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Tuning and servicing pianos in Austin and Central Texas since 1952.

Moving A Piano

Moving the piano within your home

If you moving a vertical piano, nothing needs to be secured on the inside of the piano. The same goes for the internal parts of a grand piano. No matter how short or long the distance you move a piano, there are certain precautions one should take.

Safety is the first consideration. A piano is a heavy, unwieldy object. Even if the piano is a short spinet instead of a tall upright, it is top-heavy and it could easily tip over. The casters (wheels) underneath may be rusty, clogged with a foreign object, or swung in the wrong direction, preventing the piano from rolling easily. Lifting one end of the piano should be done carefully, keeping in mind some of the basic rules which apply to lifting any heavy object. The protruding and sometimes delicate exterior parts-legs, pedals, and music desks should be protected against damage. A grand piano requires more care to avoid putting stress on the piano legs when moving–it is best to have enough people to "surround" the piano and lift it slightly as it is moved.

Likewise, the floor should be protected against damage from dragging a "locked" caster or gouging by anything which might be protruding from the bottom of the piano Clear all potential obstacles out of the way, including throw rugs and objects which might have ended up hidden under the piano. Try not to lift one end of the piano any more than is absolutely necessary, because the strain applied to the structure of the instrument can cause enough twisting or bending to knock sections of the piano out of tune. If it is necessary to move the piano up or down a step or two, have plenty of help. If there are more than a couple of steps to negotiate, get a professional to do the job, even if it is only within the house. Once the piano has been relocated, it is a good idea to use caster cups (the best are available from your technician) under the casters to protect the floor or carpet.
Hiring a Mover
Moving a piano from one building to another, across town, or long-distance–The best advise is to have it done professionally. That is, by professionals who know how to move pianos. WARNING!! Unless the movers are specifically trained and experienced in moving pianos, DON'T EXPECT THE PIANO TO ARRIVE SAFELY. Take extra precautions to ensure its safety. Moving and storage companies, even the "big boys," employ people who don't have any idea of how to safely move a piano. Hire a professional piano mover or technician to supervise the packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking, or supervise it yourself, if at all possible.

Movers are notorious for scratching and gouging the finish, breaking off
legs, pedals, and music desks, and actually losing benches, grand legs
and pedal components or the screws, bolts, etc., which were removed to
remove these parts.
Tuning after a Move
Will the piano need tuning after it is moved? Even if a piano is moved a
short distance, and done so very carefully, it may need tuning. The important thing to consider is the change in environment that occurs when
a piano is moved. Certainly, if the move is from one city to another, or
across town, the new environment with it's unique level of temperature
and humidity ranges will affect the piano's tuning. By the way, it is best to let a piano "sit" for at least a month in a new location before it is tuned, to allow it to adjust to the new environment.

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