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How Much Should I Expect to Pay to Piano Movers?

Beauty and the Beast

Piano Movers. Pianos are a thing of beauty that command attention and admiration. On the other hand though, it is also a huge beast of furniture, almost comparable to a very delicate antique cabinet. In fact, pianos are doubly tricky because if you move it the wrong way, you risk damaging it or turning it out of tune.

And for this reason, a lot of people turn to Piano Movers .

piano-movers-cost_2

Why You NEED to Hire Professionals

The first reason is simple: pianos are hard to move. A typical upright piano weighs somewhere between 400 and 900 pounds. Grand pianos can weigh up to 650 and 1300 pounds.  Weight and size are just the beginning of it, you also have to consider the terrain and the path to getting it out of the house.

The second reason is about value. Depending on its make, model and age, a piano can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to half a million dollars. Inexperienced movers can possibly cause expensive damages.

Calculating Costs and Factors to Consider

There are basically two ways to bill.

  1. Hourly Rate – This is common with typical (general) household movers. There is usually a minimum number of hours required with 3hrs being the common base rate. .
  2. Flat Rate – This type of billing method is characteristic of professional piano movers. Unlike household, these guys specialize in moving pianos.

For flat-rate the following will be considered:

  • The type of piano (upright or grand)
  • Distance to be covered (from piano to truck and home to home)
  • Difficulty and additional challenges (stair flights, grass pulls, tight turns, etc.)
  • Time restraints
  • Waiting time if applicable

As a general rule, remember that the more difficult the job is, the higher the price.

Here are some other factors to consider when calculating the price:

  • The company – Experienced, specialty piano movers will of course cost more than those with lesser credentials.
  • Ask about insurance – There are various types of insurance, including Automotive/Commercial Insurance and Cartage/Content Insurance.
  • Tips – This will depend upon the client’s generosity and overall satisfaction with the service (can range from $10-$40)
  • When you make the booking – Rushed transport will incur higher charges of up to $200.

Sample Rates

For Typical Piano Movers

Usually, an average base rate is $50.

Then they will compute for the mileage. For local transport, it’s common to be charged $1.2 to $1.5 per mile.

Longer distances usually have higher rates of $3 to $10 per mile.

Additional charges like those for steps and stairs have to be considered as well. Some companies charge $2-$10 per step, while others will bill you $40-$100 for each flight of stairs.

So as a summary, a local transport can be done for just $100 to $600 whereas long distances can cost from anywhere between $700 and $2000.

For Specialty (Hi-End) Piano Movers

On the more expensive end, here is a sample price table from a specialized company:

ItemCost
Base Rate$ 999.00 (national)
$ 200.00 and up (local)
Grand piano breakdown and setup fee$ 120.00
Grand piano crating fee$ 800.00 and up
Heat Treated Crating fee$ 1200.00 and up
Upright scroll player piano upcharge$ 300.00 (national)
$ 150.00 (local)
Upcharge for grands up to 72 inchesNo charge (national)
$ 100.00 (local)
Upcharge for grands 73 to 89 inches$ 300.00 (national)
$ 225.00 (local)
Upcharge for grands larger than 89 inches$ 600.00 (national)
$ 450.00 (local)
Local move cost per mile$ 2.75

Additional ChargesCost
Cost per step (if more than 4)$ 20.00
Cost per stairway turn$ 75.00
InsuranceUp to $ 5,000 – No charge
$ 15.00 for each $1,000 of coverage above $5,000
Climate Controlled (available on national moves only)$ 1,000.00
Customer scheduled pickup (available on local moves only)$ 200.00
Rush Move$ 300.00 (local)
$ 400.00 (national)
$ 700.00 (national grand larger than 90 inches)
Hardships (grass, gravel, steep driveway, etc)$ 200.00 for hardships at each location
Reschedule fee (if no one is at the pickup or delivery location)$ 400.00 per incident
Fuel Surcharge (National Moves)$ 130.00 for moves under 1,000 miles
$ 165.00 for moves over 1,000 miles
Spiral staircases, crane lifts, extreme hilly terrain, oversized pianos on stairs, square grands, harpsichords, church organs, nickelodieons, pump organs, or anything outside of what seems to be a simple piano move.These will cost additional charges.

 

 

Sample Calculations

Let’s take the average costs of moving a piano and take a look at some sample computations.

1)      From one part of the county to another (Local Move Rates)

Base rate=$50
Miles ($1.5/mile) x 10 miles=$15
Stairs ($5/step)  x 10 steps=$50
Total=$115

2)      From New York City to Baltimore City, Maryland (Long Distance Rates)

Base rate=$50
Miles ($1.5/mile) x 187 miles=$935
Stairs ($5/step)  x 10 steps=$50
Total=$1035

Enjoy the music

Pianos are an investment to any home. If you get high quality professional assistance, you will be ensured that your musical piece will arrive safely and still be in a great working condition.

Written By

Expert Moving Advisor

Ariane is a proficient moving advisor. She has experience in corporate, individual and special relocations, and is well-versed in coordinating moves, packing tips and shipment estimations.
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