Key Cost Factors: What's the Price to Move a Piano?
Moving is stressful as-is, but moving a large, valuable and delicate piece of equipment adds an extra layer of anxiety to the process. While you may be capable of moving other large and expensive items yourself, moving a piano requires special skills and equipment to ensure the piano doesn’t get damaged and no one gets injured while moving it.
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Here’s how much it’ll cost to hire a piano-moving maestro, plus the various factors that influence that figure.
Do I Need a Piano Mover?
In short, yes. Most pianos are heavy, awkward and expensive, and trying to move your piano without the necessary equipment and know-how can result in injuries to yourself and damage to your piano or home.
Likewise, a general moving company may not have the proper training or equipment to handle the unique challenges and nuances of moving a piano. However, some moving companies may offer piano moving services, which are often 30% to 50% cheaper than dedicated piano moving companies.
That being said, professional piano moving companies are trained and equipped specifically to properly and carefully handle the various types of pianos. That additional peace of mind may be well worth the extra cost, especially if you are moving a particularly expensive, rare or otherwise valuable piano.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire Professional Piano Movers?
The national average cost range of hiring a professional moving company is around $400 (CAD 535), but the final cost to move a piano, according to Forbes, can range between $150 and $5,000 (CAD 200 and CAD 6,700), depending on several different factors. A piano moving company will take those factors into account when calculating their fee, which can be charged on an hourly or flat-rate basis.
Hourly rates for moving companies average at around $50 (CAD 65) an hour, depending on where you live. Moving a piano in rural Nebraska will likely be cheaper than in New York City, for instance. Other factors include whether the company charges per individual worker or team and whether the cost of the moving equipment is included. Companies that use this fee structure will typically give you an estimate based on the amount of time and resources they expect to use for your move, but unforeseen variables can cause the final rate to quickly surpass the original estimate.
A flat-rate fee is most commonly used among piano moving companies. As opposed to just having an estimate (an educated guess — but a guess, no less) of the move’s cost, a flat-rate fee allows you to know exactly how much the move is going to cost upfront.
Piano-Moving Cost Factors
Regardless of whether your piano moving company uses an hourly or flat-rate fee, they will take the following factors into account when making their calculations:
According to data from HomeGuide, moving a piano locally typically costs between $1.20 to $1.50 (CAD 1.60 and CAD 2.00) per mile, or from $200 to $600 (CAD 270 to CAD 800) in total.
A cross-country move usually costs between $2 to $10 (CAD 2.70 to CAD 13) per mile, or between $450 and $2,000 (CAD 600 and CAD 2,700) in total.
International and overseas moves are often charged at a flat rate between $2,000 to $5,000 (CAD 2,700 to CAD 6,700).
Piano Type and Size
The type of piano you have of your will influence the moving procedure and equipment that needs to be used. As a general rule, the larger and heavier the piano, the more labor and equipment will be needed. You can expect to pay the following amounts based on the specific type of piano you want to move:
This includes spinet, console, studio and standard upright pianos. They’re usually 3 to 5 feet tall, 3 to 9 feet long and weigh between 300 and 600 pounds. Moving an upright piano usually costs between $150 and $1,000 (CAD 200 and CAD 1,300). Expect to pay towards the upper end of the scale for long-distance moves.
This includes petite, baby, parlor, semi-concert, ballroom and concert grand pianos. They can be anywhere from 4.5 to 7.5 feet tall, 5 to 10 feet long and weigh between 600 and 1,200 pounds. Grand pianos cost between $200 and $1,500 (CAD 270 and CAD 2,000) to move locally, but expect to pay $5,000 (CAD 6,700) or more for long-distance moves.
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Stairs, Steps and Obstacles
Stairs present one of the greatest challenges in moving a piano between homes. Most companies charge an extra $5 to $10 (CAD 7 to CAD 13) per step or $40 to $100 (CAD 50 to CAD 130) per flight of stairs.
Sharp turns, narrow hallways, doorways and walking along grass or brick all present special challenges. You may be charged per obstacle, similar to the price of a flight of stairs.
If your piano is being moved to or from the upper story of a building and can’t be transported manually, a crane service might be required to hoist the piano into or out of the building. Hiring a piano crane service costs between $750 and $2,000 (CAD 1,000 and 2,700), according to Fixr.
Most piano moving companies offer free insurance coverage against damage for pianos valued up to $5,000 (CAD 6,700). If your piano is more valuable than that, you may want to consider additional coverage that can cost $15 to $20 (CAD 20 to CAD 27) for every $1,000 (CAD 1,300) of value above $5,000.
If your piano isn’t going to be moved directly into your new home, you may need to store it in a climate-controlled facility for $50 to $75 (CAD 65 to CAD 100) a month.
All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.