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Moving Baby Grand Piano
Should You Do It Yourself?

Should you move your own grand piano?  Unless you are experienced at moving grand pianos and have the specialized equipment that a grand requires, my advice is not to do it yourself.  I realize the temptation to try to save some money is probably the motivation but it usually isn’t worth it.


Grand pianos can weigh from about 500 pounds to as much as 1300 pounds and some sometimes more.  Unfortunately, along with the weight come problems of balance and inertia.  Knowledge in knowing how to deal with these problems can make all the difference in moving a piano safely and efficiently.  Lack of knowledge in these areas can lead to disaster and injury.

I would discourage you from moving your own piano due to the potential dangers you may encounter such as damage to yourself, the piano, other items near the piano such as furniture and walls, and injury to yourself.  Professional piano movers make it look easy but it is more difficult than it appears.  

Moving Procedure

The basic procedure of moving a grand piano one is to put its flat side of the piano on a skid board and then a dolly goes under the skid board can be rolled to where you are moving it.  The legs and pedals have to be removed to do this but professional mover’s will know the procedure.  The movers should have a good four wheel dolly, skid board, covers or blankets to protect the piano and the legs and pedals.  Once it is on the moving vehicle, it should be well padded and secured.

Upright Pianos

While I also do not recommend you move your own upright piano it is less complicated and requires less equipment.  A lot of the same problems of weight, balance and inertia, vertical pianos are also top-heavy especially the old, taller uprights.  To move these they are generally moved away from the wall, one end is lifted up in the air while the other end stays on the floor and a dolly is positioned near the center of the piano underneath with the dolly flush to the backside.  Once a dolly is in position, the piano can be rolled to its new location or outside to a truck.

Remember that whenever a piano is being moved, regardless of who is doing the moving, it is best to go slow and not rush it.   Moving pianos faster is not better.  That is when you run the piano into door jams and walls and damage both.

Another point to remember is if you're using a professional piano mover you should examine the cabinet of the piano with the mover to identify any existing damage to the piano before it is moved.  That information should be noted and then you will be able to tell if there's any additional damage after the piano has been moved.

Cost of moving baby grand piano

Some piano movers will charge by the hour and others will charge you by the job.  Steps will be in addition to the normal charge. They will try to get as much information from you as possible so they know what is involved such as steps, tight quarters, accessibility etc. Information you think may be important may be very important to the mover.  I know from experience that piano owners who do not move pianos do not understand how important some minor details are.  I always ask a lot of questions but I rarely get complete and accurate information about the situation.  I also ask for pictures of steps, loading area etc.

If you do not want to hire a piano mover to move a piano somewhere within your house you might be able to do it yourself by being careful and using common sense.  If it is a grand piano you can reposition it within a room by getting at least three guys around it and lifting it slightly and rolling to where you want it.  You don’t lift it up in the air but instead take some weight off the legs so you don’t damage them.  Upright pianos can simply be rolled to a different location in a room if the castors are good enough to roll.  This applies to larger uprights that have legs that are supported at the bottom.  Smaller pianos that have free standing legs require more caution.  These legs are very easy to break because they can get caught in the carpet.  These pianos have to be leaned back slightly to take weight off the front legs as you roll it.  The casters on these smaller pianos typically don’t roll very well so be careful.

Prices for moving pianos may seem high to you but if you damage the piano or injure yourself or a friend the price for moving will all of a sudden seem quite reasonable or cheap.  By the time you purchase or rent the equipment needed to move the piano including a truck or trailer you may not be saving very much money at all.  Another thing to keep in mind is that it's the piano owners’ responsibility to make sure that the piano will fit in the new location before the piano is moved.  If it does not fit, the owner may have to pay an additional charged to get piano moved back to where it came from.

Whatever you would save by moving it yourself, is not worth the risk that you are taking.

Moving Insurance


It is very important that you ask your movers if they have insurance.  If they do, ask specifically what the coverage is.  Some movers insure by the pound and that won’t cover much.  You must know ahead of time in case you need to purchase additional insurance.  If you have a homeowners policy, the piano may be covered in “personal property “ but check on it.

Whether you need to make a local move or across the country, I can help you with it.  If I can’t make the move personally, I will put you in touch with someone who can.

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