Able Piano Movers
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    Helpful moving tips !!

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Asked Quetions

    1. Why do I need a Piano Mover?

        Piano moving, like many trades, is a specialty of itself.  An 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. For most people, their piano is one of their most prized possessions and having it moved without damage is one of the most important things to them. This is why household movers don't include the piano move in their general household pricing.  You want specialty movers who know what they are doing and who will move your piano with the care it deserves, and who will not damage your home or injury anyone during 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 would never tell a person that they can not move their piano themselves.  The question anyone who wants their piano moved has to ask is, "Do I feel lucky?"  and "What risks am I willing to take?".  Anyone 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 and more stress than most people can take.  The reason you need a professional piano mover is simple: you want someone who is able to anticipate every possibility before the move has started.
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2. How are Pianos moved?

        Pianos are moved in one of two ways.  The first, which is commonly used by the general public and a number of household movers, is by brute force. Using 4 to 8 people to manhandle the piano from one location into a vehicle.  If you're lucky someone might consider trying to secure it into the vehicle.  Then, on the other end, complete the move by manhandling it into place at the new location.  The second way, which 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 pianos safely.  They use special techniques to manipulate the piano, and only require 3 to 4 people in the most difficult moves.  The first way has an extremely high risk of damage and can take 2 to 20 times longer than the second way.  I am personally a professional piano mover.  You can't imagine the number of times people's jaws hit the floor when they see a professional move a piano after they have tried it themselves in the past. They almost always say the exact same thing "Never again will I attempt to move my own piano, I am going to let the professionals handle it from now on".

3. If I hire a professional piano mover, does it mean that my piano will not be damaged?

        No.  As with any move, there is always an element of risk.  Any mover that says 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 wouldn't 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:  You want to protect yourself from injury liabilities and reduce the odds of your piano or home being damaged.  A good piano mover will tell you if there is a high risk of damage in the move before he/she has started doing anything and will give you the option of proceeding.  Please be aware that when this occurs, you will now be liable for the damage that occurs; not the mover.

4. Are all piano movers equal?

        Absolutely not.  Like any profession, you have movers with different levels of experience.  Like all professions, there are those that are better equipped and much more prepared than others.  With all professions, there are those that care about what they are doing and treat your merchandise with respect and there are those that don't.  As with all professions, there are those that act with integrity and those that don't.  The trick is to find the right company (piano mover) for you. With Able Piano Movers you get the benefit of 35 years of piano and organ moving.

5. How do I find the best piano mover?

        Call the local piano stores, piano technicians, teachers (people in the industry) and find out who they would use.  After just 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 might 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 a good idea to have an expert drive out of the city and do your piano move for you.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand 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).

6. Are all companies similarly insured?

        No.  The true answer to this question will probably shock you.  It's the buyer's responsibility to make sure that he/she is properly insured, not the moving company.  Just because a company says they are insured doesn't mean they are fully insuring your merchandise and move or telling you what their maximum liability is. 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, 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.
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    in your city or area.

7. 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 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 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 outside.  When the piano warmed up again, it came 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.

8. How much does it cost to move a piano?

    Piano moving is billed in one of two ways:

  1. The household mover way - Hourly rate, with a minimum number of hours (usually min. = 3 hours)
  2. The professional piano mover way - flat rate based on following factors

    The cost of moving a piano can vary due to the following factors:

  1. Type of Piano
  2. Distance being moved
  3. Difficulty level due to stairs, grass pulls, tight turns, etc.
  4. Number of people required to move piano due to difficulty level
  5. Time restraints placed on move during the daytime of year (season)
  6. Waiting time that you might incur on the mover

9. How much notice do I need to give the Piano Mover?

        This depends greatly on when you need to have your piano moved and where you are located.  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.  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.  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 it is important you use a reputable, RELIABLE piano mover.

10. What information do I need to have before I call a Piano Mover?     

        It constantly amazes me how many people call to get a quote or book a piano move and do not have any of the important information required to do so.  I am constantly getting people calling me asking for our flat rate for moving a piano.  My first question is what type of piano do you want moved.  They answer a standard size piano.  This type of answer tells the piano mover absolutely nothing.  All pianos are standard for there type and  class.  The piano movers have only two choices here.  Push you for the right information or quote you the most expensive rate he has to cover the worst case scenario.  The next question you will get ask is where it is being moved to and from so they can calculate mileage.  Following this you will than be asked whether there are any stairs involved.  Again I am constantly shocked how many people have no clue as to how many stairs are in or outside their house or just don't know how to count them.  If you do not want to get surprised by extra stair charges, make sure you know the answer to this question.  Over 80% of people guess totally wrong and usually have 2 to 6 steps more than what they remember.  The way the mover counts is simple, he stands at the bottom of the stairs and counts how many times he has to lift his foot until he is standing on top of the landing (Yes the landing counts as a step).  Knowing how the mover counts steps is very important to remove any misunderstandings.  I should also note that every piano mover counts the stairs outside the house as well as inside the house.  It is possible to have more than one flight of stairs at one location (one or more flights of stairs outside and one or more flights of stairs inside).  To get an accurate quote, here is a list of items you should know before you make the phone call to them.

  1. What type of piano is it that you required moved? (Upright or Grand Piano)
  2. What size of piano is it? (Upright are measured by height [floor to lid], Grand's are measured by longest length [keyboard to curve in bow end])
  3. Where is it being picked up from? (Have full address including postal code)
  4. Where is it being delivered to? (Have full address including postal code)
  5. Are there any stairs that the piano needs to go over? (inside or outside, does not matter where) If there are stairs, how many? (Yes, the top landing step counts too, after all you had to lift your foot to get over it) Are they straight, spiraled, curved?  Is there any turns getting on, in the middle or getting off the stairs? (To a Piano Mover: A tight turn at the top or bottom of the staircase does NOT constitute a straight staircase even if the steps themselves are straight.  It is considered a flight with a turn) Based on what you tell the piano mover, he/she will tell you how many people they believe it will take to accomplish your move.  Missing important details or difficulties or miss-estimating your move based on the information you provided could mean your piano move might not happen the day you have it booked and could incur more charges.
  6. When are you looking to have it moved?
  7. Are there any time restraints involved? (Remember that placing a time restraint on your move can more than double the cost)
  8. Inform the Piano Mover of any problems that you can foresee ahead of time.  For example, It has to go around my house across the grass.  (Piano movers consider going across grass, dirt or gravel at least as difficult as pushing a piano up a flight of stairs and charge accordingly).  "I don't have my keys to my new place until..." (screams of surprise waiting time or dead trip charges), "I have to be out of my old place by..." (you don't want your piano not to be picked up in time and lose possession of it to the new owner), "The person I am getting the piano is very hard to deal with because..."
  9. Have only one person responsible for getting a quote and arranging your move.  The more people involved, the more likely a miscommunication could occur in your move.

        The more information you can provide the more accurate your quote. If you are vague and provide few details, don't be surprised if you are hit up for extra charges.  Piano Movers are very specific about what they charge.  Remember they can only give a quote based on the information you provide.  A good, reputable piano mover will make the process as painless as possible, and usually be the highlight and most stress-free part of your whole moving process.  The key is providing them with the information they need to help you properly.

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