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How Much Does It Cost To Move A Piano?

Typical Range: $258 - $582

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Average Piano Moving Costs

The national average cost to move a piano is $396, ranging between $258 and $582. The low-end of this spectrum is $150, while they can get as high as $2,000. A piano is a delicate yet heavy instrument that requires professional expertise to relocate, contributing to the hidden moving costs that homeowners face.

More often than not, ordinary movers can’t safely transport this instrument without inflicting damage. These instruments have their weight distributed irregularly, which requires both team lifting and problem-solving skills. Upright ones are mostly heavy on the top end, but the feet can be fragile. Grands are heavier in the length of the piece, but the legs and other pieces are light and could break if not properly cared for in transit. Piano moving companies in your area can get your valued instrument to its new location safely.

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National Average
$396
Typical Range
$258 - $582
Low End - High End
$150 - $800

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 398 HomeAdvisor members in .

Piano Removal & Delivery Costs by Size

Piano removal and delivery costs $8 to $15 per hour per person or a flat rate between $100 to $2,000 based on the size and weight of your instrument. As the weight and dimensions increase, so does the labor and price of delivery.

Professional piano movers can bill you by the hour or a flat rate. If they charge by the hour, there is often a minimum hourly payment required. This can get expensive if unforeseen complications happen that add hours of work to the minimum. 

It's more common for pros to charge a flat rate based on:

  • The type of the instrument
  • Its length and width
  • The distance from the original location to the destination
  • The overall difficulty of the job

This method gives the homeowner a fairly accurate estimate before any moving begins. For example, moving a small upright unit locally into the first floor of a building will be more affordable than transporting a grand into the 5th floor of a condo two states away.

Regardless of the charging method, calculating the moving price involves knowing what equipment, manpower, and time required for the job. Be prepared to share the size, type, make and model of your instrument.

This service is separate from the average moving cost for standard household items, which costs about $500 to $1500..

Cost to Move a Grand or Baby Grand Piano Costs

The cost to move a grand piano is between $250 to $650 locally and $1,000 to $2,000 for a long-distance job. It weighs between 600 to 1,200 pounds. For proper transportation, dismantle it first. 

Price to Move an Upright Piano or Spinet Piano

The price to move an upright piano is $150 to $300 for locally and $500 to $800 for a long-distance job. These instruments weigh between 300 and 800 pounds. No dismantling needed.

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Cost to Move a Piano Across Town vs. Ship Across the Country

The cost to move a piano is $1.50 to $2.50 per mile locally and $2.50 to $10 per mile for a long-distance move. Naturally, the delivery fees will increase with the distance it needs to travel due to the time spent and fuel costs. 

Piano Shipping Cost Factors

Steps 

The cost of going up steps cost $5 to $10 per step, or $40 to $100 per staircase. The cooperation of a team of specialists with equipment can transport a heavy instrument up and down stairs safely. This extra fee prevents damage that can happen when navigating these areas in the home.

Moving Equipment

The cost of moving equipment varies according to what type of instrument you’re moving. Here are some average prices of the equipment your pros may use.

  • Dolly: $125-$200
  • Hump Strap: $25
  • Locking Belt: $25
  • Skid Board: $125
  • Protective Pads and Blankets: $30 to $35 
  • Hoist & Crane: $750 to $2,000
  • Packing Tape: $3 per roll

Special Packing

The cost of special packing ranges between $100 to $1,200, depending on the needs of your instrument.

Grands require some type of dismantling or crating. Pros will partially take it apart, lay it on its side and reassemble it at the new location. The price of dismantling is $100. Crating your instrument costs $800 but can go up to $1,200 if you need heated crating.

Upright pianos are wrapped and moved on a dolly or skid board. They are cheaper to pack and transport.

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Insurance Costs

The cost of insurance is usually free for instruments valued $5,000 and under. But if it is worth more than $5,000, the pros will charge you $10 to $15 for every additional $1,000 value.

Rush & Rescheduling Fees

The cost of rush jobs is typicallya $300 additional fee locally and $400 to $700 for long-distance. This extra fee makes up for the additional effort and accommodations required to fit you into their schedule.

The fee to reschedule a move costs up to $400. Pros charge this fee if a homeowner isn’t at the pickup or delivery location when they arrive.

Piano Tuning Costs

The cost of tuning a piano is between $100 to $150. The instrument's delicate parts will inevitably be disturbed through shaking and changes in climate and humidity. Re-tuning is important after the pros have safely placed your instrument in its new location.

Humidity Control

Humidity control costs are included with the services. A reputable company will provide a climate-controlled truck so that there won't be a dramatic change in humidity. If there are fluctuations in humidity, the soundboards can swell or shrink, causing tuning issues, or cracking of the wood. Climate-controlled transportation is vital to preserve the integrity of your valued instrument. 

Additional Items

The cost to move additional items averages a $20 flat rate per item or $1 per pound. Benches are common items added to the trip for the sake of convenience and cohesiveness.

