If you’ve ever moved before, you know how much of a hassle it can be. Figuring out how to safely get all of your precious stuff to your new spot can be a massive headache, especially when you add a piano to the mix.
As we all know, pianos are huge instruments that can weigh a ton. If you have one that needs moving, you might be wondering, “How much does it cost to move a piano?”
In this article, we’ll answer that question and more. Keep reading to find out how much you should expect to pay to transport a piano, whether across the country or just across the street.
What’s the Average Cost to Move a Piano?
Every piano removal is different, meaning yours may cost more or less than the national average.
However, you can expect to pay anywhere between $200 to $500 for a local move, while a long-distance job will cost between $500 to $2000 or more.
In order to determine how much your move might cost, though, there are a few things that you and your moving company will have to consider.
What Affects the Price for Moving a Piano?
Several factors can affect the final cost of moving your piano, from gas expenses to manpower.
We’ll cover all the costs you’ll need to keep in mind before hiring your piano removalist below.
The distance your piano has to travel will definitely impact the final price you’ll pay to have it moved. Moving a piano across the street is going to cost less than shipping it to another coast.
Moving companies generally charge about $1.50 per mile for local moves. That doesn’t mean you’re only going to pay $3 for two miles, though. Moving companies typically have a minimum charge for distance traveled, regardless of whether point-B is super close.
Long-distance travel is going to cost more. Moving companies charge about $2.50 to $10 per mile on average, meaning moving your piano out-of-state is going to cost a pretty penny.
If you’re planning to ship your piano overseas, the cost is going to be way more than transporting it by land.
International shipping companies often charge a flat rate of $2,000 to $5,000 to transport a piano via cargo container.
Another important factor that impacts your final moving cost is the size of your piano. Pianos come in a wide range of sizes, from the tiny spinet piano to the gigantic concert grand piano.
The general rule of thumb is the larger the piano, the more it will cost to move.
Grand pianos are the largest types of pianos money can buy. They range from the smaller petite grand to the concert grand piano.
They usually measure around 4.5 to 7.5-feet tall and 5 to 10 feet wide, weighing anywhere from 600 to 1,200 pounds depending on the materials.
The specific moving costs will rest on the exact measurements of your piano, but you can expect to pay between $200 to $1500 to move a grand piano locally.
For non-local moves, grand pianos will cost thousands of dollars, including gas, labor, and equipment.
Upright pianos are much smaller than grand pianos and, as a result, much cheaper to move.
Their sizes range from the spinet piano to the standard upright piano, measuring between 3 to 5 feet tall and 3 to 9 feet wide.
Most people will pay around $150 to $350 to move an upright piano locally. This can include within your town or county but won’t usually extend much further than that.
Non-local moves will cost over $1000 in most cases and won’t require as much labor or equipment as grand pianos might.
If you’re moving into an elevated apartment or want your piano on an elevated floor in your new home, moving it will cost more.
Since pianos are so heavy, they often require a crane to hoist them up to the necessary elevation. This can dramatically increase the equipment and labor costs of the move.
A crane service alone can cost between $500 and $1,000, depending on where you live.
Since cranes aren’t the most common equipment available, rush jobs may cost even more due to the lack of supply.
Definitely plan ahead for a crane if you have to hoist your piano to an elevated level during the move.
Stairs are often one of the most difficult things to deal with when moving big things like a piano.
Every step can be a little nightmare, requiring additional labor and equipment to get the instrument up safely. As a result, piano movers often charge a fee for moving up staircases.
Sometimes, it may be a flat fee for the whole set of stairs, from $40 to $100. Other times, though, they’ll charge about $5 to $10 per stair, making it a bit more expensive.
Stairs aren’t the only thing that might block your piano move. Tight corners, narrow corridors, doorways, and windows can all present a challenge to moving your piano.
Some piano movers may include these obstacles in their flat fee, while others won’t.
Make a note before you hire anyone of the obstacles they may face when moving your piano. Any surprises and the moving company may surprise you with an extra fee.
In general, each significant obstacle can add $50 to $100 to your final piano moving cost.
Speed of Delivery
If you need to move your piano ASAP, you may have to shell out some more cash for a rush job.
Most piano movers will give you a specific time frame in which they can get the job done. Any faster, and you’ll have to pay more.
Any task that needs to be done before your moving company’s given time frame will likely cost an additional $300 for your local area.
However, if you need it transported into another state or across the country, rush jobs may carry an additional fee of $400 to $700.
In addition to the real costs of piano moving, moving companies typically have insurance costs to think about as well.
They factor what they pay for insurance into your final bill, covering up to about $5,000 in damage in most cases.
However, if your piano is worth more than that, you will want to take out private insurance on top of the moving company’s insurance. That way, if anything happens to your piano during the move, you’ll be covered.
Expect to pay around $10 to $20 per $1,000 of additional insurance coverage.
For example, a Steinway grand piano worth $150,000 will need about $1,500 worth of insurance to cover its entire value.
If you don’t plan to ship your piano to a permanent home, then you’ll probably have to pay for long-term storage.
However, storing a piano isn’t as easy as your grandmother’s old photo albums. You’ll need storage that’s big enough to comfortably fit your piano, and you need to be able to get it in and out easily.
The storage space also needs to be strictly temperature controlled. Otherwise, your instrument may be damaged or need tuning more often than expected.
Expect to pay anywhere between $50 and $75 per month for a storage space that meets these requirements.
Do You Need a Professional Mover for Your Piano?
The short answer to whether or not you need to hire a professional mover for pianos: Yes, you probably do.
Unless you have experience moving pianos and using the necessary equipment, you’ll need to hire an experienced professional with extra moving hands on their payroll. If you choose to do it yourself, chances are that you’ll damage your piano in the process.
Also, insurance often doesn’t cover damage to pianos unless professionals are moving them. That means that if you break a piano leg yourself, insurance won’t cover the repair.
For peace of mind and the safety of your wallet, we recommend hiring a professional piano mover to get the job done for you. However, if you have a bit of experience moving pianos, you may be able to do it yourself.
All you’ll need is a piano trolley, knowledge of piano parts, and a moving truck big enough to fit the instrument.
This video below walks you through how to do it.
There you have it! Everything you need to know about the cost of moving pianos.
From transportation to labor, a few things factor into the final cost that you should be aware of before receiving the moving bill.
While you might think it’s much more expensive than you originally planned, remember that pianos are expensive and heavy.
They definitely require a professional touch to get them where they need to go safely and efficiently. Otherwise, your beautiful instrument might get damaged!