Whether you have to move your piano out from the room it’s currently staying in to carry out a remodel, or you need to take it with you to your new home, you need to make sure that you move this musical instrument as carefully as possible not to damage its outside and cause as little inner tuning disruption as you can.
It’s not even the weight that makes piano moving so difficult. It’s the awkward distribution of it throughout the instrument, as well as the fragility and subtlety of piano’s inside working that makes everyone take numerous precautions when moving pianos.
You know, it will cost you a ton of money to redo the piano’s wooden finish, as well as retune a completely detuned piano. If both damages happen during the move, I can almost guarantee you that buying a new instrument will be less expensive than restoring yours.
That’s why I suggest that you should only move your instrument on your own when you’re completely confident in your piano moving abilities and have another pair of hands to help you out.
Otherwise, I’d highly recommend you to go to HireRush.com to post a piano moving task for our professional movers in your local area (preferably those who specialize in piano moving).
You won’t have to buy/rent all piano moving equipment, and you won’t have to worry about damaging your valuable instrument.
However, if you still think that you can deal with moving your piano without any professional assistance, make sure to follow these tips and steps to get it done safely.
What you need to move a piano
- reliable heavy duty dolly (it won’t mess up the tuning job and eliminate instrument’s heavy weight issues) or piano moving board
- 2-3 moving straps
- work gloves (for everyone involved)
- moving blankets
- bubble wrap
- moving tape
- heavy duty board (to move it up and down the stairs without any painful bumps)
- 4 strong and careful buddies
Steps to move your piano
- Firstly, you need to make sure that your equipment is all set and ready for your piano move.
Please, don’t ever, ever, ever try to carry your instrument to the moving truck using a 10-person lifting force.
Have some pity for your instrument and your friends’ backs.
Don’t try to roll your piano on its wheels. They’re not meant for that.
- Protect the piano’s keyboard. Make sure to pad it, close the lid and lock it.
If your piano’s lid doesn’t feature a lock, you’ll have to figure out the way to wrap and pad it the way that it doesn’t open during the move.
Don’t try to secure the lid (or any other packing materials) using moving tape.
If you stick it directly onto the piano’s wooden finish, you’ll most likely damage it.
- Move your piano away from the wall, dust it and use moving blankets, bubble wrap and moving tape to pack it securely.
A couple of padding layers all over the piano’s surfaces, along with additional protection on its corners, is required.
Remember that tape and instrument should not have any direct contacts.
You may wrap your piano once it’s inside the truck too.
- If you have and upright piano, you don’t need to detach its legs.
If you have a grand one, make sure to do that and position it on its flat side before wrapping it.
- Lift the instrument and position it on the dolly/moving board.
Don’t grab onto the piano’s legs to lift it up. They aren’t sturdy enough for that.
Be mindful of the fact that upright pianos aren’t supposed to be positioned on their sides (fragile mechanics).
- You need to remember about the piano’s uneven weight distribution and understand that the most of its weight is concentrated in its top and keyboard parts.
That’s why if you grab only onto the instrument’s bottom half to lift it up, it will flip over, fall onto the ground and break forever.
- So, in order to lift the piano and move it onto the dolly, grab two heavy duty moving straps, place them under its bottom and bring them up to its top.
Ask your buddies to hold the ends on the straps.
- With two people in front of the piano and two people behind the piano (four people holding onto the 4 ends of the straps) lift it up and CAREFULLY place it onto the dolly.
Don’t drop it, but place it.
If you’re not sure if 4 people are able to lift it, use 3 straps and invite 2 more people to help you out.
- Use moving straps to secure your instrument on the dolly and move it right to the truck.
Move it up the ramp with one-two people pushing the dolly and one person holding the piano on the upper side.
- Position your piano at the truck’s back wall (the one that is the closest to the actual driver’s cabin).
Use wooden planks or a sturdy wooden board to even out the truck’s floor.
Lift your piano up from the dolly and place it onto the board just like in step 8.
- Secure the piano to the truck’s walls using straps (as many straps as you feel safe with), make sure that it will stay in place during the move and you’re done!
Oh, wait a second. You’ll have to unload the piano once you reach your destination. But you’ll be a lot more experienced by that time. I’ll only remind you that you have to be really careful (no sharp moves) and be mindful of piano’s weight.
Besides, you’ll have to hire a piano tuning professional to bring your piano back to life after a distance move.
Pianos and stairs
If you have the stairs as an obstacle, use a stair ramp to overcome it. Protect the end of the ramp with moving pads so that your piano doesn’t hit the floor once it reaches the end of the staircase.
Two people should be involved in down or up-the-stairs moving.
The one that’s holding onto it from the lower side of the stairs should be strong enough to lift it up a little bit. And, the top person should be smart enough not to push the instrument down the stairs, but guide it without letting it roll down too fast.