Local Piano Movers
1. Why do I need a Piano Movers?
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 to1300 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?”. Anyperson 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 Piano Movers is simple: you want someone who is able to anticipate every part of your move before the move has started.
2. How are Piano’s 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 consider trying to secure it into the vehicle. Then complete the move by manhandling it into 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 pianoBand 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 first way has an extremely high damagerate and can take 2 to 20 times longer than the second way.
I personally am a professional piano mover . You can not imagine the number of times people’s jaws hit the floor when they see a professional piano mover after they have attempted it themselves in the past.
They almost always say the exact same thing “Never again will I attemptto move my own piano, I will 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?
You decrease the chances by % 95 national AMSA average.
As in any move, there is always an element of risk. Any mover that tells you he has never damaged anything is either lying or extremely new to theprofession (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. We will tell you if there is a chance of damage in the move before we touch anything and will give you the option of proceeding.
4. How do I find the best piano movers?
Call the local piano 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.
5. Are all companies similarly insured?
No. The true answer to this question will shock a lot of people. It is the buyer’s responsibility to make sure that he/she is properly insured, not the moving company. Just because the company says they are insured does not mean they are fully insuring your merchandise and move or telling you what their maximum liability is.
On top of this, there are three types of insurance to considerwhen people refer to insurance.
1. Is the company insured against damage to property and or vehicles (commercial/automotive insurance)?
2. Is the company insured against damage to the piano (cartage/content insurance)?
3. Is the company insuring its workers against injury (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 they 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 $2.00per pound, 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,
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 and can cost you a fortune.
6. 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 sur as an individual or business that
the company (a piano mover) you are hiring is covered by Workman’s
Compensation. If you hire a company (a 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 includes medical
bills and lost wages and a possible civil law suit. A piano moving company
covered by Workman’s Compensation will take care of these issues for you.
Unfortunately, not all companies pay their required premiums and like all
insurance companies, Workman’s Compensation will cut off or not cover
all claims from delinquent companies. Big Al’s Specialty Movers has
Workman’s Compensation and we are always current on all premiums.
To find out more information on our company, you can use the link below.
Washington State Department Labor and Industry
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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 affect 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.
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8. How much does it cost to move a piano?
Piano moving is billed in one of two ways: Hourly rate, with a minimum
number of hours (usually min. = 2 hours) 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.
To request a moving quote, please use our “Piano Move Estimate” forms
on our front page of this website
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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. We usually 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.
On average in the Greater Portland Vancouver 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.
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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 be
asked is where it will be moved to and from so we can calculate mileage.
Following this you will than be asked whether there are any stairs involved.
We are 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 we count stairs is simple, our lead man will stand 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 we count steps is very important to remove any
misunderstandings. We should also note that we count 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.
• What type of piano is it that you required moved? (Upright or Grand Piano)
• 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])
• Where is it being picked up from? (Have full address including zip code)
• Where is it being delivered to? (Have full address including zip code)
• 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 us: 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 us, we will tell you how many people we 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.
• When are you looking to have it moved?
• Are there any time restraints involved? (Remember that placing a time
restraint on your move could result in extra charges)
• Inform us of any problems that you can foresee ahead of time.
For example, it has to go around my house across the grass.
(We consider going across grass the same pushing a piano up a flight
of stairs and charge accordingly for it). “I don’t have my keys to my
new place until…” (waiting charges could apply), “I have to be out of my
old place by…” (emergency move charges may apply) Try to 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 will be.
If you are vague and provide few details, there is a chance that there will be
extra charges. We are very specific about what we charge. Remember we
can only quote you based on the information you provide. We always try to
make the process as painless as possible and it is our goal to have this part
of your move the highlight and most stress-free part of your whole moving
process. The key is providing us with the information we need to help you
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