How Much Does It Cost to Move a Piano?

Typical Range:

$258 - $573

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 595 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated September 30, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The national average cost to move a piano is $404, ranging between $258 and $573. The low end of this spectrum is around $150, while it can get as high as $2,000. A piano is a delicate yet heavy instrument that requires professional expertise to relocate, contributing to hidden moving costs that homeowners may face.

Often, ordinary movers can't safely transport this instrument without inflicting damage. Pianos have their weight distributed irregularly, requiring team lifting and problem-solving skills. Upright ones are mostly heavy on the top, but the feet can be fragile. Grand pianos are heavier in the length of the piece, but the legs and other components are light and could break if not properly cared for in transit. Professional piano movers can get your valued instrument to its new location safely.

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National Average $404
Typical Range $258 - $573
Low End - High End $150 - $960

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 595 HomeAdvisor members.

Piano Shipping Cost Factors

There's no one-size-fits-all price when shipping a piano because of the various cost factors. For example, pianos vary greatly in size and weight. Also, how far you're shipping it, insurance costs, and the complexity of the route from your home to the origin truck and vice-versa all play a part in determining prices. Read below to learn more about significant cost factors. 

Size and Weight

The size and weight of a piano impact the cost because the bigger it is, the more space it takes up in a truck and the more cumbersome it is to move. Also, the heavier it is, the more fuel it takes to ship it—and the more wear and tear placed on the removal vehicle. For example, moving a little upright piano locally costs around $150, while shipping a grand piano to the other side of the country may cost up to $2,000.

Distance

Average costs to move a piano compared by distance, including within your own home, local, and long-distance

Along with the cost of moving across the country, the cost to move a piano is around $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.

Stairs

Going up steps costs around $5 to $10 per step, or $40 to $100 per staircase. 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: $130–$200

  • Hump strap: $25

  • Locking belt: $25

  • Skid board: $125

  • Protective pads and blankets: $30–$35

  • Hoist and crane: $750–$2,000

  • Packing tape: $3 per roll

Special Packing

The cost of special packing ranges between $100 and $1,200, depending on your instrument's needs.

Grand pianos 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 approximately $100. Crating your instrument costs about $800 but can go up to $1,200 if you need it heated. Upright pianos are wrapped and moved on a dolly or skid board, which are less expensive to pack and transport.

Insurance Costs

The cost of insurance is usually free for instruments valued at $5,000 or less. But pros may charge you $10 to $15 for every additional $1,000 value if it's worth more.

Rush and Rescheduling Fees

The cost of rush jobs is typically a $300 additional fee locally and around $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 and $150. The instrument's delicate parts will inevitably be disturbed through shaking and changes in climate and humidity. Re-tuning is essential after the pros safely place your piano in its new location.

Humidity Control

Humidity control costs are included with the service. A reputable company will provide a climate-controlled truck so there won't be a dramatic change in humidity. If humidity fluctuations occur, the piano soundboards can swell or shrink, causing tuning issues or cracking the wood. Climate-controlled transportation is vital to preserving 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. Piano benches are common items added to the trip for the sake of convenience and cohesiveness.

Storage

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

Flat Rate vs. Per Hour

Professional piano movers can bill you by the hour or at a flat rate. Piano removal and delivery cost around $8 to $15 per hour per person or a flat rate between $100 and $2,000 based on the instrument's size and weight. If they charge by the hour, a minimum hourly payment is often required. This can get expensive if unforeseen complications happen, which add work hours to the minimum. And as the weight and dimensions increase, so do the labor and price of delivery. 

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

  • Instrument type

  • Length and width

  • Distance from the original location to the destination

  • Overall job difficulty 

You're likely to be better off going with an hourly rate for short distances. However, you'll likely get a better price at a flat rate over long distances. Additionally, with an agreed-upon flat rate, there won't be any surprises at the end of the journey.

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Piano Removal and Delivery Costs by Type and Size

Moving a piano is separate from the average moving cost for standard household items, which costs about $500 to $1,500. The larger and heavier the piano, the more it costs to move. For example, moving a small upright unit locally into the first floor of a building is more affordable than transporting a grand onto the fifth floor of a condo two states away.

