How Much Does It Cost to Move a Piano?
From uprights to baby grands, moving a piano can be challenging. How much does it cost to move a piano? The typical cost ranges from $258 to $573, with the national average at $406.
- The typical cost range to move a piano is $258 to $573, with a national average cost of $406.
- The main factors that affect the cost of moving a piano include the size and type of piano, the accessibility of the piano, the distance of the move, and local labor costs.
- A homeowner or renter may need to move a piano if they are relocating to a new home, moving the instrument to a new room, buying or selling a piano, or simply getting rid of one.
- Some piano owners may be able to move their instrument themselves, but it’s generally advisable to hire a professional piano mover to avoid potential personal injury as well as damage to the instrument.
Regular furniture movers will not typically transport pianos of any size, which means customers will likely need to hire a piano moving company when the time comes to move to a new home. Since different types of pianos require different moving and handling techniques as well as equipment, professional piano movers can supply all the required moving blankets, padding, crating materials, and team members to move the piano efficiently and correctly. Moving a piano can add to the overall cost of hiring regular movers. How much does it cost to move a piano? According to Angi, the average cost to move a piano ranges from $258 to $573, with many piano owners spending about $406. According to HomeAdvisor, short, local moves can cost as little as $150, while long-distance piano movers can charge between $2.50 and $10 per mile, significantly increasing the cost.
Local gas prices can influence piano transport fees, as can the number of any stairs that the professional piano movers may need to navigate to move the instrument to its new location. Some piano moving services will charge a flat rate to move a piano, while others will charge by the hour. It’s important for customers to double-check with the piano moving company to find out how it charges for its services. This guide will delve into the important factors that influence piano moving costs, additional cost considerations that may change the moving price from the national average, moving costs by type of piano, and important questions for customers to ask a piano moving professional.
Factors in Calculating the Cost to Move a Piano
When the time comes to move into a new home, there are many hidden costs that can drive up the price of moving. Many piano owners spend between $258 and $573 to move a piano, but the total amount can differ from the national average of $406 due to several important factors, including the piano size and weight, type of piano, accessibility, moving distance, and local labor prices.
Piano Size and Weight
It’s common for local piano movers to charge between $8 and $15 per hour per person, or a flat fee of $100 to $2,000. The wide range of pricing depends on the size and weight of the piano. Typically, the bigger and heavier the piano, the more expensive the moving costs, since it will require more people to move it. Larger and heavier pianos are more cumbersome to transport and require more space in a moving truck; the vehicle will also use more fuel. Below are the average costs to move a piano based on its size.
|Piano Type||Piano Size||Average Price Range for a Local Move|
|Spinet, console, or studio piano||Up to 47 inches tall||$135|
|Upright piano||48 or more inches tall||$160|
|Grand piano||Approx. 6 feet long|
Approx. 7 feet long
Approx. 8 feet long
Approx. 9 feet long
$210 to $395
$210 to $395
|Extra fees||Grand piano 6-8 feet long|
Grand piano 8+ feet long
|$125 to $200|
$200 to $400
Experienced piano movers will know how to quote a moving estimate based on the type of piano. When they know the brand, make, model, type, size, and location in the home, they can accurately calculate the weight and the number of moving blankets, amount of padding, number of movers, and type of moving equipment needed to safely transport the instrument to its new location. The common types of pianos are spinet, upright, studio, baby grand, grand, and concert grand. Each of these piano types is discussed in a section below.
The longer the distance the piano needs to be moved, the more expensive the total cost. It’s common for local piano movers to charge an hourly rate with a minimum time span. This minimum time period includes the time it takes to prep the piano for moving and to maneuver it into the moving truck. Local piano movers charge between $1.50 and $2.50 per mile, while long-distance movers can charge upwards of $2.50 to $10 per mile. Some moving companies may charge a flat fee for long-distance transportation, which is more cost-effective for the piano owner. Ultimately, the final pricing depends on the piano type and the total distance of the move.
