Pianos are delicate instruments that need consistent tuning and maintenance. Fortunately certain professionals provide expert piano tuning and repairs. Costs depend on where you live, what kind of piano you have and its age. A frequently played piano requires tuning every few months, while a lightly played piano could go a year or more without tuning.
Some piano tuners will ask questions over the phone and give you an estimate; others require seeing and hearing the piano for themselves before they will offer a quote. If a piano can’t be tuned, some professionals offer inspection services for a fee to better understand what repairs are needed and how much they will cost.
Flat rate versus hourly
Some tuners charge a flat rate for their services. For example, Piano Doctor of McKinney, Texas, charges $85 for a standard piano tuning. Others charge by the hour. Most repairs are usually extra, with the exception of certain smaller ones. As a general rule, more expensive piano tuners will likely charge a flat rate, while less expensive pros might charge a la carte for various services.
Piano tuners offer a wide variety of services for various prices. Quality Piano Service of Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, offers the following common tuning and repair services:
Pitch correction: $15 to $150
Repairs: $50 per hour
Voicing: $150 to $600
Grand action reconditioning and regulation: $2,500 to $3,500
Vertical action reconditioning and regulation: $800 to $2,500
Soundboard cleaning: $100 to $150
Climate control installation: $450 to $800
Installation of under-covers: $250 to $350
String cover installation: $250 to $350
Grand action rebuilding: $5,000 to $8,000
Vertical action rebuilding: $4,000
- Evaluations: $100 to $250
New or recently restrung pianos require tuning more frequently than older pianos because the new strings are stretching. However, an older, neglected piano usually requires more extensive repairs and refinements before tuning, which will make the overall cost higher than with a standard tuning. Also, the more out of tune a piano, the more the tuning might cost.
Piano tuning and repair professionals charge different rates depending on where you are located. If the piano tuner must travel beyond a certain distance, he or she may charge a small travel fee.
Level of service
Some lower-priced tuners might simply readjust a piano’s strings. More meticulous (and expensive) professionals typically look at other aspects of the piano, such a squeaky foot pedal or a "sticky" key.
A select few piano tuners are certified as Registered Piano Technicians (RPTs), but that’s not necessarily a measure of their quality. Many unregistered piano tuners have as much experience and are just as outstanding.
Don’t waste your money getting a piano tuned until it’s been in its current location for three months, recommends Eddy Visser of Houston.