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Has anyone ever had this happen?
#3018583 08/28/20 09:26 AM
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Hi everyone,

So, I was able to agree to a price with a seller for a rather large grand piano (over 7 feet) in an apartment building on the 20th floor, penthouse suite. After asking around moving companies, and checking elevator dimensions. I am told that: "nope, we can't move your piano for you. Won't fit in the elevator. Sorry". The piano has been there since the building was built in the 1990's. The owners are selling it for a family member who has recently passed away. No one knows how the piano actually got into the apartment building.

I'm now being told about Cranes and possibly getting a tech to dissemble and reassemble the piano. Oh boy.

-grant

Re: Has anyone ever had this happen?
grantweep #3018587 08/28/20 09:40 AM
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Partial dismantling of the piano and using cranes are special situations that can certainly be done but it’s a test on how badly do you want that particular piano?

In other words moving that piano should weigh heavily in your purchase decision, sorry to say.


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Re: Has anyone ever had this happen?
grantweep #3018609 08/28/20 10:28 AM
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Wow, I can't imagine what it would cost to get that piano out of the building. I know someone in my building in NYC had a piano brought in through a window with a crane, on the second floor, I think, and I was told it cost $5k for the crane charge, and that was decades ago.

I think this a case of where the grand should convey with the apartment, lol. Buy the apartment.

Last edited by LarryK; 08/28/20 10:28 AM.
Re: Has anyone ever had this happen?
grantweep #3018626 08/28/20 11:04 AM
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My mover has put a grand on its keyboard (tail towards the ceiling) to get to fit inside an elevator. Make sure they consider that approach as well.


Professional Piano Technician serving the Tampa bay area. website: mckaigpianoservice.com
Re: Has anyone ever had this happen?
LarryK #3018636 08/28/20 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by LarryK
I think this a case of where the grand should convey with the apartment, lol. Buy the apartment.

grin

grantweep, have you discussed the moving problem with the sellers? Can you re-negotiate a new price that factors in the unexpected cost you're going to incur for moving it? Either way, I'm really sorry you have to deal with this!

If the sellers are selling the house, I would imagine they will be eager to get that piano out of there and so hopefully they'll be accommodating.

Not nearly as big as an issue, but when we bought this house, there was a hottub (an old, ugly, not well-maintained hottub, I should add) in the backyard. I had something put in writing that the sellers would remove the hottub before closing -- because I knew that if they didn't do it before closing, they wouldn't do it after closing and it would become my problem.

Well, on the day before closing, we drove by the house in the morning. The hottub was still there. I called my real estate agent and told her she needed to contact the seller and remind them of that stipulation. She did. The next morning it was still there (at maybe7am??) but when we went by the house (on the way to the attorney's for the closing appt.) the hottub was gone. And good thing because otherwise I would have (as they say) pitched a fit.
thumb

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 08/28/20 11:26 AM.

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Re: Has anyone ever had this happen?
grantweep #3018639 08/28/20 11:36 AM
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Curious how much is the piano? And is it very desirable? If it’s not very valuable or desirable maybe there’s really no point to spend so much money and effort trying to move it out.

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 08/28/20 11:37 AM.

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Re: Has anyone ever had this happen?
grantweep #3018640 08/28/20 11:38 AM
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I have heard of pianos being moved on top of elevator cars, but I do not know whether that is possible in this case.


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Re: Has anyone ever had this happen?
grantweep #3018642 08/28/20 11:48 AM
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Another thing, try to check with the dealer that sells that model. They may know how it was moved.

Last edited by BDB; 08/28/20 11:49 AM.

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Re: Has anyone ever had this happen?
grantweep #3018649 08/28/20 12:12 PM
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Several dealers and individual members have moved pianos by crane

It was discussed here
Crane discussion

Elevators and cranes

Re: Has anyone ever had this happen?
grantweep #3018650 08/28/20 12:13 PM
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I honestly don't think you have contacted the right piano movers yet. Surely this is not something that can't be done, (at a cost, of course) because it is already in the upper story apartment.

Not to diss the piano movers you've contacted already, but some businesses seem to get pleasure in telling you, no they don't, can't or won't do something, that is a service they offer; which is perfectly well within their right to do so, by-the-way.

As for disassembling the piano, nothing you can remove will shorten the length. Standing the piano on its front end/face/keyboard end, is an option, as someone has already mentioned.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Rick


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Re: Has anyone ever had this happen?
grantweep #3018670 08/28/20 01:26 PM
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The questions that haven't yet been answered: What is this piano? Is it a desirable one? How seriously does the OP want/need this instrument? Is it really impossible to move the piano? What will the moving cost be? Is it worth the cost of moving? Who pays for the move?