If the piano is in a part of the house that is difficult to access or requires moving the instrument up or down stairs or around many corners, the price will increase. The charge for stairs is between $5 and $10 per step, or $40 to $100 per staircase. Moving a piano out of a large apartment building that doesn’t have a freight elevator can increase the price by hundreds of dollars.
Professional piano movers who charge by the hour will typically include the cost of labor and equipment usage in the overall moving price. Some may charge separately for labor, so it’s important to check with the piano moving company to avoid any surprise charges. Labor pricing in densely populated urban areas that have a higher cost of living is usually much higher than in more rural areas of the country.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When budgeting for the cost to move a piano, many piano owners will find that there are additional price factors and important considerations that can change the moving total. These can include extra charges for dismantling and crating the piano, rushing or rescheduling the delivery, moving additional items, adding insurance, storing the piano, and tuning it when it arrives at its new home.
Dismantling and Crating
Moving a grand piano requires dismantling the instrument before transporting it to a new location. Dismantling costs approximately $100, and crating the instrument costs $800. If the piano owner requires the crate to be heated, that service can cost about $1,200. Upright pianos cost less to move since they do not need to be dismantled or crated. An upright piano is wrapped securely, and movers use a skid board or dolly to transport it.
Rush and Rescheduling Fees
If a piano owner needs to move the instrument as quickly as possible, a rush fee is usually added to the moving cost. For local moves, a rush fee can be about $300 and will increase from $400 to $700 for long-distance moves. The extra charges reflect the added effort to fit the piano transport into the moving company’s schedule. If no one is at the pickup location when the movers arrive, a rescheduling fee of $400 will be added to the overall bill.
While many people are familiar with the best self-storage facilities in their area and have a vague idea of storage unit prices, storing a piano has its own set of considerations. Piano storage runs from $50 to $75 per month for a climate-controlled space. These storage areas are typically held at a temperature between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and between 38 percent and 52 percent humidity. Some piano movers may include a limited storage time with their moving price, but it’s always good to double-check with the moving company about pricing before agreeing to store a piano.
After a move, a piano needs to be tuned, since changes in temperature and humidity can cause the wooden soundboard to expand and contract, and physically moving the instrument can jostle some parts loose. After a piano is moved to its new home, it’s important to let the instrument sit for about two weeks to allow it to acclimate to the new temperature and humidity levels before scheduling a tuning appointment. Professional piano tuners typically charge about $100 per hour, with many pianos taking about 60 to 90 minutes to tune. The average rate for piano tuning is $100 to $150.
Moving Costs by Type of Piano
Since each type of piano requires its own distinct handling techniques and moving equipment, the price can vary to move different types of pianos. The larger and heavier the instrument, the more expensive it will be to move. The overall moving cost will also depend on whether the move is local or long-distance. Below is a piano moving cost calculator for local and long-distance moves.
|Type of Piano||Average Cost for a Local Move||Average Cost for a Long-Distance Move|
|Spinet or console piano||$100 to $310||$500 to $800|
|Upright piano||$100 to $295||$500 to $800|
|Studio piano||$100 to $250||$500 to $800|
|Baby grand piano||$250 to $350||$1,000 to $2,000|
|Grand piano||$350 to $450||$1,000 to $2,000|
|Concert grand piano||$450 and up||$1,000 to $2,000 and up|
Spinet pianos are the smallest of the upright types of pianos, usually weighing between 300 and 400 pounds. A spinet piano is 36 to 40 inches tall and has shorter keys than other types of pianos. Popular during the 1930s due to the affordable price, spinets eventually fell out of fashion, and production stopped in the 1990s because of the less-than-ideal sound quality of the instrument. Piano owners can expect to pay between $100 and $310 to move a spinet locally or between $500 and $800 for a long-distance move.
Upright piano strings are strung vertically so the instrument takes up less floor space than a grand piano, whose strings are strung horizontally. As the tallest of the vertical pianos, an upright piano measures more than 47 inches in height and weighs between 400 and 1,000 pounds. Even though an upright piano is smaller and lighter than a grand piano, professional piano movers know how to move an upright piano the right way to ensure the owner’s peace of mind. The cost of a local move for an upright piano ranges from $100 to $295, while long-distance transportation can run from $500 to $800.
