Archive for Monday, October 15, 2012


Fix-It Chick: Move a piano

October 15, 2012


Moving a piano is seldom fun, but with the right tools and a few strong backs, it can be done.

Step 1: Plan your move. Measure the piano and then measure the doorways, hallways and stairways it will pass through. Choose the shortest, clearest route with the least amount of steps. Most pianos weigh between 400 and 1,000 pounds. A group of four able-bodied people should be able to move an average piano without too much difficulty.

Step 2: The casters on the bottom of the piano legs are decorative, not functional. Refrain from pushing or pulling a piano using its own casters. For short distances, position able-bodied people at each piano leg and have them lift the piano up so the casters still touch the ground but do not have the weight of the piano resting on them. Move the piano across the ground in this manner.

Step 3: For slightly longer distances across level surfaces, balanced the piano onto a simple four wheeled carpeted dolly. Position the dolly at one end of the piano. Tip the piano up and slide the dolly beneath it. Center the dolly under the piano and gently push the piano to its new home. When moving through doorways or tight spaces, wrap pianos with heavy moving blankets to reduce the risk of damage.

Step 4: For longer distances, it is best to use a four-wheel hand-truck-type piano dolly. Typically made with wooden handles and rubber casters, these strap-and-lever contraptions make light work of heavy loads. Position the dollies on either end of the piano, with the piano legs resting atop the steel lip of the dolly. For grand pianos, tip the piano onto its side and position the dollies face to face on either side of the piano.

Step 5: Use lashing straps to secure the dollies tightly to the piano. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to properly cinch the straps.

Step 6: Once the piano is secured, position one able-bodied person at each dolly. Grasp the dolly handles and place one foot gingerly atop the dolly’s foot lever.

Step 7: Simultaneously press down on each of the dollies’ foot levers to raise the piano off the ground.

Step 8: Retighten the lashing straps to secure the piano to the dollies, and slowly push and pull the piano to its new home.

— Linda Cottin can be reached at


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