Moving DistanceUpright and Spinet PianoGrand and Baby Grand Piano
Local$150 – $300$250 – $650
Long-distance$500 – $800$1,000 – $2,000
Removal$200 – $300$325 – $600

Regardless of the charging method, calculating the moving price involves knowing what equipment and time are required for the job. Be prepared to share your instrument's size, type, make, and model. And if you're unsure what type of piano you have, refer to the FAQs section.

Grand or Baby Grand Piano 

Moving a grand piano costs between $250 and $650 locally and $1,000 and $2,000 for a long-distance job. They weigh between 600 and 1,200 pounds and require some level of dismantling before the move to prevent damage and make them easier to maneuver. 

Upright or Spinet Piano

For an upright or spinet piano, expect to pay between $150 and $300 for a local move and between $500 and $800 for long-distance shipping. These instruments weigh less—at 300 to 800 pounds—and are more compact units that don't require any dismantling before travel.

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Cost of Moving a Piano Within Your Home

Unless your piano is on wheels and you can wheel it into an adjoining room, you need to hire a piano mover. For moving a piano within the same house, expect to pay anywhere between $100 and $300. The total depends on the size and weight of the piano, how far the movers have to take it, and whether there are any stairs or obstacles. 

DIY vs. Hiring Piano Movers

Hiring a professional piano mover near you is the best choice for several reasons. Moving is often a stressful and difficult task. The specialized equipment and care needed to move this delicate instrument safely make it better off using a pro. Three considerations make hiring a pro a better option:

  • Weight: Upright versions can weigh around 900 pounds, and grands can weigh as much as 1,300.

  • Worth: These instruments are typically expensive; some may even be antiques. A DIY effort means that any mistakes don't have insurance behind them. Pros generally are insured to do their job, and they'll also give the owner a risk assessment on the move.

  • Dismantling: This is required for large instruments to get them out of a house and into a new one. The majority of owners may have no idea how to do this safely. It’s also important to realize that regular household movers aren’t trained for this job.

Questions to Ask

Owners need to ask some qualifying questions before choosing a pro. Here are a few guidelines:

  • How long has the company been in operation?

  • Do you have trained, full-time workers?

  • How much notice do you need before scheduling a job?

  • What does your bill of lading confirm about your insurance?

Information to Provide

It's also crucial for the owner to provide the pros with as much detailed information as possible. Pros will need to know the instrument type and size, the pickup and drop-off locations, 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 costs will be. Similarly, the more information the owner has about the business, the safer they'll feel in trusting them with their instrument.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much do I tip piano movers?

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

Why are special movers required for pianos?

Pianos require special movers because they’re delicate instruments. Hiring piano movers who can transport it properly will 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, so don't take risks when moving your instrument.

How do movers protect pianos from damage?

Movers protect pianos from damage with a combination of protective padding, dismantling, and packing techniques. Most fully assembled pianos—especially grand ones—won't fit in standard doorways. A professional must partially take it apart and roll it away on a dolly. 

Upright versions require less reconfiguration but need protection and special maneuvering to prevent damage to the internal and external parts. Transporting both types requires team lifting and problem-solving around tricky 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 move 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: 40–44 inches tall

  • Studio: 44–47 inches tall

  • Upright: Tallest version at over 47 inches tall

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

  • Petite: 4 feet 5 inches–4 feet 10 inches

  • Baby: 4 feet 11 inches–5 feet 6 inches

  • Medium: 5 feet 7 inches

  • Parlor: 5 feet 9 inches–6 feet 1 inch

  • Semi-concert/ballroom: 6 feet 2 inches–7 feet

  • Concert: Over 7 feet long, averaging 9 feet long; largest category of grands

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

Why are pianos so heavy?

Pianos are so heavy because they contain a cast-iron frame, which weighs a lot. This heavy frame is necessary to hold the strings under tight tension inside the piano so the notes stay tuned.