Removals - if it sounds too good to be true ..?


Über Member
I feel this is an odd forum to ask such a question but can't think of any other forum I use that seems more suitable and likely to lead to useful responses!

I'm moving flat in a couple of weeks and have been phoning around to get a few 'man with van' type quotes as I'm moving pretty much down the road (both flats Notts city centre) and don't have much stuff to move - a one-bed flat's worth of furniture so one bedroom and one small living room's worth of bits.

Best quote I got was for £50, which was surprisingly cheap, although I'd have to help out. Seems ok.

However I also have an old upright piano to move too, so thought I'd get separate quotes from specialists to move that - cost me about £50 or so to get that moved and although the move was longer distance, it was ground floor to ground floor. This time however it's ground floor to a first floor flat with no lift access, so it'll have to go up stairs. Best quote I got was ... wait for it ... £200!

Phoned back the man with van company and they said they'd do the paino too for an extra ... £30. I did say you have done pianos before, right? They said yes plenty of times, I did say it was up some stairs, right? Oh really oh yeah that's ok if you help us out.

This is the website of the company:

Am I going to end up with a broken back / piano / staircase / wall or see a van drive off from my old flat never to be seen again?


Legendary Member
Right said Fred
Both of us together
One each end and steady as we go

Tried to shift it
Couldn't even lift it
We was getting nowhere
And so
Had a cup of tea and

Right said Fred
Give a shout to Charlie
Up comes Charlie from the floor below

After straining
Heaving and complaining
We was getting nowhere
And so
Had a cup of tea and

Charlie had a think and he thought we ought
To take off all the handles
And the things wot held the candles
But it did no good
Well I never thought it would

Right said Fred
Have to take the feet off
To get them feet off wouldn't take a mo

Took its feet off
Even took the seat off
Should have got us somewhere but no!
So Fred said let's have another cup of tea
And we said

Right said Fred
Have to take the door off
Need more space to shift the so-and-so

Had bad twinges
Taking off the hinges
And it got us nowhere
And so
Had a cup of tea and

Right said Fred
Have to take the wall down
That there wall is gonna have to go

Took the wall down
Even with it all down
We was getting nowhere
And so
Had a cup of tea and

Charlie had a think and he said look Fred
I've got a sort of feeling
If we remove the ceiling
With a rope or two
We could drop the blighter through

Right said Fred
Climbing up a ladder
With his crowbar gave a mighty blow

Was he in trouble
Half a ton of rubble
Landed on the top of his dome!
So Charlie and me had another cup of tea
And then we
Went home
Spoken: I said to Charlie, we'll just have to leave it standing on the landing, that's all. You see the trouble with Fred is, he's... he's too hasty. Now you never get nowhere if you're too hasty.


Legendary Member
Thanks numbnuts - that was good!

Re the OP, it's probably kosher, but I would ask the company who they propose to send, 'cos my guess is, they haven't actually ever shifted a piano ('how hard can it be?') and have in truth no idea how hard/heavy it can be. If they send, literally, a man and a van, your piano will remain resolutely grounded.

["Dad, d'you know the pianer's on my foot?"
"You 'um it son, I'll play it."]


Have you checked out man+van's insurance - for your property, the buildings, third parties and yourself? I wouldn't entrust my stuff to anyone who wasn't properly insured.

Mind you, having said that, we moved house a while ago with a reputable insurer and when they caused some minor damage to something we read the small print and found out that we had effectively purchased our own insurance policy as part of the price we paid them, so we would need to claim against this ourselves and pay an excess!


Cost of piano removal too low IMO. I moved my own and it only had to go to a ground floor. Getting it up one step and through the door without damaging either the floor, step or door was nigh on impossible. I would never have got it up a set of stairs without specialist equipment. Do you think they can without damaging either the piano, stairs or carpet?


Active member of Helmets Are Sh*t Lobby
Crackle said:
Don't move the piano yourself, get someone who knows what they are doing, £200 sounds reasonable.
+1 they are chuffing heavy and awkward and will leave a tram line on your floor if you try and push them. I last paid £ 160 about 12 years ago when we moved and that was for a piano and full size electric organ (down Fnaar) and that was well worth it.

They sent 2 blokes the size of Geoff Capes as well as what looked like a scissor lift on wheels.


Corn Fed Hick...
...on the slake
[quote name='swee'pea99']"Dad, d'you know the pianer's on my foot?"
"You 'um it son, I'll play it."[/QUOTE]



Well-Known Member
My first move was local , from a 1st floor flat to a house. I hired a high sided 'Transit' type van and did the job myself in a morning with the help of a friend.

I subsequently acquired an upright piano free. All I had to do was get it home. It was in a house on what you might call the upper ground floor , i.e. the piano had to be taken down some outside steps.
I hired a man with a van. (Very long time ago so cost would be meaningless even if I could remember it). We got the piano down the steps on to the pavement and then realised it was too tall to fit through the rear doors of the van !
Being two indomitable , healthy , sturdy young chaps we lifted the piano up , tilted it by about 15 degrees and loaded it in that manner. Unloading had to be done in the same way of course , but we exercised our newly acquired skills and completed the job OK.
As he left , the guy laughed and said that he would know to charge a bit more next time he was asked to move a piano.
I would echo the point about care of floors and particularly cills.


My Library

John the Monkey

Frivolous Cyclist
We've done three moves - one we did by hiring a van (bloody nightmare, took forever, lesson learned).

The next we had a "Man & Van" job - it was fine, but position regarding insurance was a bit unclear, don't think we'd do it again.

Last one was with a removals company - I'd have paid more to not have them drumming their fingers & being so obviously impatient while we waited for the keys, and then leave a rooms worth of stuff that we had to shift ourselves.


pre-talced and mighty
I have moved an upright piano twice, but it was an old one, and I was prepared to take the risk. They're not so fantastically heavy. Four people carried it to the front door (we didn't have a trolley). You need four people on the stairs, and you've got to fix a timber runner to the stairs, put a blanket over the runner and have the two at the top hauling on a rope which has got to be tied off every few steps.

All of which reminds me. My first wife must still have it. Twenty years and enough is enough. I want it back.

However.....I did once live with a pianist and she hired a 5 foot baby grand. Now, those suckers are fantastically heavy. It was a Bosendorfer (?). The specialists comprised one elderly gent and a young man I took to be his grandson. The grandson wasn't an intellectual, but he was huge. Two metres tall, and barely able to fit up te stairway....... He spoke slowly, moved slowly, but, dear God above, when he started lifting the bottom end of this thing it was awe-inspiring. The old guy simply gave directions and a bit of encouragement.


Über Member
Thanks for all the response guys. Man, this is getting depressing :angry:

I love my piano, it's worth a reasonable amount, and I cannot afford £250-300 to move. I flat out do not have the money. Especially as I may be moving again in six months time. I fear my only options may be scrap the piano, or pull out of the move and find a flat with a lift. But maybe I'm just thinking the worst.

Snakehips: was this a proper full on cast iron framed upright or more of a decorative purposes rather than playable wooden framed job?
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