Hiring movers for a piano can be a huge expense, but does that mean you should cut the cost and do it all yourself? Not necessarily. Especially when you’re dealing with something as heavy as a piano.
Here are our top tips on how to move a piano on your own without hurting yourself or your precious investment. Find out if a DIY move is right for you and get some important information on why hiring a professional moving company just may be the safest.
Whichever way you choose to go, we have all the info on how to move a piano safely and efficiently.
Should you DIY or Hire Professionals for Moving a Piano?
Essentially, making the decision to move a heavy piano should be taken seriously. You need to weigh all the options before you make your choice.
- If you’re considering a DIY, cost-saving solution, you have to ask yourself three crucial things:
- Can I find the manpower to help me do this?
- Are the conditions we will be working under safe?
- Do I have enough safety equipment to get this done?
If you’re considering hiring professionals, you’ll want to weigh some equally important information: Where can I find solid reviews on professional movers? Can the moving company guarantee the safety of my item? Is the cost worth it?
To help you figure out which option is right for you, here are the steps you need to keep in mind.
Option 1: What to Consider When Moving a Piano Yourself
Moving a piano is no easy task and doing so on your own isn’t just impossible, it’s downright risky if proper safety measures are neglected.
You’ll need at least two to four more people to help you physically move it and another one to two people to watch you from all angles and guide you along the way.
Everyone helping you with the physical part of moving your piano should be in good physical shape, without any chronic injuries or pain.
Your safety and the safety of those helping you is always the most important factor when it comes to moving a large, heavy item such as a piano. If one person buckles while carrying the load, it can have potentially disastrous effects on the rest of the team.
Helpers to watch you from all angles also come in quite handy, especially if you are moving the piano up or downstairs. It is nearly impossible to see all that is around you while carrying an object of that size. Callers who can direct you and inform you of any upcoming obstacles can be crucial to successfully move a piano.
1. Use Dolly Straps
You may not want to dish out a ton of money for movers but the expense of solid dolly straps is well worth it.
Varying from $50 to $100 for a pair, dolly straps can make all the difference when it comes to moving a large piano. Not only do the dolly straps help distribute the weight evenly across your upper body, but they allow you to stop for a break easily by balancing the item, and they minimize the risk of the piano edges slipping from your grasp.
Dolly straps can also be particularly useful in instances where you need to maneuver the piano around tight corners or up or downstairs.
Turning while carrying the weight of a piano can be a physically demanding effort. The dolly straps can help minimize the difficulty, making for a much safer move.
2. Use Proper Lifting Form
Before you even think about lifting or moving a piano, research tips on how to lift heavy objects safely. Improper lifting can leave you vulnerable to injury and may cause injury to your lifting partners. Plus, improper movements often result in heavy items being dropped and damaged.
First, be sure to lift with your legs and not with your back.
Get a firm grip on your item and make sure there are enough people to support that kind of weight before you begin to lift anything. Face the piano with your feet apart and get your body as close to the item as possible before you lift it.
Having a large distance between you and the piano will increase your chance of injury and cause unnecessary strain on your arms, legs, and back. Being close will help you balance the weight on your entire body and it will lower the risk of losing your grip on your very heavy piano.
3. Tape the Edges with a Soft Blanket
Whether it’s moving around tight corners or up or down stairs, there is always risk of dropping or scratching the piano.
The safest thing to do is to tape soft blankets to the edges. This has three purposes:
- it will protect the piano from harm
- it will protect your bodies from getting hurt should you drop the piano.
- The soft, padded edges will keep both you and your investment safe.
You can also wrap the piano up in blankets completely and lay it down on its side. This will make it easier to slide the piano wherever possible, without causing damage to the floor or the piano.
4. Take Small Steps
It may take a while longer, but your safest bet is to move in small steps rather than large strides. In an effort to finish the job quickly, you and your lifting buddies may want to move fast, but when it comes to moving a heavy upright piano, slow and steady wins the race.
Never run and make sure everyone holding the piano is keeping up with the exact same pace. Teamwork is important when moving a piano as it helps to keep everyone on board safe.
Your callers should be located on either side of you and your team of lifters so they can guide you through the process and let you know when to turn, pivot, or redistribute the weight of your item.
