Posted in: Moving Hacks

Written by: Michael Vaughan

Pianos are worth tens of thousands of dollars and are known to weigh up to 1,000 pounds, making them particularly difficult to relocate. Considering the instrument is likely one of the most expensive things you own, learning how to move a piano should be one of your top priorities. The good news is that this guide will show you how to move the thing like a pro while making the entire process a lot more manageable.

Due to the sheer size, weight, and value of the instrument, it’s always recommended to hire trained professionals to move it. Mishandling could cause a lot of damage to both the object and the person involved, so be sure that you know what you’re doing before you try to move it.

Is It Expensive to Move a Piano?

While almost anyone can learn to pack plates and other fragile items, relocating heavier belongings is often impossible without some professional assistance. If you’re planning to hire a moving company in Sacramento to transport them, consider all the associated costs first. To put things into perspective, grand pianos can cost up to $650 to move locally, meaning you might need a significantly larger budget for the relocation expenses checklist.

Some situations will also require you to pay additional fees. For example, if the truck can’t get to your apartment building, the staff will have to carry the heavy object farther than they usually would. Seeing how pianos can weigh up to 1,000 pounds, it’s not surprising that many Sacramento local movers have higher fees when relocating the object. They are also one of the most expensive things you can own, making them one of the more common items movers won’t move.

How Much Does It Cost to Move an Upright Piano?

Unlike its larger counterpart, moving an upright piano doesn’t cost as much, making it a much more affordable investment. Most moving companies in Sacramento charge anywhere from $150 to $500 to move smaller pianos, but that’s only for short distances, with additional fees applying similarly to what we mentioned above.

Consider if hiring professionals is a viable option for you, as relocating this instrument is not cheap

Can You Move a Piano by Yourself?

Although getting professional moving services in Sacramento is the best option, don’t despair if you can’t secure the necessary resources. If you use relocation hacks and make an extensive to-do list, it’s possible to organize the entire process from start to finish without much trouble.

You’ll Need to Get Some Equipment and Supplies

While packing books and other everyday household items requires boxes and other typical supplies, relocating this object will require you to get some specific equipment. Even though you’ll be DIY, the following will allow you to transport the item like true professionals:

  • Moving blankets – Pushing and pulling the instrument will leave a lot of scratches on the floor and the object itself, so you’ll need a lot of blankets to cover it entirely.
  • Packing tape – Although this is one of the standard materials, the tape is crucial for keeping the blankets from unraveling. Don’t hesitate to get plenty of it.
  • Dolly – Great for transporting bulkier objects in general, particularly the ones you can’t lift. Just be sure to get a dolly that can handle a lot of weight.
  • Skid board – Another great piece of equipment that will allow you to transport the instrument, particularly the grand type.
  • Straps and belts – These are necessary for securing the object during transport.
  • Common tools – Unless you already own a toolbox, a screwdriver will also be required.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Your Friends for Help

While you may not have the appropriate resources to hire one of the Sacramento moving companies, that doesn’t mean you should try to do everything on your own. This is the perfect time to reach out to your friends and family, as they can help you avoid a painful injury by making the heavy lifting part of the process significantly easier. Depending on your piano’s weight and size, up to four people will be required to move it, but even one person would make a difference. Don’t forget to invite them to a kick-ass going away party as a thank you for helping with the instrument.

Blankets
The instrument won’t get damaged if you protect it with lots of blankets

What’s the Best Way to Move a Piano? Consider All the Options Before Transporting the Instrument

To move as true professionals do, you’ll also have to consider all the variables before transporting the instrument. This will help you deal with any potential inconveniences in advance, allowing you to move efficiently and without too much stress.

Measuring Everything Can Prevent a Lot of Problems Early on

Considering how bulky some pianos can be, measuring the instrument should be one of your top priorities early on. Nothing causes more relocation stress than finding out that an object can’t fit through the doorway, down the stairs, or the sharp turn at the end of the hall. Measuring everything will ensure that you can maneuver the instrument safely from point A to point B.

