How Much to Move a Piano: Key Cost Factors

Moving a piano is no small feat unless you have a digital piano. Even a console-style digital piano is much lighter than an acoustic upright piano. You probably can handle the moving of a digital piano just like handling any electronic device. However, moving an acoustic piano can be a costly event. How much to move a piano?

This article shares information about the key cost factors of moving a piano. While the average cost is about $500, it can vary depending on the piano’s type (grand or upright), size, distance, etc. The cost range is $150 to over $2000. It could cost more when moving pianos internationally. Read on for more details.

Why are Acoustic Pianos so Heavy?

Acoustic pianos are heavy primarily due to their construction and the materials used. Here are some reasons why acoustic pianos are so heavy:

  • Solid wood construction: Traditional acoustic pianos are constructed using solid wood, which adds considerable weight to the instrument. High-quality pianos often use hardwoods like spruce, maple, beech, or birch for their frames, soundboards, and key beds.
  • Cast iron frame: The piano’s cast iron frame, also known as the plate, is a critical component that holds the immense tension of the piano’s strings. The plate is extremely heavy and is responsible for maintaining the piano’s structural integrity.
  • Strings: Pianos have a significant number of metal strings, around 230. They are under high tension to produce the desired sound. Additionally, hundreds of metal pins hold the strings. The strings and pins contribute to the overall weight.
  • Heavy keys and action mechanism: The keys of an acoustic piano are made from wood and are quite heavy. The action mechanism, which includes many moving parts, hammers, and dampers, adds weight.

Cost Factors of Moving a Piano

While the distance, piano type, and size are the major factors influencing the moving cost, other elements must be considered. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Distance

The distance between the pickup and delivery locations plays a significant role in determining the cost. Longer distances will generally result in higher transportation costs.

  • Locally moving a piano, the cost range is $150 ~ $560.
  • Moving a piano long distance or interstate, the price spectrum is $450 ~ $2300.
  • Shipping a piano internationally, the range of expenses is between $750 to $5000.

Type and Size of the Piano

move a grand piano

The type and size of the piano are crucial factors. Grands are generally more expensive to move than upright pianos due to their size and complexity. Larger and heavier pianos will require more manpower and special equipment, increasing the overall cost.

For instance, moving a piano locally, a smaller spinet piano costs much less than a grand piano.

  • Generally, the average upright piano moving cost is $150 ~ $350.
  • On the other hand, the average cost of moving a grand piano ranges from $250 to 650. Moving a 9-feet concert grand piano could cost $1000, while moving a baby grand may cost around $200~$400.

Accessibility

The ease of access at both the pickup and delivery locations matters. The cost will likely increase if the piano needs to be carried up or down stairs, through tight hallways, or requires special equipment like a crane.

Moving Company

Different moving companies charge varying rates for their services. Getting quotes from multiple reputable piano movers to compare prices and services is essential.

Insurance

Insuring your piano during the move is a good idea. The cost of insurance coverage will be an additional expense.

Multiple Quotes

Getting quotes from multiple professional piano moving companies is essential for an accurate estimate based on your specific piano and circumstances.

Be sure to choose a reputable and experienced piano moving company to ensure the safe transportation of your valuable instrument.

Move a Piano From Room to Room

Sometimes, you may need to relocate a piano from one room to another. I would still recommend having professional piano movers to help you. This will prevent you from getting injured, or the piano gets damaged.

Unfortunately, in most cases, moving a piano from room to room would cost about the same as local moving. This is because the movers still need to get to your location and prepare the piano, especially when the rooms are on different floors. On the other hand, you may still save a bit on the transportation cost.

Do You Have to Use a Professional Piano Mover?

moving a piano from room to room

There is no straight answer to this question. In the end, the piano owner has to make the call. If the owner has people to help with the piano moving, there is no need to call the professional piano mover. However, I would not recommend it.

Since an acoustic piano is really heavy, an inexperienced person may get hurt during the move. Additionally, professional piano movers know what piano parts can be removed and how to securely wrap the piano to reduce the risk of damage during transportation. Of course, they will know how to assemble the piano back when reaching the moving destination.

Piano Turning After Move

One critical thing to remember is that an acoustic piano needs to be tuned after the move, regardless of location from one room to another, to a different building, to another State, or to overseas.

Moreover, you do not want to tune the instrument right after the move. It is best to tune it after three or four weeks. Since climate conditions in every building or room differ, the waiting period is to let the piano acclimate to the new room.

As we discussed in our other articles, having a professional piano technician tune the piano is always a good idea.

Another truth worth noting is that there is no need to turn a digital piano after a move. As a matter of fact, you never need to tune a digital piano. However, it is still important to be careful when moving a digital piano, even though it is much lighter than an acoustic piano.

Summary

Due to their weight, relocating acoustic pianos can be challenging, and hiring professional piano movers with the right equipment and expertise to handle them safely is essential.

However, the weight and construction also contribute to the rich and resonant sound that makes acoustic pianos highly valued by musicians and music enthusiasts.

Nowadays, with technological advancement, digital pianos have become ever more closely mimicking acoustic pianos, especially in key actions and sound resonance.

In addition, digital pianos have their own advantages, such as being lightweight and low maintenance. Still, they have many digital functions, including different voices, onboard recorders, a built-in metronome, etc.

If you need to transport your instrument often, I would highly recommend digital pianos, like Yamaha YDP0184 or Kawai KDP120.

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