Lots of people wonder why it makes sense to use a piano mover. After all, couldn’t a standard household mover get the job done? Or can’t I do it myself. These questions answered and more.
10 COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT PIANO MOVING
- Why do I need a Piano Mover?
- How are Pianos moved?
- If I hire a professional piano mover, does it mean that my piano will not be damaged?
- Are all piano movers equal?
- How do I find the best piano mover?
- Are all companies similarly insured?
- Why is worker injury important to me? After all it is the company’s problem. Isnt it?
- Does moving the piano affect the sound of my piano?
- How much does it cost to move a piano?
- How much notice do I need to give the Piano Mover?
Other frequently asked questions about piano moving that you should know how to answer before you book your piano move:
- What type of piano do you own?
- How to describe your stairs to the piano mover
- How to count your stairs for the piano mover
- Why hire a piano mover instead of using a household mover to move your piano
- How to avoid unexpected moving charges
Why do I need a Piano Mover?
Piano moving, like all trades, is a specialty to itself.
The average upright piano weighs anywhere between 400 and 900 pounds. Grand pianos start at 650 pounds and can go all the way up to 1300 pounds. The value of a piano can vary from a couple hundred dollars to half a million dollars depending on make, model, age and condition of the piano.
For most people, their piano is one of their most prized possessions and getting it moved without damage is one of the most important things to them during moving time. This is why household movers do not include the piano in their general household pricing. You want movers who know, what they are doing, who are going to move your piano with the care it deserves, and who will not damage your home or injury anyone in the process of moving. Moving a piano almost always requires it to be moved through a space that has a tight squeeze (i.e. a door frame, staircase, etc.). I will never tell a person that they can not move their piano themselves.
The question every person who wants their piano moved has to ask is, “Do I feel lucky?” and “What risks am I willing to take?”. Any person who has had an accident with their piano knows that when something goes wrong, it happens fast and when you least expect it. The repercussions of moving a piano by yourself or with an inexperienced person can cost you a small fortune or more stress than most people can take. The reason you need a piano mover is simple: you want someone who is able to anticipate every part of your move before the move has started.
Braymore Piano Movers have the experience and reputation for making sure your piano gets moved correctly. Call Braymore for a quote today!
How are Pianos moved?
How are pianos moved. Pianos are moved in one of two ways.
The first way, which is commonly used by the general public and a number of household movers, is by brute force. Manhandle the piano with 4 to 8 people from one location into a vehicle. If you are lucky someone might have a dolly that can handle the weight safely and hope that someone might remember to consider securing it into the vehicle so it doesn’t crash into things. Then complete the move by manhandling it off the truck and into its new place at the new location.
The second way is used by professional piano movers and some household movers. They use 2 or 3 people to move the piano and are equipped with piano skids, moving pads, ramps, slings and the knowledge of how to move a piano safely. They use special techniques to manipulate the piano through the move and only require 4 to 6 people in the most difficult moves. The knowledge of how to move a piano safely isn’t learned over night, it requires a master piano mover to drill in through repetition, of what to watch out for and when to apply different piano moving techniques.
The first way has an extremely high damage rate and can take 2 to 20 times longer than the second way. I am personally a well known professional piano mover. You can not imagine the number of times people’s jaws hit the floor when they see a professional move a piano after they have attempted it themselves in the past. They almost always say the exact same thing “Never again will I attempt to move my own piano, I will always let the professionals handle it from now on”.
Call a professional piano mover today, you do not really need to know the how. Leave the “how to move a piano” to the real experts in piano moving! There are a lot of people and movers that claim they know how to move a piano. I would recommend spending your time on making sure you are getting a real professional piano mover. Want to make sure the Braymore Piano Movers are the real deal: just read our reviews and ask around. Braymore has been doing this since 1981, we have learned a lot over the years.
If I hire a professional piano mover, does it mean that my piano will not be damaged?
No. In any move, there is always an element of risk. Anyone who tells you otherwise, is not being honest with you and only telling you what you want to hear.
Any mover that tells you he has never damaged anything is either lying or extremely new to the profession. There could be an exception out there, but anyone who gambles would never take that bet.
