Moving is expensive. There are no two ways around it. But some things families own are so precious that it pays to spend a bit extra to have the pros move them. Pianos are one.
When it’s time to move an item as heavy, cumbersome, and expensive as a piano, you must decide between doing it yourself or hiring a professional piano mover.
If your piano is on the first level with straightforward access through wide hallways and out the door, then a do-it-yourself approach might be reasonable. With a few muscular people and a sturdy moving dolly, you can make it out without much hassle.
However, if you must move the piano from one floor to another or even down a few porch steps, hire a professional. Pianos are large and heavy. Moving pianos up or downstairs creates substantial risk for them going out of control and hurting the movers, or damaging the instrument or your home.
What you will need to move a piano
The single most helpful tool for relocating your keyboard instrument is a piano mover service. Their tools and hours of practice make the process safe and headache-free – even through stairways.
If you’re going to do it yourself, you need no specialty tools. Your standard toolkit of moving supplies will be sufficient. A dolly, straps, moving blankets, and hands to help are all it takes.
The challenge comes in using your tools appropriately and efficiently. Being able to work mechanical advantage to travel up or downstairs is where the hard work comes into play.
We’ve got you covered with a tutorial on how to move a piano up or downstairs.
The process to move a piano up stairs
As you might expect, moving a piano upstairs is the most physically challenging direction. Even if you are only going a step or two and can have the dolly attached to the instrument for assistance, it is necessary to lift the entire piano. Remember, a standard upright piano weighs around 130 kg.
To begin, we suggest covering the stairs with cardboard to protect them. In case the piano drops a little too hard onto a step as a result of a hand slip, you’ll be less likely to need repairs.
It’s best to go one step at a time. After each step, set the piano down and allow everyone to regroup. Using this method with ample time to reset, people are less likely to lose their grip and let the piano fall.
One of the most tricky scenarios in moving a piano upstairs is if there is a landing or sharp corner involved. Sometimes, it might be necessary to remove the railing to allow the instrument to make the turn. Other times, you might have to take a longer route or turn into another room to gain the right angle of entry.
When you measure to be sure you will make it up the stairs with your instrument, be sure to include space for those lifting it to maneuver around. There must be space for both the piano and the people.
The process to move a piano down stairs
Moving a piano down a flight of stairs is an almost identical process to going up. However, this time, the work is slightly less physical. The challenge comes in keeping the piano controlled instead of lifting it upwards.
If you’re going down a step or two, leave the piano attached to your moving dolly. Pick up the entire unit (as a team) and travel down one step at a time. Like before, stop after every step for people to regrip and reset.
If you’re going down an entire flight of stairs, it will be impossible to do and keep the dolly. Detach your instrument from the moving cart and then lift it by hand to travel down. You can use lifting straps or moving blankets to help hold onto the heavy piano.
During this process, you must keep your priorities straight. Your health and body matter more than the piano or house. If you start to lose control when moving your instrument downstairs, get out of the way.
Yes, you’ll probably damage the house, piano, or both. However, your life and health will remain intact. Fixing inanimate objects is much easier and less expensive than healing a person.