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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 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 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?". Any person 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 a piano mover is simple: you want someone who is able to anticipate every part of your move before the move has started.
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 piano and 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 damage rate 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 move a piano after they have attempted it themselves in the past. They almost always say the exact same thing "Never again will I attempt to move my own piano, I will let the professionals handle it from now on".
No. 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 the profession (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. A good piano mover will tell you if there is a chance of damage in the move before he/she has started doing anything and will give you the option of proceeding. Please note that when this occurs, you are now liable for the damage that occurs; not the mover.
Absolutely not. Like any profession, you have people with different levels of experience. Like all professions, there are those that are better equipped and more prepared than others. Like all professions, there are those that care about what they are doing and treat your merchandise with respect and there are those that do not. Like all professions, there are those that act with integrity and those that do not. The trick is finding the right company (piano mover) for you.
Call the local 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 in your area. To find piano stores in your area, goto Canadian Piano Resource Page, they have the largest listing available. In most areas there is really only one good piano mover. In large metropolises there could 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 worth your while to have the expert drive out of the city and do your piano move for you. It does not take a rocket scientist to realize 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). An excellent resource for finding a piano mover is pianomover.ca
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 consider when 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 (WSIB formerly know as 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 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 $2.00 per 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.
It is extremely important for you to know the answer to this question. It is your responsibility to make sure as an individual or business that the company (piano mover) you are hiring is WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board formerly know as Workman's Compensation) covered. If you hire a company (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 company (piano mover) covered by WSIB (which they must have by Canadian law) will take care of most of these problems for you. Unfortunately, not all companies pay their required premiums and like all insurance companies, WSIB will cut off or not cover all claims from delinquent companies or piano movers. To make sure that you are covered, ask the company (piano mover) you are hiring for a current WSIB clearance certificate (NOT MORE THAN 2 MONTHS OLD). If you are having trouble getting one from them, call WSIB direct or visit their web site to get one. On average, they can get you one in less than one day. I have received some within the hour. They can also tell you immediately over the phone whether the piano mover is covered or not. It is also important to note that if you are a business that uses a non-WSIB covered companies (piano movers) and get audited by WSIB, you could be liable for those WSIB premiums that were not paid while you were using them. To verify current information and changes about WSIB, you should visit their web site.
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.
Piano moving is billed in one of two ways:
- The household mover way - Hourly rate, with a minimum number of hours (usually min. = 3 hours)
- 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
To see Braymore Delivery Service rate guideline for the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) please call us (416)749-2100 or Get a Quote
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. On average in the Greater Toronto 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. When you need your move done on a specific date, please note that it is important you use a reputable, RELIABLE piano mover.