When it comes to moving home, it’s probably fair to say that you don’t want any of your belongings to be scratched, bumped or otherwise damaged during the move. If you are the owner of a piano and you are moving within the confines of London, you can multiply that sentiment tenfold! Properties in London are often space-limited twisting a piano around sharp corners, up lots of staircases and even lifted in through a large window all take immense skill.
Choosing the right removals company
First of all, tell your removals firm on first contact that you want them to move your piano, this is not something that you want to add at the last minute. Selecting a trustworthy and reliable removals firm is an essential part of any home move, but particularly important when you have a piano that needs moving. In the first instance, you will want to engage a mover that is a registered member of a reputable trade association or has plentiful good feedback on reallymoving.com.
As a piano owner you will want to be reassured that the mover you use has specific experience of handling pianos; this isn’t something you want to leave to chance. Check the company’s website for any specific mention of piano moving, and also look for customer testimonials or reviews (both on their own website and on the independent reviews reallymoving.com collects). If in doubt, pick up the phone or drop an email to ask about their experience. If their reply doesn’t instil confidence that they know what they’re doing when it comes to piano removals, then move on and look for another firm.
One final piece of advice on choosing a removals company: always try to find the right balance between cost and reliability. We all have a budget to work to, and that of course needs to be taken into account, but do you really want to trust a valued and valuable musical instrument to the firm with the rock-bottom quote? Sometimes experience and expertise – and the confidence that gives you as a customer – is worth paying for.
What to expect
While there is bound to be an element of manhandling, a good removals company with experience of moving pianos will always come prepared with the right equipment. The equipment and techniques they will use can depend upon a number of factors, such as whether your piano is an upright or grand and where it is located (e.g. ground floor or an upper storey).
As a minimum, expect the firm to use a wheeled dolly or trolley to move the piano quickly and easily. Ensure there are plenty of blankets available to wrap the piano. There may be some disassembly required – for example it’s not unusual to remove the legs as well as the lyre and music rack on a grand piano before moving.
When the piano reaches your new home don’t be too surprised if it has slipped out of tune. This can be frustrating but is often unavoidable, and a professional tuner will have everything back up and running for you in no time.
Can I move the piano myself?
While do-it-yourself moving is always an option for those on a very tight budget, in our opinion it’s really not worth the risk. Yes, a few strong hands and a friendly man with a van might be able to shift your piano from point A to point B, but the risk of expensive damage to your prized piano – or even injury to yourself or your moving buddies – is seldom worth the money you’d save by not engaging a professional.