The reason you should hire a professional piano mover is the same reason you hire a professional in any other trade or buy insurance: To protect yourself from injury, liabilities and reduce the odds of your piano or home being damaged. Most people forget that when something gets damaged, it is usually more than one item. Do you like your house, walls, floors, porch, doors, etc. A good piano mover will tell you if there is a chance of damage in the move before he/she has started doing anything and will give you the option of proceeding. Please note that when this occurs, you are now liable for the damage that occurs; not the mover.
Are all piano movers equal?
Like any profession, you have people with different levels of experience.
Like all professions, there are those that are better equipped and more prepared than others.
Like all professions, there are those that care about what they are doing and treat your merchandise with respect and there are those that do not.
Like all professions, there are those that act with integrity and those that do not.
The real trick is finding the right piano mover for you.
How do I find the best piano mover?
Call the local stores, technicians, teachers (people in the industry) and find out who they would use. After a couple of inquiries it will become clear who the piano mover of choice is in your area. In most areas there is really only one good piano mover. In large metropolises there could be more than one. In small rural areas it will probably be a household mover that specializes in pianos on the side due to the lack of volume. If you live near a large city, it is probably worth your while to have the expert drive out of the city and do your piano move for you. It does not take a rocket scientist to realize that a piano mover in a big city has more experience moving pianos than a small town mover (Larger community, means more pianos to move, therefore more experience).
If you are located in the Greater Toronto Area: Good News! You’ve found the largest and most reputable piano mover in your area. Don’t take our word for it! Read some of our 3rd party reviews: on Facebook, Google or HomeStars.
Are all companies similarly insured?
The true answer to this question will shock a lot of people: No.
It is the buyer’s responsibility to make sure that he/she is properly insured, not the moving company. Just because the moving company says they are insured does not mean they are fully insuring your merchandise, move, or telling you what their maximum liability is in a worst case scenario. Common response: You threaten to sue the mover afterwards. Guess what? Just like you, the government has also set a default maximum liability clause to protect movers from ignorant consumers and it is NOT full coverage. Never assume you are fully insured, assume that you are not.
On top of this, there are three types of insurance to consider when people refer to insurance.
- Is the company insured against damage to property and or vehicles (commercial/automotive insurance)?
- Is the company insured against damage to the piano (cartage/content insurance)?
- Is the company insuring its workers against injury (WSIB formerly know as Workman’s Compensation)?
When you ask the question, are they answering 1 & 2, 2 & 3, all of them, one of them, insuring for a single dollar or the full value of the item being moved? Never assume that all of these are being covered (unfortunately most people do and sometimes pay a dear price for it). Is there a legal document to show that the customer is insured? (Another important question that is almost never asked.) Make sure you know the company’s “Terms of Cartage” before you book your move (ask them for a copy). Is the mover providing a proper “Bill of Lading” with all the “Terms of Cartage” and insured values for your piano move? Most people do not realize that without a proper “Bill of Lading” they are NOT fully insured and fall under local cartage laws, which are never more than a maximum of $2.00 per pound for the item being moved, do NOT cover their home and do NOT cover the workers. Just because a piano mover says they are fully insured does not mean you are properly covered; unless there is a “Bill of Lading” provided with the full declared value (insured value) written on it you are exposed and definitely not covered. Using a REPUTABLE piano mover is extremely important, because they take care of all these things for you. I should also mention that if you do not give an insured value to the mover prior to the move and have it recorded on the bill of lading, you default to the local cartage amounts automatically. It is not the mover’s responsibility to make sure you have the right amount of insurance, it is YOUR job. I should also note that most movers will charge extra for additional insurance.
The MOST IMPORTANT reason to use a REPUTABLE piano mover, has to do with insurance. These days, insurance has become an extremely touchy issue, whether it be car, home or business insurance. Most people do not claim insurance with their insurance companies anymore due to rising premium rates. This same fact holds true with businesses, especially movers and piano movers. They have insurance policies to cover worst case scenarios, but like you and most businesses, piano movers are self-insuring their smaller day to day claims. You want someone who will provide you with a “Bill of Lading” (legal document) at the beginning of the move so that you know where you stand, and that the piano mover will stand behind any damages that they might have incurred and repair those problems. Everyone has heard moving company nightmares at one time or another. No “Bill of Lading” and No “Reputable Mover” is a recipe for your own nightmare, can cost you a fortune and give you your own nightmare story to share with friends and family.
