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How to Move a Grand Piano into an Apartment

Anybody who owns a grand piano knows that moving one isn’t an easy task to complete. First off, there’s the sheer size of these fine instruments. The smallest grand piano is just over 50 inches tall with a weight of 500 to 600 pounds. Larger ones can easily weight thousands of pounds. If your goal is to successfully move a grand piano into an apartment, here’s how to do it safely and efficiently.

Estimate Your Piano’s Weight to Know How Much Help to Get

As we’ve already established, grand pianos aren’t light. Estimate your particular piano’s weight so you’ll know how many helping hands you’ll need to get it into your apartment. Usually, it takes one man to move 200 pounds. Therefore, you would need four people to move an 800-pound grand piano.

Use a Four-Wheel Piano Dolly

Even though your piano has casters, they’re more decorative than functional. With older grand pianos or ones that have been sitting in one place for many years, the casters may have shifted up into the piano’s legs. Even if this isn’t the case, pushing a piano on its casters may damage the legs or your floors. Instead, use a four-wheel dolly to support most of the piano’s weight when moving it. To place the piano on the dolly, you’ll need to remove some of your piano’s parts. Typically, this means taking off the following parts:

  • The three legs
  • The lyre
  • The music rack

Center the Piano’s Weight on the Dolly

It’s the stuff that’s inside of the kidney-shaped part of your piano that gives this instrument its weight. The lightest part is the area where the keyboard is located. Because of this weight distribution pattern, you’ll want to center your piano on the dolly when it’s being moved into your apartment based on its weight, not its shape.

Position Helpers Correctly When Taking the Piano Off the Dolly

When taking the piano off the truck on the dolly, make sure your helpers are positioned correctly. One person should be in front of the piano to control movement of the light end at the top of the incline that extends from the truck to the ground. The other helpers will support the heavier part of the piano as it’s eased onto the ground. The keyboard end (lip) of a grand piano should face the down angle when it’s being transported on a dolly.

Carry Your Piano Up Consecutive Steps

Protect your piano if steps are involved. Use foam padding on both outside concrete steps and inside steps that lead up to your apartment. A dolly can be used to help get a grand piano into a ground floor apartment that only has a few steps in front of the door. This can be done with tipping and lifting techniques. With consecutive steps or multiple flights of stairs, however, you and your moving helpers will need to carry the piano. Since this is the riskiest part of the moving process, it’s important to go slow and make sure everyone is coordinated with how they moving.

Measure Corners

If you have deal with corners and steps, start by measuring the corners you’ll need to get your piano around. Take careful measurements of corners on staircases to ensure that there’s enough free space to get the piano to its destination. Also measure doors for the same reason.

Reassemble It and Set It in Place

Since your piano will still be unassembled when it gets to your apartment, place padding down for it to rest on. You’ll then reassemble your piano and put the parts that were removed back on and position it upright again.

Finally, make sure you have a spot picked out for your grand piano when it’s moved into your apartment. This way you will know exactly where to have it placed so you won’t have to deal with figuring out how to move it someplace else once your moving helpers have left. Don’t forget to make sure your piano is stable and level when it’s in place. Hopefully, you won’t have to move a grand piano into an apartment too often. But when you do, keep the tips mentioned here in mind.

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