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#2051766 - 03/21/13 06:45 AM Test for determining if piano will fit up stairs.  
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 92
Gomtorus Offline
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Gomtorus  Offline
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Is there a simple test or formula to determine, given the dimensions of an upright piano and the width of a stairway with a right turn halfway up the stairs, if the piano will fit past?

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#2051771 - 03/21/13 07:15 AM Re: Test for determining if piano will fit up stairs. [Re: Gomtorus]  
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PNO40 Offline
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A North Atlantic Island former...
None that I know of. However, if you take detailed floor measurements AND measure the lowest point of clearance between floor/stair/step and ceiling, and then pass them on to a piano mover, they should be able to tell you whether it is doable or not.

One thing to note, however, is that even if the piano will fit in theory, that is no guarantee it will make it, as though there may be sufficient room for the piano, there may not be sufficient room for the 2 (or 3) movers to actual perform the manoeuvres.

If you want, you can PM me with a set of measurements of piano and stairs, landing, ceiling clearance and I can compare them with mine. I've had two upright pianos go up (and down) the stairs in recent months so if your measurements are more or less the same as mine, then though it can/will be tricky, it will be doable.

P.

#2051775 - 03/21/13 07:21 AM Re: Test for determining if piano will fit up stairs. [Re: Gomtorus]  
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Olek Offline
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Olek  Offline
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France
The ceiling , less 3 stairs, for the larger dimension vertically.

If that dimension is large, the piano can be handled vertically ("in candle" would be the French term)

I have nop precise trick for largeness, but think that the dimension is diagonal in both directions, something have to be added to the lenght of the piano.



Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#2051892 - 03/21/13 12:00 PM Re: Test for determining if piano will fit up stairs. [Re: Gomtorus]  
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BDB Offline
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Oakland
The perpendicular distance from the line formed by the edges of the risers to the lowest point over the steps is the absolute minimum height that anything will fit under them. You need a couple more inches for maneuvering room.

There are a bunch of other factors that come into play. Usually you can make a floor plan out of graph paper and a model of the side of the piano and see if you can work it around corners.

No matter what, you will have to have the movers look at it before they move the piano if there is any doubt.


Semipro Tech
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#2078997 - 05/07/13 08:23 PM Re: Test for determining if piano will fit up stairs. [Re: Gomtorus]  
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R_B Offline
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I wonder how hard it would be to make up a cardboard model and try it.
One big box to represent the body, a smaller one stuck on the front to represent the keyboard. More detail if you feel the need.

Pro movers with lots of experience can probably "eyeball" it, but stairway lighting might deceive them.

Yep, I would get some refrigerator cardboard sleeves, some tape and build the mock-up. Should be able to figure where corners clip what and what can be done about it.

#2079000 - 05/07/13 08:27 PM Re: Test for determining if piano will fit up stairs. [Re: Gomtorus]  
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R_B Offline
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PS When and where the stairway was built COULD be relevant, e.g. in a period/place when/where pianos were very popular it could be expected that pianos would be moved in and out, stairways would likely be wide enough.

This site offers free quotes and their request for quotes form offer many staircase examples to choose from;
http://www.pianomoversinc.com/

Last edited by R_B; 05/07/13 08:39 PM.
#2079073 - 05/08/13 12:55 AM Re: Test for determining if piano will fit up stairs. [Re: Gomtorus]  
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erichlof Offline
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Go ahead and have the moving guys start up the stairs with the piano. Then, listen to them carefully:

Good Sign: Cussing and Swearing ensues, followed by grunting and blaming each other. Chances are it will squeeze through after all!

Bad Sign: Silence. Followed by scratching of heads and just standing there. Followed by, "Sir/Mam?, ..."

No seriously, my piano moving guys tipped the whole upright piano on its end to get it into my apartment. I had to look the other way. But it made it just fine. Holds its tunings and sounds great.

Good luck!

#2079218 - 05/08/13 10:37 AM Re: Test for determining if piano will fit up stairs. [Re: Gomtorus]  
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TunerJeff Offline
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It does not harm the piano to tilt all the way on end. It is just a big and heavy wooden box to the movers. It is not unusual, with a staircase landing, to pop the piano onto a moving blanket on-end and then turn or push the piano to the next flight or set of stairs. Won't hurt it a bit.

If you are not sure, have the movers take a look before the move! The cardboard-model is also good...but people have to have room to muscle the piano around, too. It is dimensional for the box AND the fingers moving it. So, a model may help...but consider the geometry of the bodies lifting and carrying, too.