These tips can be invaluable for DIY movers. Just be sure to make slow, calculated movements so your callers can watch you and have enough time to figure out what your best next move should be.
5. Map Out Your Move Carefully
A huge mistake a lot of DIYers make is to just dive into their moving project without verifying measurements and making a solid piano moving plan.
You’ll need to measure your piano, as well as the doors and wall openings you will need to pass it through.
Don’t forget to include the extra space to fit the people carrying the piano on each side when making your calculations. Nothing is worse than spending an hour getting a piano down a narrow flight of stairs only to realize it won’t fit through the even narrower door at the bottom of the stairs.
Check all your exit options out beforehand and use your measurements to decide which path will be the simplest and easiest to use.
This can also help reduce frustration, which often leads to rash behavior, mistakes, and accidents. Calculate every part of your move and map it out from start to finish so you get the job done efficiently and above all, safely.
6. Dismantle Whatever Your Can First
There are at least a handful of elements that can probably be dismantled before you move the piano.
For example, many pianos have removable legs.
This will reduce the weight you have to carry and it can also make the item easier to balance. By having the weight evenly distributed – instead of heavy on top and weightless on the bottom – the piano will be much easier to carry and transport. This can also reduce your chance of injury.
If some elements are removable, they may come apart if they get dislodged while you are moving.
This can catch a lifter off guard or even hit them. Double check for loose pieces, as well, like the keyboard cover. Anything that falls off while you and your team of lifters are in motion can be dangerous.
7. Use Stair Ramps
If possible, you should try to get your hands on metal stair ramps.
Going down a flight of stairs with a tremendous weight on your shoulders can be very difficult. Stair ramps can make it easy to slide your heavy piano up or down.
It will remove the weight from your shoulders – literally! – and minimize your risk of falling or injuring yourself. You can and should also use these same ramps to help get your piano into a moving truck or other vehicle equipped to carry it.
Option 2: What to Consider When Hiring Professional Movers
Saving money is always a plus, but your safety and the safety of those helping you move your piano should come first.
If you’re considering hiring a professional moving company to reduce your risk and ensure the safety of your treasured piano, here are a few things you need to know.
1. Professional Movers Are Equipped to Handle the Load Safely
If you feel like you don’t have enough helpers to properly distribute the weight, or that the move is too risky given the tight spaces or number of stairs you’ll need to move around, it might be safer to hire experienced movers instead.
Not only do professionals know their way around a piano, but they also have all of the necessary equipment to facilitate a move that the average person just doesn’t have.
Injuries caused by irregular or inappropriate movements can have lifelong effects; so before deciding to DIY your piano move, consider the options and level of risk first.
2. Your Piano is Insured with Professionals
Another benefit to hiring professionals is that they’re insured – or at least they should be.
Always verify if your moving company is insured before you hire them.
If you damage your very expensive investment while trying to move it on your own, you’ll have to live with it or dish out the money to repair it.
With a professional moving company, any damages incurred during the move will be covered by the company’s insurance. This means both your piano and your safety will be taken care of with a professional moving company.
3. Always Read Reviews Before deciding on Moving a Piano
When enlisting professionals to help you move your grand piano, it’s important to read reviews first. Select a company that not only has experience with heavy, yet delicate items but also has excellent customer ratings. Make sure the reviews you read come from real people. We verify all of our reviews on MovingCompanyReviews.com by requiring customers to submit their moving receipt, or “bill of lading”. This way we can make sure you read reviews of actual customers, not reviews put in by the movers themselves or their family or friends.
If you decide to pay for the help, you want to make sure you’re getting exactly what you deserve for the money you spend.
Deciding on the Best Moving Solution for You
Moving a grand piano – whether on your own or with the help of professional movers – is no small task. While you can successfully get the job done with the right equipment and plenty of helpers, it’s always a safer bet to consider hiring professional piano movers to avoid potentially catastrophic injuries. Your safety is always number one. If you want to ensure your coveted piano is handled with care, always look for a reputable moving service. Visit movingcompanyreviews.com to find out what others are saying about their experiences with local moving companies and make a safe and secure decision today!