If you own a piano, odds are good that at some point you will need to move it. If you are moving it from one room to another, on the same floor, you probably won't even consider hiring professionals to do it unless it is a grand piano or a very special, expensive upright. However, other than that type of move, you need to consider a few things before making the decision to hire professional piano movers or not.
Even if you have a small, upright piano on wheels it can take some strength to move. Especially if you are taking it up or down stairs or need to lift it into a truck. In addition, it is often best to tilt the piano back to keep it off the thinner front legs so you do not accidentally break them. Larger pianos, or those without wheels will require much more muscle power to move about. Even moving one across a room can end up with broken legs or other damage.
To reduce the chance of damaging the instrument, you need to have a few pieces of equipment for the move. The first is a piano dolly. This is different than other dollies in that it was designed to move pianos. If you cannot find a piano dolly you can use a furniture dolly. You should also have a hump strap. This strap goes under the dolly, around the piano and then over your shoulders. It helps distribute the weight and makes maneuvering the piano easier. You will also need a locking piano strap to secure the piano to the dolly. Finally, blankets or pads are needed to protect the piano against scratches and dings.
Take the Piano Apart
While you will not always have to take the legs or top of a piano to move it, it can be a good idea. Removing legs will keep them from breaking and taking the top off will keep it from swinging open and snapping off or slamming onto someone's fingers. Unless you have taken parts of the piano off before it is always a good idea to have professionals do it. If you do not get things back exactly right it can change the sound of the piano due to an imbalance or vibrations from the top or lid.
If you truly value your piano, and it is not something that just sits in a room as a decoration, it is probably best to hire professionals to do the move. When you contact the movers, ask if they also have someone who will tune the instrument when it is in its new home. A piano should always be tuned after moving, even if it is just across the room.
For more information, you will want to check out http://www.extremepianomoving.com.