How To Disassemble an Upright Piano for Moving

Last Updated:

July 14, 2022

If you are moving to a new house or want to declutter your home, you are probably wondering how to move your piano. There are two ways of moving a piano: the DIY approach and the professional approach. Unfortunately, many people try to cut expenses by moving a piano without professional help. 

However, to keep your piano safe and avoid injuries, you should hire a team of piano mover professionals. If you choose to move a piano on your own, you need to invest in buying equipment like dollies, moving straps, and padding. You also need to recruit people to help you carry the heavy instrument. One advantage of hiring professional piano movers is that they will come with all the equipment and their cost includes transport. 

How-To on Disassembling an Upright Piano? 

Dismantling a piano requires patience because any small mistakes will render your piano dysfunctional. There are three main steps involved when dismantling an upright piano. First, you have to unscrew all outer pieces to expose the piano's internal parts. 

Consequently, detach the piano from the desk. Lastly, remove the fallboard. These steps of disassembling a piano can be summarized as follows:

  • Open the piano key-cover
  • Open the top lid
  • Locate the latches connecting the piano’s side rails with the desk and open them
  • Remove the piano desk and set it aside
  • Locate the screws holding the fallboard assembly and remove them
  • Lift the fallboard out of the piano and set it aside

1. How to Remove a Piano Lid

One of the preliminary steps in disassembling a piano is removing the top lid. The lid is the wooden cover that protects the inside of your piano when it isn't being played and also protects the delicate interior. Follow these steps to remove the lid:

  • Remove the key cover that is over the keys on the keyboard
  • Slide the key cover back by lifting it and then pushing it backward
  • Identify the screws on the piano lid if it doesn't lift off
  • Remove the screws with a screwdriver and lift the lid

2. How to Remove a Piano Lyre 

The lyre consists of two posts attached to the pedal box under the piano. When removing a piano lyre, follow these steps:

  • Identify the position of the lyre 
  • Find the screws securing the lyre assembly to the piano and unscrew them 
  • Remove the lyre assembly from under the piano

3. How to Remove Piano Pedals

Pedals are attached to the kickboard or under the keyboard on both sides of an upright piano. When removing piano pedals, follow these steps:

  • Locate the metal latches under your piano keyboard on each side of the kickboard
  • Disengage these latches
  • Tilt the kickboard upward to reveal the pedal assembly in the piano cabinet
  • Find three metal rods attached to each pedal by a screw. Loosen the screws attached to each pedal.
  • Lift each pedal, beginning with the leftmost pedal, then the middle, and finally the rightmost pedal.
  • Unscrew the piano assembly fastened to the piano cabinet

4. Tips and Tricks When Moving an Upright Piano?

The first tip on moving an upright piano is taking all the necessary measurements. First, measure the piano and the path you'll move it along when measuring the path, including the doorways, hallways, and stairwells. 

The next step is to protect yourself and the piano you are moving. Scratched instruments, scuffed walls, and dented railing can be avoided using the right equipment. While it is advisable to hire a piano mover, if you want to go the DIY route for a short-distance move, make sure you buy the following supplies:

  • Heavy-duty tape
  • Work gloves
  • Four-wheel dolly
  • Plastic wrap
  • Dolly straps
  • Ramp
  • Moving straps
  • Weightlifting straps

Hire a Professional Piano Moving Company?

When moving your piano, make sure you hire local piano movers. They are cheaper and are easier to reach. However, the most significant advantage of hiring same-day piano movers is that you will not avoid injuries and damages and the cost of equipment and transport.

When you search for the best piano movers, make sure you compare the quotes of different service providers. Read online client reviews and browse their website to determine the quality of their services. It may also help to have a one-on-one meeting so you may discuss your options, and they may explain to you how they plan on moving your piano.


1. What Do You Need to Move A Piano?

When moving an upright piano, you will need a dolly to lift it through hallways and stairs. You will need a ramp to transport the piano into a van. Also, you will need piano covers and straps to protect the piano from scratches and other forms of damage. 

