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Question DetailsAsked on 1/9/2018

I need my piano moved from laundry room to main room (10 feet and going around one corner) from cement to carpet.

I tried moving it myself with two other people but it's too heavy. We got it into the laundry room easily because the entire lower level floor was cement at that time, but now most of the lower level has new carpet. Piano has wheels. It's an old, tall upright.

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GEnerally, unless they have been replaced with heavy duty rollers, the casters on pianos are NOT designed for moving them - just to allow moving them around enough to clean underneath or reorient it to face the way you want. And then ONLY on hard smooth surfaces like smooth concrete or hardwood (which they will dimple or press troughs into in many cases) - NOT on carpet.


Also, even if the casters were adequate, the legs (especially on grand pianos are NOT up to handling any lateral load in rolling them - they break off easily. Uprights are usually better because the legs are commonly tied together at the sides and the unsupported leg length is less, but still usually not as strong as one would want for rolling on any but perfectly snooth hard surfaces - not even on tile, for instance, and certainly not on carpet (which it will also probably leave a permanent track in). In fact, uprights were partly designed just because (in addition to taking less floor space) with correct leg and heavy duty (3-4 inch versus 1/2-1 inch) casters, they can be rolled away on hard surfaces when not in use - for bar, school, multi-use auditorium, and similar uses where they want to roll it against a wall for storage, or even into another room for safe storage (like in school multi-purpose auditoriums).


For a true "move" like from room to room, a normal to grand size piano takes about 6-8 strong people lifting it up (one on each side of an immediately next to the legs, and NOT mid-span on horizontal or "grand" pianos) or better on a proper dolly or moving truck. For moves with a typical moving crew (assuming no stairs) about 3 can do it - lifting up one end or corner at a time and slipping in a depressed cener movers dolly (a 4-wheel large-diameter rubber wheeled dolly with depressed center to hold a leg firmly), or a piano moving truck (like a large handtruck, which has adjustable arms to grab the piano correctly and then jack those up so the moving truck carries all the weight, not the legs).


For an upright professional movers should have "hydraulic lift and carry" or "jack-up liftbar" type moving equipment, or an extra wide set of dollies carrying an entire end each. The first are appliance-type hand trucks with a hydrauylic lift platform which slips in under the casters or (if heavy duty) under the horizontal crossbar between strong upright legs and jacks it up off the floor so the handtruck carries all the weight. Liftbar type are basically the ratchet-lift aluminum bar connecting detachable wheels type which are used to lift car wheels off the ground for towing - except the wheels can be turned either way, so the lifting bar runs lengthwise or crosswise for fitting through doors. Each of these latter specialty devices runs about $600-1000 apiece and you need 2 for a piano, so normally only found at large city moving companies and at piano sales companies.


So - I would first try local piano sales companies - some of them move pianos whether they have sold them or not. Normal Moving and Storage companies (Moving in the Search the List categories) also, at least in larger urban areas, have specialty high-value moving crews with specialty equipment like this.


Normal piano move to/from a truck and across town runs about $250-400, up to $1000+ with full grand pianos. For your move I would guess about $150-250 for the crew and equipment depending on local labor rates - assuming you have confirmed there is no problem getting it through any doorway into the main room.


One potentially major consideration - less so with uprights then grand but check with your insurance company if your insurance (presumably a Personal Articles Policy or INdividual Item Added Coverage Rider) covers any damage by the movers. If not, you may need to buy a rider, or buy supplemental coverage (for the 5 minute or so move) if this piano has any value.

Answered 10 months ago by LCD




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