I am often asked about where to find a piano mover and I have recently been made aware of the website Buzzmove (http://www.buzzmove.com) which will be useful for people who are in this position. Their brand manager has sent me a short guide offering advice on finding the right piano removal company and I am adding it to this blog as it will be useful to many people. See the guide he has written below:
5 most common piano removal mistakes
Your piano is a sensitive instrument, and can be damaged easily during a house move. Removals comparison site buzzmove.com has put together this handy guide on the mistakes to avoid during a piano move to ensure your piano is moved with the minimum of fuss and with far less risk of damage.
1. Not checking if you removal company has the right equipment
You don’t have to choose a specialist piano mover for your move. But you do have to check that your removal company has the right equipment and experience for the job.
When talking to removal companies, ask them if they have the following equipment:
A padded piano bag or thick blankets to wrap around your piano. This keeps the piano safe from scratches and also protects your property from any potential damage from the piano. NOTE: You can do this step yourself, but it’s best not to. If the removal company does it for you, get them to take some photos of the condition of the piano before the move. That way, if there’s any damage during the move, you’ll be more likely to be able to claim for it on their insurance. (If it’s already wrapped up before they get there, you’ll have no chance of making a successful claim if anything does go wrong.)
A heavy-duty wooden piano shoe/slipper. This is a wooden sledge with straps used primarily for easing your piano up and down stairs with less friction. They come in different sizes, from 5ft suitable for uprights to 9ft for grands. Ask if the company has the size you need. If in doubt, a good company will be able to advise you.
A heavy-duty piano skate, dolly or trolley. These come with wheels, primarily for taking the piano out of the house and into the moving van. They come in different forms, from an upright skate to a flat dolly make of thick wood or a metal – usually aluminium – frame with rubber padding to avoid slipping or damage. The key thing is to ask if it has brakes. This small-seeming detail could make all the difference, for obvious reasons.
2. Not checking your removal company’s insurance
Any nationwide chain or specialist piano remover should have the right insurance for the move, but it’s still worth checking. If using a smaller or non-specialist mover, you must ask. The company needs to have enough goods in transit insurance to cover you for any possible damage.
Inform your removal company of how much your piano is insured for. Many smaller ones will have special arrangements where they can phone their insurers and get more insurance for specific high-value moves. But be sure to ask.
3. Not letting removal companies survey your property
Whether you’re doing a whole house move or just moving the piano, it’s still worth getting removal companies over to take a look. They need to see the size and weight to ensure they bring enough staff, the right size van and the right equipment.
They also need to see if there are any access restrictions or stairs at your property, how close they can park, what size of vehicle they can fit in your road, and so on. All of this will help them give you a more accurate quote and avoid any nasty surprises or extra charges on moving day.
4. Going for the lowest quote without comparing prices
Moving a piano can be expensive. But don’t be tempted to go for a low price before doing your research first! Too low a price should send alarm bells ringing. But how do you know if a low price is too low?
Try to compare at least three different removal companies. That way you’ll get a feel for what you should expect to pay. And, as an extra tip, if you have a range of quotes, you can always talk to the company you feel will give you the best service and ask them if they’ll give you a deal. Most companies are open to this if you ask nicely – and that way, you’ll get great service and a lower price.
5. Not asking for customer referrals
If your piano is particularly valuable – or has significant emotional value – you’re likely to want extra peace of mind. The best way to get this is by asking removal companies for the phone numbers of happy customers. Then you can call them yourself and ask anything you like.
Most good removal companies are happy to provide this. And the little extra time it takes is outweighed by the reassurance you’ll feel that you’re about to choose the right company to take care of your precious piano.