A heavy-duty dolly is strong enough to move a piano over uneven surfaces. Use a dolly that is half the length of the piano. Position it in front of the piano.

2. How Much Does It Cost to Move a Piano?

The cost of moving a piano depends on several variables. First, you need to determine the kind of piano you have and how heavy it is. Secondly, you must identify the number of obstacles you must pass through when moving the piano.

In most cases, moving a piano costs between $400 and $1,000. Hiring piano movers is more costly than working with a moving company.

The cost of moving a piano also depends on the number of movers you need. Movers may charge hourly or depend on the number of movers. Make sure what features or services are included in the moving price.

3. Do You Have Any Safety Tips for Moving Pianos?

The first step when moving a piano is to lock the keyboard lid. This prevents it from opening while you are moving. The keys are fragile and should be protected for the functionality of your piano.

Before moving your piano, you should map out the route and ensure the movers know it. Remove any items from your piano’s path of exit. Make sure pets and children aren't on the path when the piano is being moved.  

When lifting the piano, don't lift it by the legs. Instead, you should keep your piano upright since the legs are vulnerable. Also, avoid laying it on its side.

A rule of thumb when moving a piano is to protect it from scratches and other forms of damage. So, first, the piano has to be wrapped before it is moved. Next, the movers will use padding or blankets for protection. Finally, when the piano is ready to be moved, it will be hoisted on a dolly with moving straps.

When you arrive at the moving truck, the piano should be put at the back. It is advisable to place wood planks so the flooring is level. This relieves pressure on the piano legs and casters, which strain to stabilize while you are moving.

4. What Are the DIY Tips for Moving an Upright Piano?

While moving your piano without professional assistance is highly discouraged, you may not have to hire a mover for a short-distance move. For example, if you are moving your piano just a few blocks from your house, you can do it independently if you follow the right procedures.

The first step is to acquire all the necessary moving supplies. These include moving blankets and piano skid boards to protect the piano. You will also need a dolly or piano trolley. You can rent one if you don't have enough money to buy a trolley.

The next step is to enlist helpers. The number of people you enlist to help in the move will depend on the piano size. Choose family and friends who are experienced in moving heavy items.

Lastly, measure the doorways, staircases, and hallways. These measurements will help you assess how easy it will be to maneuver the piano and skid board through your home.

5. What Are the Benefits of Hiring Piano Movers?

One of the main benefits of hiring piano movers is convenience. The professionals will undertake the heavy tasks for you. As a result, you don't have to lift the heavy equipment yourself, saving you time and energy.

Another advantage of hiring piano movers is their experience. The movers will move your piano safely and without costly mistakes. Therefore, you are guaranteed quality service since they have dealt with moving pianos numerous times. 

Hiring a piano mover secures your piano against damage. The movers have the appropriate equipment for protecting your piano while in transit. They will also use protective coats to make sure your piano gets no dents when the van moves on rough road terrain.

6. What Information Should You Have Before Calling a Piano Mover?

Before calling a professional piano mover, you need to gather critical information to help them make an accurate quote and come with the appropriate equipment. First, you should identify the type of piano you want to be moved. The three main types of pianos are spinet, grand, and upright pianos.

Spinet pianos are the easiest types of pianos to move because they don't need any disassembly. For a grand piano, you need to provide the professional with the keyboard measurements to the curve in the bow end. However, an upright piano is taller and wider than a spinet piano. Therefore, piano movers use a piano trolley to move this piano.

The next important consideration for piano movers is where you are and where you want the piano delivered. Most importantly, you need to inform the mover of any turns, landings, stairs, and obstacles inside or outside both locations. This will help them choose the right equipment and come with the right number of movers. 

Lastly, you need to inform the piano movers when you want them to move your piano. The professionals will use this information to determine whether they can accommodate you in their schedule.

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