Key Cost Factors: What's the Price to Move a Piano?
Piano Moving Costs at a Glance
- Overall price range: $150-$5,000
- Price per hour: $10-$100+
- Local move: $1.50-$2.50 per mile; $350-$1,000 total
- Long-distance move: $2.50-$10 per mile; $700-$3,500 total
- Overseas move: $2,000-$5,000
- Upright piano: $150-$300, local; $1,000+, long-distance
- Grand piano: $200-$1,500, local; $2,000+, long-distance
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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Read on to discover how much professional piano moving costs, plus the various factors that influence that figure.
Do I Need a Piano Mover?
In short, yes. Most pianos are heavy and awkward, 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 between $300 and $1,000, but the final cost to move a piano can range between $150 and $5,000 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 can range from $10 to over $100 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:
Moving a piano locally typically costs between $1.50 to $2.50 per mile, or from $350 and $1,000. A cross-country move usually costs between $2.50 to $10 per mile, or between $700 and $3,500 total. International and overseas moves are often charged at a flat rate between $2,000 and $5,000.
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 locally can cost between $150 to $350, but it’ll cost over $1,000 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 to move locally, but expect to pay several thousand for long-distance moves.
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Stairs and Steps
Stairs present one of the greatest challenges in moving a piano between homes. Most companies charge an extra $5 to $10 per step or $40 to $100 per flight of stairs.
Sharp turns, narrow hallways, doorways and walking along grass or brick all present special challenges. Each one of these obstacles can add an extra $50 to $100 to the moving cost.
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. This can cost between $500 and $1,000.
Scheduling a last-minute move can end up costing you double of what it would otherwise. A fee of $300 for rushed local moves and $400 to $700 for cross-country moves is common.
Most piano moving companies offer free insurance coverage against damage for pianos valued up to $5,000. If your piano is more valuable than that, you may want to consider additional coverage that can cost $10 to $20 for every $1,000 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 a month.