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Piano Storage Costs

Piano storage costs between $50 to $75 per month in a climate-controlled space. This is a necessary step to take if you need to safely store your instrument if its new home isn't ready.

What Is Typically Involved?

Transporting usually involves two or three movers showing up at the home. They carry a variety of tools like pads, skids, slings, and ramps. Most importantly, they know how to move your instrument safely. Padding and blankets are necessary to cushion the instrument during the ride to its new location. Locking or wrapping the keyboard is also extremely important to prevent damaging the keys.

Your instrument will need tuning after a move because even a professional cannot cushion it against minor shocks that will disrupt the strings. Moving locally might tempt owners to do it themselves, and it’s certainly possible with smaller units; however, it does require various equipment that the average homeowner may not have. A furniture dolly and straps are a must. Loading the heavy item onto a truck requires at least two people. Very large or difficult ones may require up to six movers to do the job.

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DIY vs. Hiring Piano Movers

Hiring a professional piano mover is the better choice for several reasons. Moving is often a stressful and difficult task. The specialized equipment and care needed to safely move this delicate instrument makes people better off using a pro. There are three considerations that make hiring a pro a better option:

  • Weight: Upright versions can weigh around 900 pounds, and grands can weigh as much as 1,300 pounds.
  • Worth: These instruments are typically not cheap, and some may even be antiques. A DIY effort means that any mistakes do not have insurance behind them. Pros are typically insured to do their job. They will also give the owner a risk assessment on the move. 
  • Dismantling: Required for large instruments in order to get them out of a house and into a new one. The majority of owners would have no idea how to do this safely. It is also important to realize that regular household movers aren’t trained for this job.

Insurance

The three types of insurance that are important for your pros to have are:

  • Worker's insurance
  • Property insurance
  • Piano insurance

Not all pros have all three types of insurance, so it is important to see a bill of lading before the job commences. This legal document will show what is insured, who is involved in the move, and if they cover repairs to possible property damage.

Questions to Ask

It is important for owners to ask some qualifying questions before choosing a pro. Here are a few guidelines:

  • How long has the company been in operation?
  • Do they have trained, full-time workers?
  • How much notice do they need before scheduling a job?
  • What does their bill of lading confirm about their insurance?

Information to Provide

It is also important for the owner to provide the pros with as much detailed information as possible. Professionals will need to know the type and size of the instrument, the location of pick up and drop off, knowledge of stairs and door sizes, as well as any time constraints. The more information the pro has, the more accurate the quote for moving cost will be. Similarly, the more information the owner has about the business, the safer they will feel in trusting them with their instrument.

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FAQs

How much do I tip piano movers?

Clients tip piano movers anything between 10 and 25 percent of the total cost split between the workers. If your pros have done an exceptional job, you can freely go beyond 25% and give them what you feel they deserve for a job well done.

Why are special movers required for pianos?

Pianos require special movers because they are delicate instruments. Don't take risks when moving your instrument. Hiring piano movers who can transport it properly to prevent damage to its over 1,000 moving parts that work together to create a distinct sound. Incorrect handling and storage can lead to permanent damage to your prized possession.

How do movers protect pianos from damage?

Movers protect pianos from damage with a combination of protective padding, dismantling, and packing techniques. The majority of fully-assembled pianos, especially grand ones, won't fit in standard doorways. A professional must partially take it apart and rolled it away on a dolly. Upright versions require less reconfiguration but still need to protection and special maneuvering to prevent damage to its internal and external parts. Transporting both types requires team lifting and problem-solving around difficult turns and corners.

How will the move affect the tuning?

The move will affect the tuning in a couple of ways. Fluctuations in humidity during travel can affect the instrument, expanding the soundboard and other wooden components. The internal parts may also loosen in transit. Choose a company that uses climate-controlled trucks to minimize the impact humidity can have on your instrument.

How do I know what type of piano I need to be moved?

You can know what type of piano you need to be moved by examining its height and dimensions. There are two main types: vertical and grand. If your instrument is vertical, it can be any of these:

  • Spinet: Less than 40 inches tall. 
  • Console: 40 to 44 inches tall. 
  • Studio: 44 and 47 inches tall.
  • Upright: This is the tallest version and is over 47 inches tall. 

Grands have a long, horizontal body that produces a rich, concert-worthy sound. Their horizontal length differentiates it from other types.

  • Petite: 4' 5" to 4' 10"
  • Baby: 4'11" to 5' 6" 
  • Medium: 5' 7" 
  • Parlor: 5' 9" to 6' 1"
  • Semi-concert/ Ballroom: 6'2" to 7 feet
  • Concert: Over 7 feet long, averaging 9 feet long. This is the largest category of grands.

Measure an upright one from the floor to the lid. Measure a grand from the end of its keys to the longest point on the back end. 

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How do we get this data?

  1. Homeowners visit HomeAdvisor.com to find a top-rated pro to complete their home improvement project or repair.

  2. Once their projects are completed, the members log in to their accounts and complete a short cost survey.

  3. After compiling and organizing the data, we report it back to you.