FAQ's on the Financial Considerations of Restoring a Piano
How much does it cost to restore a piano?
Costs vary widely, depending on which restoration operations are required. Reconditioning or partial restoration might cost $2,000 to $10,000. Comprehensive restoration would typically range from $20,000 to $45,000. After inspecting a piano for potential restoration, we provide a detailed written itemized estimate. In some areas, we can present different options for the owner to consider in selecting the combination of work.
Isn't it cheaper to just buy a new piano?
Buying a new piano may indeed be the best option where restoration costs may exceed the potential value of moderate to low quality pianos. Professional quality restoration work is very labor intensive, and therefore costly. This is true for pianos and other items considered valuable enough to restore. Restoration may cost more than purchasing a new piano of similar size and type. Many times restoration cannot compete economically with efficiencies found in modern mass production facilities. Professional and Artist grade grands built today may cost $30,000 to well over $100,000. Comprehensive restoration for instruments in this category is very cost effective. Generally, a high quality piano is a better investment to purchase or restore.
What influences the value of a piano?
The value of a piano is really based upon its utility as a musical instrument. Pianos are often regarded as a piece of furniture or an art object. And of course, they are both of these things. Yet they yield their highest value when all mechanical and structural systems as well as the visual esthetics are in excellent condition. Quality of work and materials greatly influence the value of a piano. Ultimately, we enter the subjective realm of individual taste, preferences, needs and desires. Matching the piano to the owner's needs is essential.
Is it a good investment to buy or restore an older piano?
The value of a piano is influenced by many factors, including the local market conditions. The purchase or restoration of a quality piano should be viewed as a long-term investment. The real "investment value" is that of artistic expression and development, the satisfaction of owning a lovely instrument. Historically, good quality pianos have held their value well over time.
Can a restored piano be sold for a price that equals or exceeds its costs?
A piano is a very "non-liquid" asset. Selling a piano at a favorable price in a short time period is not always possible. The same limitations that apply to the sale of artworks, antique furniture and collectibles, real estate and automobiles also apply to pianos. A fine piano's economic value may rise over time, but this should not be the primary consideration. One strength shared by all high quality pianos is their remarkably long service life, when compared with other things people own and use. New pianos experience initial depreciation in resale value, since they immediately become "used" and cannot be sold for as high a price as when new, sold by a dealership.