Studio pianos are commonly found in schools, churches, studios, and classrooms. They’re usually between 44 and 47 inches tall and have a larger soundboard than spinet and console pianos. This larger soundboard results in a richer timbre and is typically preferred over the soundboard of smaller pianos. A local move for a studio piano ranges from $100 to $250, and a long-distance move runs from $500 to $800.
There are three sizes of grand pianos: baby grand, grand, and concert grand. A baby grand piano measures less than 6 feet long and weighs upwards of 650 pounds. As a grand piano, it has its strings strung horizontally and takes up considerably more space than an upright version. Baby grand pianos cost between $250 and $350 for a local move and between $1,000 and $2,000 for a long-distance move.
Grand pianos measure from 4 feet 5 inches long to 6 feet 1 inches long. For safe transport of all types of grand pianos, they must be dismantled and crated. They can weigh between 600 and 1,200 pounds and cost from $350 to $450 for a local move, compared to a cost of $1,000 to $2,000 for a long-distance move.
A concert grand piano can measure from 6 feet 2 inches long to over 9 feet long and tip the scales at 900 to 1,200 pounds or more. Pianos weigh so much because they have a cast-iron frame that supports the wooden construction and inner workings of the instrument. Moving a concert grand piano a short distance costs $450 and up, while a long-distance transport can range from $1,000 to $2,000 or more.
Do I Need to Move a Piano?
When the time comes to move a piano into another room or to a new home, whether it’s in the same town or on the other side of the country, hiring professional movers is an important decision. Below are some reasons why a piano would need to be moved.
Moving to a New Home
Moving a piano to a new home is no easy task. Larger grand pianos need to be dismantled, wrapped, and crated before transport to ensure the instrument gets to its new location without damage. Piano owners will want to keep in mind that regular household movers do not typically have the proper training to move pianos safely.
Moving Between Rooms
Rearranging household furniture can also include moving a piano to a different space within a home. To ensure the safety of the instrument, customers will want to hire professional piano movers, since they have the experience to relocate the piano to a different room in the house without incident. A grand piano will typically need to be dismantled and placed on its side so it can fit through narrow doorways during the move.
Buying or Selling
Those who are in the market for a used piano can commonly find online listings for free pianos; the expense comes from moving and tuning the instrument. It’s common for people to sell a piano because it’s no longer being used and is taking up valuable space in the home. Buying or selling a piano requires professionals to move it out of its old space and into its new home.
Removing an Old Piano
If a piano is old, damaged, and beyond repair, some people may just want to get the piano out of the house or find ways to repurpose the instrument. Piano removal cost ranges from $200 to $300 for smaller spinet and upright pianos to between $325 and $600 for baby grand and grand pianos.
Moving a Piano: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
If an upright piano is on casters and can be easily wheeled into another room without any obstacles or the need to navigate stairs, a homeowner or renter may be able to move it on their own. When the time comes to move a piano and hiring professional movers is not an option, there are specific steps to take to move a piano safely. While it may sound tempting for someone to call a group of friends to help move a piano, the end result could be disastrous. Moving a piano without specialized equipment and tools could damage the instrument beyond repair and risk injury to those moving it. Pianos are delicate instruments that require particular equipment and experience to move them correctly. Piano owners will want to consider the weight and the value of the instrument before tackling this project on their own. Below are the tools and equipment that are needed to move a piano and their average prices.
|Type of Piano||Type of Tool||Average Price Range|
|Upright piano||Locking belt|
$125 to $200
|Grand piano||Locking belt|
Hoist and crane
$125 to $200
$750 to $2,000
Necessary packing supplies include moving blankets and pads, which cost from $30 to $35 each, and rolls of packing tape, which cost approximately $3 per roll. If a homeowner or renter can move a piano successfully, they’ll still need to transport it from one location to another. This involves renting a truck large enough to fit the piano and sturdy enough to manage the weight of the instrument. Local moving truck rentals can start as low as $20 per day with an additional cost of $1.10 per mile.
How to Save Money on the Cost to Move a Piano
When the time comes to move a piano, many piano owners are interested in saving money. Below are a few tips that can help cut down on moving expenses.
