Learn To Move
The Encyclopedia of Moving

Piano
Moving
Warnings

You can find various bins and cabinets at hardware stores. Schaefer Systems International bins and filing cabinets are reliable and high quality.


 

Final Warnings about Piano Moving

Four Consecutive Low Steps

 

Piano moving up or down up to 4 consecutive low steps at any given point in the move path can be accomplished by amateurs by simply using our piano moving techniques of tip and lift or lower that are much easier than having to actually carry the piano.

  • Smiling Face
  • Good.

If, and only if, you and your big, strong friends carefully follow our instructions you should be able to safely move your piano up or down four consecutive low steps or less anywhere in the move path.

  • Smiling Face
  • Great!

Carrying a piano over any more steps than that is another story, however.

  • Surprised Face
  • Oh?

DIY Piano Moving Warnings

 

Check out our video of professional piano movers carrying a small upright piano up more than 4 stairs.

 

  • Smiling Face
  • Very interesting.

The important thing to notice in this video is that even though these men make it look easy, the piano is trying to wobble all over the place! Because they're professional piano movers they know how to keep it steady. Watch it again and watch for the wobbling and see how they are constantly steadying it.

Actually carrying a piano forces the amateur out of the comparatively easy realm of the piano moving technique of tip and lift / lower and into the most difficult and dangerous part of piano moving - actually carrying the piano. As you can see watching the video, traversing more than 4 consecutive low steps at any given point in the move path requires complicated piano carrying techniques.

  • Smiling FaceYep, I can see it.
 

This is an important warning about piano moving!
With large or small pianos, their extreme weight brings such great danger on a piano carry that we 99% advise against amateurs attempting to do it.

 


Winding / Circular Stairs

 

 

This is another important DIY piano moving warning!
If any piano must go up / down winding circular stairs we will not give instruction because in our opinion this situation is just too difficult and dangerous to be attempted by amateurs
.

 

 

Winding / circular stairs require the piano moving services of highly skilled experienced professionals in order to avoid personal injury and / or to avoid property damage to the stairs or to the piano.

Look at all the stairs!

 

There is just no easy way to move a piano up / down a winding stairway.

 


Sometimes the piano just barely fits.

There is almost no opportunity for the crew to stop and set the piano down on the steps in the middle of the winding stairway. So, the piano must be carried up / down the winding stairs without stopping which requires exact, precise, top level piano moving technique combined with properly-focused brute strength!

 

 

 

We highly recommend that only trained professionals
move pianos up / down winding circular stairs!
Please do not do this kind of piano move yourself!

This is one of our very important warnings about DIY piano moving!

 


4-Legged Pianos

Another Important DIY Piano Moving Warning!

If your small upright piano has 2 legs in front and also 2 more decorative legs in the back with the case hanging between them (like the one pictured below), then we again highly recommend that only professionals be used. Untrained people cannot handle this style of piano going up / down more than just 1 step at any given point in the move path without a 99% chance of damaging the piano.

These legs are very fragile..

The indenting of the piano's lower casing to accommodate its decorative rear legs interferes with the normal - piano on its side on the dolly - moving procedure used when traversing more than 1 step. As you can see, there is nowhere to place the dolly under this kind of piano's side without part of the piano overhanging and dragging the ground. Professional piano movers will fill this gap with big phone books.

 


Because of the difficulties inherent
in this particular kind of piano's design
we highly recommend that amateurs do not attempt to move it if there are 2 or more consecutive steps at any given point in the move path!

Instead, please just pay the trained professional!

 

 

Big Upright Pianos

Player Pianos are especially heavy!

If the piano is a 'big upright piano' (over 48" high - weighing 500-900 lbs.) or if it is a 'big upright player piano' (increasing the overall weight of the piano by 100 to 200 lbs.), we highly recommend only moving it to / from locations with no more than four consecutive low steps at any given point in the move path.

 

 

This is another very important warning about diy piano moving!

'Big upright pianos' and 'big upright player pianos'
are extremely heavy and therefore very dangerous
to the people actually doing the piano move.

 

 

If more than 4 consecutive low steps at any given point in the move path must be traversed then the piano must be carried by the movers and this extreme dead weight is just beyond what the normal person can bear! Any kind of minor out of balance condition can very quickly and easily put people in the hospital and / or clobber the piano.

Maybe we're beginning to sound like a broken record but still -

 


We seriously recommend that big "KILLER UPRIGHTS"
only be moved by professional movers,

if over four consecutive low steps are going to be encountered
at any given point in the move path.

In the moving industry upright pianos taller than 50"
are respectfully referred to as
"KILLER UPRIGHTS!"

 

 

If you have now decided to not move your piano yourself then find a good piano mover in your area.

The following is an interesting letter which we recently received from an experienced piano mover who read these warnings....

Hello,
 
I just read your "Piano Warnings" pages and would like offer some additional info for your consideration.  I owned a Piano Moving Service in Seattle, WA for a number of years, along with two Piano Stores and a Piano Rebuilding/Refinishing  Service. I'd estimate that I've personally moved over 3,000 pianos (1,500 with one or two helpers and 1,500 by myself) during my first decade in the business .... so I've pretty much seen it all when it comes to moving pianos.
 
I have found that one of the biggest area's of concern with DIY piano movers, is that most people are not aware how "back heavy" full size upright pianos are.  This condition, coupled with the wood bracing, soundboard ribs and carry handles exposed at the back of old uprights, makes for an extremely dangerous situation ... especially where toddlers are concerned.  Toddlers seem to be drawn to the climbing potential offered at the back of a piano when it is pulled away from the wall.  Parents often fail to realize the EXTREME danger their children are in when climbing on the back of an old upright piano, because ... after all ... the piano "tipping over" has been a non-issue (in some cases) for most of the parent's lives. If a parent has grown up in a house with an old upright piano in the Den or Rec Room, they usually have no clue about how quickly one will flip over backwards when a 3 year old starts traversing the "ladder work" after mommy or daddy has vacuumed all the cobwebs off the back while preparing to move their piano.
 
The other thing that some DIY piano movers (and, to a lesser extent, apprentice piano moving professionals) fail to take into consideration, is the condition of the wooden deck or porch steps (and stair stringers) that may be encountered during a piano move. If one step or stringer breaks under foot of the "heavy end" mover, due to the additional load of the piano while going up or down a set of stairs .... then a life threatening situation can develop in the blink of an eye .... precisely when the person who is most at risk doesn't even perceive that they are in danger.
 
An 80 yr old  Seattle piano dealer (Olie Hatlen) taught me how to move pianos when I first got into the business 30 years ago.  Olie was about 5'5" tall and weighed about 125 LBS soaking wet.  At 80 years old, Olie could move a piano single-handedly quicker than anyone half his age and twice his size ...  player pianos, old uprights, grand pianos, it didn't make any difference.  He could do it all.  Olie's motto was "If you can't out-think a piano while you're moving it, you better leave it alone .... because you're certainly not going to out-muscle it."  Olie was A MASTER at using the weight of the piano ... to balance and move the piano.  He was also a master at using the correct piano moving equipment at the right time.
 
Thanks for obliging me by reading this far.  I hope there was something here worth taking time to read.
 
Regards,
 
Richard Cadmus

If we haven't yet talked you out of moving your piano yourself and you're still interested in finding out more about do-it-yourself piano moving, then please proceed to....

Piano Moving Equipment Costs

 

Copyright 2003-2012 © Burrows Moving Company

web stats