I watched professional movers hand-carry a piano up a flight of stairs. 'Two Guys' in San Francisco; these were professional wrestlers with those arms that can't go down by their sides, no necks, and weight-lifting belts strapped on their barrel-like bodies. Dude wrapped a leather strap around the piano lengthwise and put his head into the end(....really!) and proceeded to lift the piano onto his back. The second fellow was just wobble-control as the first 300-lb. ball of muscle WALKED up the stairs with the full-size upright piano balanced on his back. Incredible. Pianos can fit in amazing places...and sometimes not in others.

Good Luck!
Sincerely,


Jeffrey T. Hickey, RPT
Oregon Coast Piano Services
TunerJeff440@aol.com
#2079449 - 05/08/13 05:55 PM Re: Test for determining if piano will fit up stairs. [Re: Gomtorus]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 389
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
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Nash. Piano Rescue  Offline
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East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
Build a cardboard or foam mock up of the piano you want to move up the stairs . This is what we do if we are not sure. It's light cheap and easy to make.

Another factor that should always be considered and people get hurt all the time not knowing this but you need to calculate ALL the weight on the stairs. This would be of course the piano, the people moving it, the equipment etc.


J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
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#2079495 - 05/08/13 08:32 PM Re: Test for determining if piano will fit up stairs. [Re: Nash. Piano Rescue]  
Joined: Aug 2004
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TimR Offline
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Virginia, USA
When we first moved to Minnesota, we lived in a second floor apartment over retail space on Main Street.

We hired a local farmer. Two people showed up, a strapping blond farm kid who was about 6'2" and 220 pounds or so, and his dad who was a scrawny 110 pounds and seemed to be at least 70 years old (to my eyes at the time).

The kid grabbed the piano and tipped it up. The old geezer squatted. The kid balanced it on his dad's back, and the old guy walked up the stairs with it. You betcha.

Those Scandinavian farmers from the old country were tough. Okay, it wasn't a huge piano, but still.

When I supervised maintenance for housing we sometimes removed a window frame and put something big in that way. It might be a bit expensive but there can be more than one way to get something up stairs.


gotta go practice
#2079512 - 05/08/13 09:11 PM Re: Test for determining if piano will fit up stairs. [Re: Gomtorus]  
Joined: May 2012
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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Minnesota Marty  Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Rochester MN
Tim,

Was that Sven with his son Svensen, or Olie and his son Olesson?

Tey bote liv down the road frem me, eh.

Last edited by Minnesota Marty; 05/08/13 09:13 PM.

Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2079573 - 05/08/13 11:51 PM Re: Test for determining if piano will fit up stairs. [Re: Gomtorus]  
Joined: Nov 2008
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Greg the Piano Tuner Offline
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Greg the Piano Tuner  Offline
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Boston
Make sure you use insured, experienced movers! Twenty years ago the movers who were bringing my 6' Vose into the house had a mishap, sending one of the movers to the emergency room with a bad leg injury. He was okay, but if I had just hired a bunch of guys with a U Haul and a case of Bud I'd still be in court today.

#2079644 - 05/09/13 04:08 AM Re: Test for determining if piano will fit up stairs. [Re: Gomtorus]  
Joined: Mar 2008
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Olek Offline
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Olek  Offline
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France
[Linked Image]

Professionals work that way.

There is no advantage in putting the piano on the back of one man, it is of course dangerous, professional movers do not do that. (And I believe you did not understand well the technique used)



Last edited by Olek; 05/09/13 05:28 AM.

Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#2079705 - 05/09/13 07:58 AM Re: Test for determining if piano will fit up stairs. [Re: Olek]  
Joined: Aug 2004
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TimR Offline
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TimR  Offline
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Virginia, USA
Originally Posted by Olek
[Linked Image]

(And I believe you did not understand well the technique used)


I'm sure you are right. I was 5 years old. The image has remained with me for 55 years, though.

In my 20s I helped friends move pianos a number of times, and came to appreciate the weight and awkwardness. Never again! It's well worth hiring the pros.

The old guy who moved our piano was not a pro. The stairway was steep and narrow, but as you say I do not understand the technique and there may be better ways.

I've moved a number of times and in the US I've usually seen professional movers use dollies (hand carts) to get heavy appliances up and down stairs.

We did live in Germany for a few years, and I saw a moving technique there I was not familiar with. Two men would carry a refrigerator, stove, washer, etc., slung between them on a strap. They'd squat slightly, adjust the harness length, and stand up using leg muscles. Then they'd walk up those twisting German staircases. It looked far more efficient than the US dolly, which would have been impractical in most of those apartments.


gotta go practice

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