Want to make sure you are insured properly for your piano move? Call Braymore Piano Movers today and tell us what you require your piano to be insured for.
Why is worker injury important to me? After all it is the company’s problem. Isn’t it?
It is extremely important for you to know the answer to this question.
It is your responsibility to make sure as an individual or business that the company (piano mover) you are hiring is WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board formerly know as Workman’s Compensation) covered. If you hire a company (piano mover) that is not covered you are accepting FULL LIABILITY for any employees who are injured doing your job, because the local authority will consider them your employee while they are working for you. This could include medical bills, lost wages and a possible civil law suit. A company (piano mover) covered by WSIB (which they must have by Canadian law) will take care of most of these problems for you. Please note: there are a number of small movers currently trying to find loopholes, saying that does not apply to them, by trying to pass that responsibility unsuspectingly back onto you.
Unfortunately, not all companies pay their required premiums and like all insurance companies, WSIB will cut off or not cover all claims from delinquent companies or piano movers. To make sure that you are covered, ask the company (piano mover) you are hiring for a current WSIB clearance certificate (NOT MORE THAN 2 MONTHS OLD). This has become trickier, because WSIB no longer wants to give them out to the general public, so you might have to request one through your business. They can also tell you immediately over the phone whether the piano mover is covered or not. It is also important to note that if you are a business that uses a non-WSIB covered companies (piano movers) and get audited by WSIB, you could be liable for those WSIB premiums that were not paid while you were using them. To verify current information and changes about WSIB, you should visit their web site.
Last thing to remember is if you are using a small mover that works out their home. There is a good chance that they are not covered properly. This ratio changes from city to city, but this stereotype is generally true.
Does moving the piano affect the sound of my piano?
This is a commonly asked question for which you may hear many different answers. This question is asked because lots of people say that their piano sounds different in its new location.
The answer to the question may or may not surprise you. No, not directly.
The moving does NOT effect the sound of the piano directly at all. If it is not the moving then what makes it sound different here versus there? And why does it not hold tune or does it hold tune better here? The answer lies with the piano technicians and furniture makers. A piano is made of wood and steel. Wood is directly affected by two things: “Temperature” and “Humidity”. Steel is directly affected by temperature. When these two elements change, so does your piano. The more these two elements change, the more frequently you need to regulate and tune your piano. It does not take a big change, to change the sound of your piano, and you should consult your manufacture’s web site to see what type of environment is best for your piano.
I will never forget a story from one of our customers for whom we were moving a pre-tuned piano from a piano store to a concert hall on one of the coldest days in winter. When we delivered his piano it was cold and obviously out of tune due to the temperature change outside. When the piano warmed up again in the concert hall, it came back into tune, because it was a similar environment to the piano store it came out of. That was all in the span of 3 hours that it went from intune, to out of tune, to back into tune.
Another reason why your piano may sound different is due to size of room and its acoustics. Carpet absorbs sound, hardwood reflects sound. Sound reinforces in small spaces, seeming louder, and gets lost in larger spaces, seeming quieter. Unless the two rooms are identical, the piano should be expected to sound different in its new space.
How much does it cost to move a piano?
Piano moving is billed in one of two ways:
The household mover way – Hourly rate, with a minimum number of hours (usually min. = 3 hours)
The professional piano mover way – flat rate based on following factors
- Type of Piano
- Distance being moved
- Difficulty level due to stairs, grass pulls, tight turns, etc.
- Number of people required to move piano due to difficulty level
- Time restraints placed on move during the daytime of year (season)
- Waiting time that you might incur on the mover
How much notice do I need to give the Piano Mover?
This depends greatly on when you need to have your piano moved, where you are located and if it is date sensitive.
Most piano movers will book on a first come, first serve basis. If it is an in demand day, you could require over a month’s notice to get the day you want. If it is not, your move could be booked as quickly as tomorrow.
If you need a specific day, I would recommend booking well in advance.
On average in the Greater Toronto Area, the average booking time is a couple days to two weeks assuming you have some flexibility as to which day your piano can be moved. When you need your move done on a specific date, please note that the more notice you give, the better your odds at getting the day you require.
Whatever you do, don’t wait till the last minute! As soon as you know the date, you should book your move.