Let's find out the make, size and age of this instrument.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Has anyone ever had this happen?
grantweep #3018679 08/28/20 01:47 PM
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What city is this piano in? I remember seeing a New York Times photo story about the challenges of moving a piano in NYC. Here it is: The Miracle of Moving a Piano in New York City or "How do you get a 800-pound grand piano up a narrow staircase in a Harlem townhouse?". The movers were Beethoven Pianos in NYC.

Last edited by Sammy111; 08/28/20 01:48 PM.
Re: Has anyone ever had this happen?
Rickster #3018683 08/28/20 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
I honestly don't think you have contacted the right piano movers yet.

I share Rick's suspicion. Years ago when I was living in downtown Chicago the piano movers moved my piano standing vertically, keyboard down, on top of the elevator. It was not a problem and they had obviously done it before.

Larry.

Re: Has anyone ever had this happen?
Bill McKaig,RPT #3018727 08/28/20 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill McKaig,RPT
My mover has put a grand on its keyboard (tail towards the ceiling) to get to fit inside an elevator. Make sure they consider that approach as well.


I have done this personally myself. Making a secure skid and dollies under the front. The tricky part was getting the tail under the door opening. The dollies came out of course. It was a creative balancing act and the piano had to go in at a diagonal but it fit without problem and we were in and out of the elevator in 15 minutes.


-Bill L. - former tuner-technician
Re: Has anyone ever had this happen?
grantweep #3018757 08/28/20 05:26 PM
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The “on top of the elevator“ thing is really really scary to me....


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Re: Has anyone ever had this happen?
ShiroKuro #3018763 08/28/20 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
The “on top of the elevator“ thing is really really scary to me....

That’s reasonable

Tough problems sometimes require Creative solutions

If efficacious - I Love the idea


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Re: Has anyone ever had this happen?
grantweep #3018766 08/28/20 05:39 PM
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I want to see the insurance requirements for the move the piano on top of the elevator trick. I am sure the coop board of my building would tell me to go away if I proposed that solution.

I used to work in a warehouse in Brooklyn, building furniture on the weekend, and the people who worked there would routinely wedge the freight elevator up against the underside of the roof. There was not a hard stop besides the hard stop of the roof. The building paid an elevator operator to run the freight elevator during regular hours but too many people had somehow gotten the keys to the elevator and they would get it stuck as I described.

Last edited by LarryK; 08/28/20 05:40 PM.
Re: Has anyone ever had this happen?
LarryK #3018767 08/28/20 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by LarryK
I want to see the insurance requirements for the move the piano on top of the elevator trick. I am sure the coop board of my building would tell me to go away if I proposed that solution.

I was thinking this as well.


Started piano June 1999.
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Re: Has anyone ever had this happen?
grantweep #3020352 09/01/20 07:22 PM
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Thanks so much for all the advice and help guys. It was the 7'3" Bechstein from 1984. Really loved the sound, I thought I was a Steinway guy but I'm really glad you guys convinced me to branch out a bit and try all the pianos I could. I must have tried over 30 pianos in the span of a few weeks!

So, after some sleepless nights and uncertainty, we got a moving company to do an onsite check. They sent some extra men over and managed to barely fit it into the elevator. I think there must have been only a few inches left. They had to remove the lid. Otherwise, the move worked out well. The piano is now sitting in my house. You guys have all been great in guiding me through this piano purchasing journey. I had been playing on a 250$ CASIO weighted keyboard since 2012, so the transition has taken a bit to get used to. I have to take a break from the piano because of all the harmonics/tone that I am getting from the piano that I'm not used to on the keyboard. I got a huge headache from playing on it too much! The piano has gone out of tune a bit, which I understand is to be expected.

I live in Vancouver BC. I understand the climate is seen as fairly mild here...any suggestions on how to best care for the piano? I have forced air heating and I have set the temperature to 15 degrees. I really want to take good care of this piano.

-----


ShiroKuro: I was lucky to have gotten the sellers to agree to a price without accepting a deposit. So, if it turned out the piano needed a crane, I might have gone the route of re-negotiating the price with the sellers. And it would have been a lot easier to walk away if things didn't work out. Having recently purchased a property, I totally appreciate your anecdote!

Rickster: You were right...I think a lot of the companies I dealt with were afraid of the liability and refused to touch the piano. They all pointed me in the same general direction towards a company that seemed much more comfortable with these sorts of piano moves. It cost a bit more money to move in the end, but worth it. I am grateful for your advice.

BDB: I am really glad I didn't have to go down the route of piano on the elevator lid. I don't think I would have considered the option. While I really liked this piano, there were other pianos I was looking at that I would have happily purchased to avoid any potential headache of a move gone wrong :P

Re: Has anyone ever had this happen?
grantweep #3020362 09/01/20 07:57 PM
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Oh wow!! How exciting!!!! And I'm so glad you were able to get it moved. Professional piano movers are definitely worth it!!

Enjoy your new instrument!!!

Do share photos if you can! smile


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