How to move a piano?

piano keyboardHaving successfully submitted his property tax assessment grievance with your help, Sean is back for more:

My wife and I just moved, but the one item that we couldn't manage was our piano. We're not related to any football players or bodybuilders, and there are more than one flight of stairs to contend with, so none of our moving posse felt comfortable taking on this challenge. So, that leaves us searching for an alternative solution. Do you or your readers have any tips for not only getting this thing out of our former residence, but into our new one as well?

Are there still piano moving services? Or any advice for Sean (aside from lift with your legs)?

Please share!

photo: Flickr user readephotography (Jimmy and Sasha Reade)

Comments

I always feel like this question is the reason I see pianos for free on craigslist...

A website called Movinghelp.com is associated with Uhaul and offers lower cost moving assistance than most 4 hour minimum movers. Always Ready out of Troy and Busy Bee out of Albany also move pianos (for $200 a pop). There are ratings and a few choices in our area so you might be able to shop around and get a lower price. Good luck!

Is it being moved locally? I have used local piano moving services and it has cost $150 to get it out of someone else's house and get it into mine (upright, I'm assuming baby and grands cost more). However, I didn't have more than one flight of stairs to to deal with other than out the front door at the previous location and in the front at the new location. If I were a piano mover I would charge extra for taking one to the second floor. Having moved other pianos in the past, I highly recommend paying someone else to do it.

Unfortunately I am still a really bad piano player and also can't remember the name of the company as it was years ago. But once you move it, call Jonathan Cohen to tune it.

I'm willing to bet most people who own pianos don't have a lot of friends who are body builders.

This might be a job for RPI's Rent A Rower!

http://crew.union.rpi.edu/rent-a-rower/

Yes, there are. When we were looking for a piano a few years ago, it quickly became apparent that old pianos were essentially free, but that moving them was where the money was. I'd call a piano store and ask them who they use (it's usually a contractor) and if that person is available.

My understanding about piano moving is limited to what I've seen in sitcoms, but I bet Wally Stock would know. He's a piano restorer who lives in East Nassau. The number I found for him is an Albany one, though:

Stock's Piano Service
1230 Central Avenue
Albany, NY 12205-5316
Phone: (518) 475-2826

He might have connections with movers or might be able to give you tips.

Call Shayne at Courteous Movers.

What kind of piano?

If it's a grand, hire a professional. Please. If its an upright you can move it with friends, as long as they are strong and smart. Its about smart more than strong.....but strong helps a lot ;)

Moving the piano isn't any particular challenge - it's like any semi-delicate object. No matter who moves it though, it's going to need to be tuned when it gets to its new location. You might want to line a tuner up first and they may have a moving service they would recommend.

@Lola: I had the exact same thought.

Step 1) With your family, take a crowbar and sledgehammer and smash it to tiny bits. Try to avoid the strings--it hurts when the break and snap back!

Step 2) Set the remaining debris on fire. Keep a fire extinguisher handy. OPTIONAL STEP 2a/b: Urinate on the pile of ashes. Move out that night.

Step 3) Write this down in large letters on a piece of paper: "DO NOT BUY A PIANO. EVER."

Step 4) Post said piece of paper on the wall near your bed, so every night you are reminded not to repeat your foolish mistake.

Step 5) Happily ever after.

1-800-got-junk?

I had King Piano Moving (http://www.kingpianomoving.com) move an upright piano for me a few years ago. They move all kinds of pianos pretty much all over the east coast. They work with a lot of famous musicians and bands as well. I was satisfied with their service.

Preferably downhill.

Just don't hire Laurel and Hardy...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWm0nXJYLmk

I hired Don's Moving and Storage (http://www.donsmovers.com/contact.html) to move a console piano about a year ago. They were very friendly and I'd say reasonably priced - highly recommend them. The cost varies a lot based on type of piano, distance of the move, and stairs to be navigated.

Have you thought about taking it to see Ordinary People?

Decent pianos should be professionally moved always. I've had good luck calling piano dealers and asking them for referrals to movers.

I just used King Piano Moving. Very easy to deal with, did a perfect job (although all we were having them do was move it up a flight of stairs).
http://kingpianomoving.com/

King Piano Moving- They moved my Steinway M (5'7") from Saratoga to Delmar in October. They were on time, very courteous and did an excellent job. I would definitely use them again.

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