- Get multiple estimates. To find a price that works with your budget, get at least three estimates from reputable piano moving companies in your area.
- Do some of the moving yourself. If you have an upright piano and you’re able to maneuver it closer to the front door without having to navigate any stairs, you can save some money on moving costs.
- Hire a pro. While it may be appealing to attempt to move a piano on your own, doing so risks damage to the instrument or your home—as well as personal injury. Hiring a team of professionals can ensure the piano is moved safely and that no one gets hurt.
- Communicate with the movers. By telling the piano moving company what types of obstacles the movers will encounter between the current location of the piano, the moving truck, and the instrument’s new home, you can avoid any surprise charges for stairs, narrow doorways, or other difficulties the movers may encounter.
Questions to Ask About Moving a Piano
Asking a professional piano moving company the right questions can help avoid miscommunication and save homeowners and renters money on the moving costs. Below are some important questions to ask about moving a piano and the moving process.
- How long has your piano moving company been in business?
- What type of experience do you have moving a piano like mine?
- Will you provide references?
- What are your moving rates?
- Are you licensed?
- Do you have commercial automotive, cartage, and workers’ compensation insurance?
- What type of training do your movers receive?
- Will you provide a bill of lading?
- Who will be moving my piano?
- Can I have the contact information for the movers so we can stay in contact during the move?
- How will the piano be moved?
- Does your moving vehicle have a climate-control system?
- Do you provide storage facilities, and if so, are there additional fees?
- What is your policy if the piano is damaged during the move?
- What should I do to prepare the piano for a move?
- Do you provide tuning services after the move?
- What is your payment plan?
- How can I leave a review of your services?
Before piano owners hire a professional piano moving company, it’s important to know all about the logistics involved in moving their instrument. Whether the move is across town or to the other side of the country, these frequently asked questions are helpful during the search for professional piano movers.
Q. Are pianos expensive to move?
The cost to move a piano ranges from $258 to $573, with the national average at $406. For a long-distance move, the costs are higher and can run from $2.50 to $10 per mile. The overall moving price depends on the size and weight of the instrument and the distance of the move.
Q. Do I need a piano mover to move my piano to a different room?
If the piano is on casters and can be easily rolled into a different room, chances are that professional movers aren’t needed. But if there are stairs, narrow doorways, or other obstacles that would make moving the piano more challenging, professional movers are always recommended. While upright pianos are easier to relocate, grand pianos need to be dismantled before the move, and professional movers have the knowledge, experience, tools, and equipment to do so safely.
Q. Does moving a piano get it out of tune?
Even moving a piano a short distance can cause it to go out of tune. Not only does the jostling of moving a piano cause the inner workings of the instrument to shift, but the changes in temperature and humidity can also cause it to go out of tune. It’s best to let the piano sit in its new home for at least two weeks to allow the instrument to acclimate to the new location before calling in a professional piano tuner. If the piano is tuned immediately after arriving in its new home, there is a good chance the instrument will go out of tune quickly and it will need to be tuned again.
Q. Can I move a piano by myself?
Upright pianos that need to be moved to another room can usually be managed by one person, but a professional team of movers is recommended for other types of pianos. Since they are very heavy and the weight is not equally distributed throughout the instrument, calling on a professional moving company will ensure that the piano is moved safely and without any damage to the home.
Q. How do movers protect pianos from damage?
Professional piano movers take many steps to protect the instrument from damage. They will cover the piano with moving wrap to protect the finish and then wrap it tightly in padded moving blankets. The movers will then strap it to a moving dolly and transport it to the moving truck. Once the piano is on the truck, the movers will ensure that the piano is level and use straps to secure it so it doesn’t move or shift during transportation.
Q. Can regular movers move a piano?
Even the best moving companies will not take on the responsibility of moving a piano, since it requires specialized training and equipment to do so safely. It never hurts to ask a moving company if it has experienced piano movers who can properly move a piano, but hiring a professional piano moving company to ensure the safety of the instrument is always recommended.
Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, HomeGuide, Xpress Movers