If there are more than a few places where the item has a high chance of suffering damage, keep it protected by adding more padding on all exposed edges. It’s also a good idea to dismantle the parts that stick out, as they can easily get damaged when handling the object. Of course, all of this is based on the premise that your new home can actually fit the instrument. If there’s not enough room for it, you might have to consider placing it in storage.

Clear Any Obstacles From the Path Before You Relocate the Instrument

Leaving tons of boxes lying around the house is very common when relocating in a hurry, but it makes maneuvering almost impossible. To avoid breaking anything by accident, clear out a path before you move the instrument. Anyone relocating with pets and children should get a sitter for the day, as you certainly don’t want anything distracting you while handling this incredibly heavy object. Once you transport the thing to the new location, review the path before unloading the truck to ensure no new obstacles have been set in the meantime, as these would make the entire process unnecessarily complex.

Place all the packed boxes on one side of the room and remove any other obstacles in your home

How to Move an Upright Piano on Your Own

Transporting an upright instrument is relatively straightforward. In most cases, you won’t have to worry about dismantling its legs and pedals, as wrapping them with blankets is enough to keep them safe. The same applies to the entire instrument, which should be covered with blankets from all sides before you proceed further. To move the object, you’ll need a dolly that can carry heavy furniture.

Be Careful When Lifting and Loading

When placing the instrument on it, ensure that the weight gets evenly distributed. All sides have to be covered, meaning that you’ll almost always need at least one more person for lifting. To avoid having to go to a chiropractor after the relocation, remember to bend the knees and use the entire body when lifting the instrument, not just your back. If you’re not on the base floor, get a dolly that can go up and down the stairs, or you won’t be able to move the thing farther than the staircase.

After loading the truck, be certain that the instrument is secured correctly, as even the slightest movement could leave your other belongings crushed under its weight. Considering these don’t weigh as much, you can even try to move one all by yourself, and the video below will show you how to pull it off.

Moving a Grand Piano Is Different From Relocating an Upright One

Unlike their upright counterparts, grand pianos are somewhat more complicated to transport. If you’re unsure how to move a grand piano, start by lowering and securing the top lid with tape. Disassembling the instrument is next, which simplifies all the other steps in the process. To prevent the entire thing from falling over on the side, have someone hold it in place while you dismantle each leg and pedal.

Wrap the components with blankets and keep the screws in a separate bag or a box to avoid losing them. Once that’s out of the way, wrap the instrument’s body and place it on a skid board by gently tilting it. Once again, someone will have to hold the thing while you use straps or belts to keep it in place. When done correctly, the top lid should be facing sideways.

Does Moving a Piano Damage It? No, but It Will Have to Be Tuned Afterwards

If you’ve done everything we mentioned so far, the chances of the instrument getting damaged are slim to none. However, it might have to be tuned once again before you can play it, particularly if it was dismantled or taken out of storage after a long time. Considering there are almost as many ways to tune the instrument as you can think of, find a way that suits you or hire a professional tuner to do it for you. For starters, take a look at how you can use your phone for tuning, along with a few other tips in the video below.

Not Sure How to Move a Piano Yourself? Professional Sacramento Movers Are Here to Help

As you see, moving a piano yourself isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Unless you’re genuinely confident you know what you’re doing, getting professional Sacramento moving services is always going to be a much simpler option. If you’re looking for movers in Sacramento, CA that are willing to move this enormous instrument, we are more than happy to assist you. Whether you’re having a residential move to one of the top neighborhoods in the city, or you’re looking for some packing assistance, our company has just the thing you need. Our other services include commercial relocations and an excellent labor service that will help you load the truck without any trouble. There’s also the in-and-out-of storage move, perfect for transporting the instrument to storage when you can’t fit it in your new home. To learn more about everything we offer and how we can assist you with this enormous object, contact us today to receive a free quote from one of our representatives.