If you are going to move or ship an antique piano, there is only one recommendation you should follow – hire a professional. In actual fact, piano shipping is really difficult and professional mastery is required to avoid damage. Nevertheless, it is helpful for you to know the ins and outs of shipping a piano, even in case you hire a specialist. Thus, you will know exactly what to expect and how best to assist your piano shipping company.
Sizes and Weights of Piano
The biggest factor in piano moving is its weight, since a heavy piano can damage your home and more importantly, your body, if not handled properly.
Two types of pianos exist: upright and grand. Both contain cast metal harps, which hold the strings, but also account for most of the weight.
As for upright pianos, their harps are positioned vertically and the weight of the piano can range from 300 to 800 pounds depending on height, which correlates with harp size. But in grand pianos, the harp is positioned horizontally, so the longer the grand piano, the heavier it is. They vary in weight from 500 to 1200 pounds.
Usually, upright pianos remain intact for a move, though grand pianos often have legs removed for maneuvering purposes.
Piano Moving Methods
Having noticed the wheels, or casters on the legs/bottom of your piano, you may want to wheel your instrument around. But this is wrong!
These casters are ornamental and prone to deteriorating as your piano sits, making them useless for moves, as well as increasing the chance of breaking a leg or damaging your home. Thus if you want to move your piano a short distance, you have to have people on all corners to lift the piano enough so the weight isn’t all on the casters.
But professionals have a special tool to effectively and efficiently move a piano on a level surface. This is a four wheel piano dolly. When properly balanced, a piano resting on a dolly stands on its own and requires little effort to move.
Don’t worry if you notice that piano look off center when sitting on a dolly. A piano mover is more worried about centering the weight, not the shape, of the piano.
How to Move Piano Upstairs
Different methods are used for moving a piano up or down more than four stairs. The first method is the hardest and the most dangerous. This is lifting the piano and carrying it up the stairs.
Pianos movers prefer hoisting a piano with a crane or with a block and tackle through a large window. If your building has a freight elevator, then this is the easiest way to move a piano upwards.