We have spoken many times in many different ways, concerning various situations in and for a piano move. Here we will speak about it again, why, for the more you know and understand about the piano move the better choices you will make, and we want you to be a wise customer and client no matter whom you choose to care for your piano move.
If your building comes equipped with a freight elevator, then this is the best option. Other than that, most Piano movers will consider the stairs only if there is one flight or if no other option is available. Pianos are heavy, so they are placed on a special skid called the piano board. If the move is over level surface, then a dolly can be used which is a small platform on wheels by which you can roll it to the truck or the staircase or wherever it has to go. Stairs are a dangerous way to move a piano.
If you have a Grand and the only way is the staircase, remember that it will be slid on its straight side down or up the stairs. For this, you have to remove the pedal lyre and the lid first. The straight side of the piano has a leg that needs to be removed after which it is lowered gently on the board. Next, the two other legs are taken off. The piano then needs to be strapped to the board and covered in blankets. Once the legs etc. are removed, the piano becomes thin enough to fit through most doors. Most professional movers prefer to use a crane if the move is from one floor to another. Hoisting with the help of a crane is the most preferred technique used to relocate pianos. Or if required, rigging using a tackle and a block are used. There is a narrow wooden rail on the key frame that stops the keys from falling off during the move. If this is not there or is not installed properly, your keys will be unplayable after the move.
The customer has to ensure that the room the piano is going to be placed in, is big enough to accommodate it and there are no sharp corners to go around, no low overhangs on stairways etc. Corners are the most difficult and if you have a professional doing your moving then he/she may check out the area before moving day to get an idea of what will be involved. All this of course does not apply to long distance moves.
Moving a piano yourself is not a good idea primarily because a piano is really very heavy. Did you know that the average spinet/console weighs anywhere between 300-500 pounds? The full upright pianos go up to 700-1000 pounds. There are the different types of Grand pianos where the concert Grand could touch 1300 pounds, but your average Grand would be around 500-1000 pounds. Now you may well ask if it’s a question of weight than a few strong men should do the trick! But what you may not know is that along with the weight of the piano you have to think of the balance and the inertia of the piano. Without this knowledge, your piano moving session could turn in to an unmitigated disaster. To move a piano successfully, you need 2-3 men (even average built guys will do), you need experience, brains, an understanding of when and where force is to be applied and of course, the right equipment.
Moving a piano and even storing it has an effect on the piano. If your piano has been sitting in a damp, cold place for a long time then don’t move it directly to a dry & heated area. This may cause your piano to self-destruct.
Humidity plays a very important role in the life of your piano. If the humidity levels are different then you will see the difference in just 2 weeks. Call your tuner after two weeks when you know your piano has acclimatized itself to the new place. Pedals of a Grand can go off kilter on moving. When the lyre is taken out, the shims fall out. The shims are pieces of leather or cardboard that takes care of the slack in the trap work. There are pedal rods that rise from the rear of the pedals and a careless mover might mix up the sequence in which case your piano will make its problem known in its sound. The lyre braces must be replaced, and you must check with the movers for this.
Select the right mover for your piano and rest assured that your prized possession will be in the safest hands with all your knowledge and understanding you now have!