Moving a Piano Yourself
Step by Step Guide to DIY Grand Piano Moving

Moving a piano is not easy as it is heavy and has many important yet easy to break inner parts.

moving-a-pianoA small upright piano can weigh from 300 to 400 pounds and older 60" uprights designs can weigh as much as 800 pounds.

Moving grand piano units the size of 54" will be equivalent to the weight of 500 to 600 pounds; and larger versions can weigh as much as 1,000 to 1,500 pounds.

Imagine yourself and your buddies moving that much weight over multiple steps then over a ramp into a truck and reverse the procedure when you get to the destination and you'd be glad there are professional piano movers that you can call to do a proper job.

Moving a Piano within a Room

Grand Piano Moving - One Minute Demonstration

Moving pianos from room to room might be a more plausible DIY job. Make sure that you have an idea of how much the piano weigh so you can have the necessary manpower for moving baby grand piano or concert grands.

Take note though that you cannot use the decorative casters placed at the two front legs of an upright and under the three legs of a grand piano. These small wheels are purely for aesthetic effect and using these casters in moving a piano will probably lead to broken piano legs, gauged flooring, broken piano and worst, broken backs (and egos) of the DIY piano movers.

To move a piano from one part of the room to another (short distance) it is best to lift it a bit and sort of guide it from bearing its full weight on the casters.

Moving a baby grand piano from one part of the room to another entails the same procedure. Make sure upfront that the new space will be enough to accommodate the instrument.

Baby Grand Piano Moving within a House

Moving a piano from one part of the house to another is another consideration especially if you will traverse more than 4 steps at a time.

If the move entails more than 4 consecutive steps, stop! Pick up the phone and call your friendly neighborhood piano movers.

See how to move a piano upstairs

Can you imagine yourself carrying the piano up or down a flight of stairs? You and your buddies - even if you pride yourselves into being physically fit- cannot move the piano without causing some sort of damage to it, property, or worst - posing danger to yourselves and those who help you.

If the course entails less than 4 consecutive steps then the move can generally be carried out by DIY-ers. However, you need a 4wheel piano dolly to do the job. Using a dolly will take less muscle-power when moving grand pianos around the house.

Heavy lifting will only occur when lifting the piano on and off the dolly. When properly centered on the dolly it will be almost weightless as the dolly will carry all the weight.

You can choose to mount an upright piano on its side or on its feet. Whatever works for you is fine as long as the weight is centered on the dolly.

Grand piano moving from one part of the room to another is not as easy even when using a dolly.

First, you need to take off all the three legs of the grand as you cannot possibly lift the whole unit on its flat side to a piano skid board on top of the dolly with all its legs sticking out.

Next you have to make sure you center the weight of the grand piano on the skid board based on the cast iron harp and not on its casing.

It is best to wrap a piano with a thick protective covering when in transport to avoid accidental scratches and dents on the casing.

Moving Pianos with a Dolly - Step by Step Guide

Watch professionals transport safely using a machine

Using a piano dolly for moving over some distance (not when transporting miles away) is the easiest way to move a piano over level floor or ground, on inclines or ramps and also for tipping it over a step or a curb.

When the path is gravel, grass, sand or any uneven surface, place plywood over the uneven surface for the dolly to roll on. You need 4 to 5 people to do the job of pushing the dolly and placing the plywood on the path of the piano dolly.

When on an incline or ramp, the weight of the piano naturally transfers on the lower end of the incline. It is best to assign one man at the lighter end for steering and 2-3 men at the heavy end for the actual pushing.

When traversing a step, tipping and lifting is the way to go about it. Secure a hump strap at one end of the piano dolly. Tip and lift the piano on its feet over the step, piano dolly et al.

When traversing multiple steps ( up to 4 steps only) you need to tip and lift the whole piano making sure the bottom part is not scarped in the process.

Upright Piano lifting into a Truck - Video Demo

Each predicament presents a different approach so think of the best way to go about the tipping and lifting. If there are more than 4 consecutive steps to go, again, call a professional piano mover.

When you need to transport a piano on to a truck, dismount the upright piano from the dolly, padded keyboard side facing the wall of the truck then secure with belts on the truck's side.

Push the grand piano up a truck's ramp with the keyboard side on the bottom end. Once on the truck, dismount the concert grand from the dolly, but not from the skid board. When moving a piano, secure the grand with its top facing the wall. Secure with belts on to the side of the truck.

Once you reach the new destination, reverse the procedure and add a little piano tuning on the side once the the process of moving piano is almost finished and it sits on new location.

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Updated November 13, 2010
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