back for the legs. If you have not already, wrap each in a moving blanket. Put all the screws in a pouch and tape it onto one of the piano legs.
  • Place somebody on all four sides of the grand piano when unloading it from the moving truck. Depending on the size of the piano, you may require more than a person standing in front of it as it rolls onto the ramp.

How Is Piano Shipping Cost Calculated? 

The cost to move a piano locally varies between $1.50 and $2.50 for every mile, or between $350 and $1,000. A cross-country move typically costs between $2.50 and $10 per mile, for a total cost of $700 to $3,500. Global and abroad moves are frequently billed at a fixed amount of $2,000 to $5,000.

Also Read: Best Digital Pianos for Advanced Pianists

Does Moving a Piano Make It Out of Tune? 

Pianos require tuning as the metal piano strings extend over time. The constant stress that piano strings are subjected to causes them to gradually lengthen as they age, whether users play the piano or not. It is a myth that if you do not play the piano, it will go plain if you do not tinkle those ivories. 

So every piano has 231 strings, which means that when all of the tension is added up, the piano frame can withstand 19 tonnes of pressure! That is a significant amount of strain, which is why an instrument is so heavy; it has a hard metal frame to handle the tension. This is also why moving a piano by yourself is not a good idea; the steel frame in the pianos makes them extremely large and cumbersome, and it is very easy to damage the piano or oneself when moving it. 

Moving a piano usually does not cause it to become out of tune. Each keyboard is wrapped tightly and protected during the move to protect it from temperature and humidity changes. The humidity, temperature, or physical effects from one location to another cause the tune to change. The tune of upright pianos may be influenced by factors such as uneven flooring or differences in levels between the new and old locations. This means that the piano may sound fine when it is delivered but may lose its tune after a few days or weeks as it adapts to its new place.

Therefore, you are advised not to have the piano tuned as soon as it arrives at the new place. The piano’s tune should not have been affected by the move, but the transition will be over time. As a result, it is always best to wait a couple of weeks after shifting before having the piano tuned. 

Why Hire a Professional Piano Moving Company? 

Some pianos are over 1,000 pounds. If you lack a team of four to six very strong men, users might not be able to lift and move the piano properly. This could easily result in injury or property damage. A skilled piano mover will not only bring the necessary manpower, but also a team of men who are used to working together. They will use expert techniques to ensure that both the piano and the workers are not harmed during the process. When users hire a professional piano mover, they will use the appropriate truck and equipment.

They will protect the piano with padding to ensure it is not damaged and survives any unexpected road hazards. Relocating the piano by yourself may not provide the same level of security. Moving a piano may appear to be an expensive endeavor, but it is well worth the investment. You will not have to rely on friends for assistance, and users will not have to waste time moving the massive piano all day. Instead, a professional will handle it while users relax and unwind. Shifting a piano is inconvenient. It is not an easy task for those with no prior experience.

If you need to relocate a piano, hire an experienced piano mover. This makes it significantly easier to avoid damage and injury to the piano. 

cost to move a piano

Few Recommended Moving Service Providers.

  • Although some providers act both as carriers and brokerage firms, occasionally trying to coordinate with local firms in their networks, American Van Lines (AVL) manages only those moves directly, always using its own trucks and labor. AVL focuses on hiring and preserving full-time, experienced movers, with an average of ten years of experience. This training covers how to move difficult items like vintage credenzas, musical instruments, recreational equipment, and fine art safely. Indeed, AVL has relocated entire art compilations from individual people, antique shops, and museums. 
  • Interstate Moving & Relocation Group (IMRG) is an excellent choice for last-minute moves, frequently providing moving estimates and coordinating services within a day of a request.   IMRG specializes in long-distance and across-sea moves, but it also collaborates with local movers to meet its customers’ broader needs. Because IMRG is a dealer, it is important to keep in mind that the firm is not responsible for the shipments that it subcontracts to its partners. 
  • Moving APT is focused on providing nationwide moving services, collaborating with over 2,500 vetted best movers. It has sole authority as a broker and outsources all moving services. However, one feature that distinguishes Moving APT is its effective dialogue, which allows customers to speak directly with available partners before scheduling a move.   

Choosing the Best Piano Movers

Despite the cost, it is important to look for the best and the most professional piano movers so that they will not damage your belongings and also help you to avoid personal injury. Choose movers who have piano-specific experience and those who have specific equipment to move the piano carefully. It is optimal to choose a mover who is also capable of dismantling and reassembling the piano if required.

It is important to check the qualification and references of the professional piano mover, maybe with the help of online reviews or from past customers. After choosing professional movers, it is important to settle all the details and get the detailed contract in writing, along with the financial planning that is required. Ask for a detailed breakdown of costs and the total amount to pay at the end. This breakdown is important to prevent unwanted surprises at the time of payment. 

It is also good to have pictures and videos of the piano before shifting to compare with the post-shifting status of the piano. We should also stay aware and away from scams and refrain from making the complete payment upfront. It is highly beneficial to get everything in detail.

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Bottom Line

It is not for the faint of heart to move a piano. Anyone who has ever done it will tell you that it necessitates a great deal of time and planning. It is so time-consuming and taxing, it has even carved its own area of interest in the moving industry. There are now moving and storage enterprises across the nation that are fully committed to piano moving. A professional piano tuner will adjust to these same tuning pins so that every string is properly tensioned and produces the correct pitch, preserving the piano to its original sound.  

The grand piano is a valuable possession that has to be moved with utmost caution. After the piano is safely delivered to the new location, it is important to do a complete examination to ensure that nothing gets damaged during transportation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

1. How Does the Size of the Piano Influence the Cost of Moving It? 

The moving process and equipment required will be influenced by the type of piano users own. As a rule, the more labor and equipment required, the bigger and heavier the piano. 

2. Why is Necessary to Tune Pin Slips After Moving the Piano?

Tuning pins are responsible for maintaining proper string strain, so if they become dislodged, the impacted strings will go flat nearly immediately after tuning. In this case, this same piano will require more than just expert tuning. Minor repairs are required.

3. What is a Full-service Mover?

A comprehensive moving company will attempt to handle as much of your relocation as possible. Furniture dismantling, wrapping, packing, shipping, unpacking, unloading, and furniture final assembly are all service options. Specialty services are frequently provided by full-service movers. Furthermore, these businesses usually offer specialized and craft crating for these kinds of items.

4. Who Are Self-service Movers?

While users handle everything else, a self-service mover tends to focus on transportation. An external storage container is typically delivered to your home by a self-service mover. Your belongings are then packed and loaded into this container. Once loaded, inform the company when you want the container picked up and returned to your location. 

5. How Does Seeking the Help of Professional Movers Save Us Money?

It appears that not employing an experienced piano mover will save you money. If you harm the piano’s legs, pins, or strings, you must have it tuned. Moving this same piano oneself may eventually cost more in the long run than hiring an experienced mover.

Being in love with music, Larry started this website to help piano lovers get the most detailed and accurate information with his 5 Years of experience of working in a music store.

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