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Grand Piano storage vs. move
#1317063 12/02/09 09:34 PM
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Help. I have a beautiful baby grand in Toronto, but am living in the US for the next several months. I have three choices:
1. Move my piano (but it's winter!)
2. Leave my piano for now in my house in Toronto, but the heat will be turned down a bit and there will be no-one to monitor humidity. I could wait to move it in the summer.
3. Store my piano in a heated storage facility in Toronto until I return.
I need advice on which choice would be best for my piano (and my budget)
Thanks!

Re: Grand Piano storage vs. move
aberfeldy #1317130 12/02/09 10:49 PM
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Welcome to the forum, aberfeldy. smile

Will you have a back-up piano or digital to play on while you're in the States? That might affect my recommendation. If so, I think I'd probably be inclined to leave it in your house. Low temperature itself wouldn't be so problematic as it's consistency of temperature and humidity that matters the most. The heated storage facility sounds appealing at first, but I remember reading some thread in the past where one of the techs was talking about how it's not great for a grand to be store long-term on its side, and that's probably how it would have to be stored in such a facility. Moving the piano back and forth would be expensive, and maybe it's just the availability bias, but I've read an awful lot of horror stories about pianos getting damaged in moves. frown

Guess that wasn't very helpful, was it? whome

Re: Grand Piano storage vs. move
Monica K. #1317133 12/02/09 10:53 PM
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I am inclined to agree with Monica K. An additional factor that would counsel against moving the piano from Canada to the US and back again would be customs and importing problems. I have no idea whether there would be any issues involved in crossing and recrossing the border, but there might well be, and if there are such issues, they are likely to be complicated.

Whatever you decide, though, make sure the piano is insured.


Re: Grand Piano storage vs. move
Rank Piano Amateur #1317237 12/03/09 04:04 AM
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Moving pianos is a pain in the rear, and expensive. In addition, you will run into major problems with customs if your piano has ivory keys. Storage is expensive, and not necessarily safe. I would leave it at home and have a friend come check on it once in a while. Pianos are tough creatures.

Re: Grand Piano storage vs. move
beethoven986 #1317239 12/03/09 04:06 AM
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Turning down the heat keeps the humidity up, which is what you want in the winter. Your piano will be better off in that environment than in a heated facility.


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Re: Grand Piano storage vs. move
BDB #1317391 12/03/09 09:38 AM
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I would recommend against option #3. Most storage facilities turn a grand piano on its side. My ex-wife stored her grand in this way, and it was never again the same, despite repeated efforts by several technicians. I would leave it in its current steady environment.

Re: Grand Piano storage vs. move
dglo #1317398 12/03/09 09:54 AM
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Leave it home.


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Re: Grand Piano storage vs. move
aberfeldy #1317907 12/03/09 09:38 PM
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Thanks very much for the advice. Very helpful. The piano will stay where it is (as much as I will miss it). I will make do with a rental or digital.

Re: Grand Piano storage vs. move
aberfeldy #1317991 12/04/09 12:37 AM
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One other idea if you haven't considered it, is if you have a friend you trust that has room they could store your piano in their home and have use of it while you are gone and the temperature factor might not be a problem then.

Re: Grand Piano storage vs. move
Roxy #1319302 12/05/09 11:46 PM
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The round trip cost of moving a piano sounds prohibitive. Also, unless the piano was manufactured in the USA, I believe that you would need to pay a customs duty. (Perhaps a Canadian dealer like Norbert could comment on that.)

Re: Grand Piano storage vs. move
swampwiz #1319376 12/06/09 03:41 AM
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You might consider renting your home short term through an agency oriented towards expats on assignment in Toronto -- or to a Conservatory student. Your house is watched and is more secure against break ins, it is kept at normal temperature and humidity, your piano cared for and you generate some extra income...

Alternatively, you could investigate doing a non-synchronous house trade with an organization like homelink.org.
Perhaps someone wants to spend some winter time in Toronto in exchange for you staying at their place in Tuscany in June?

Re: Grand Piano storage vs. move
Rank Piano Amateur #1319380 12/06/09 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Rank Piano Amateur
I am inclined to agree with Monica K. An additional factor that would counsel against moving the piano from Canada to the US and back again would be customs and importing problems. I have no idea whether there would be any issues involved in crossing and recrossing the border, but there might well be, and if there are such issues, they are likely to be complicated.

Whatever you decide, though, make sure the piano is insured.



Moving a piano through customs, can, indeed, be complicated and for some, a nightmare...just ask Krystian Zimerman. If I were you I'd leave it home.


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