April 22, 2019

What Is Piano Restoration, and Is It Worth the Cost?

A full piano restoration of a Bethesda instrument is an excellent option for anyone with an older and severely damaged keyboard, and for pianos that need more than a simple tuning and minor repairs. Rebuilding a piano can restore its appearance and sound and even its value, all of which can be well worth the cost of restoration work.

Piano restoration or rebuilding is needed if an instrument is severely damaged and requires extensive repairs and the replacement of many major parts. Restoring a piano is worth the cost if you use the piano consistently or if the brand and model is especially valuable.

To understand if restoration is worth the cost for your piano, you might note what is involved in this work, and why a piano might need restoring or rebuilding. It's also good to understand a bit more about the details involved in any Bethesda piano repair and tuning work, so you know why you don't want to attempt to manage this work on your own! Consider some vital information about restoring an old upright piano and rebuilding other varieties of piano so your instrument always sounds its best and retains its value over the years.

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What Is Involved in a Piano Restoration?

Fully restoring a piano is much more difficult and complicated than just replacing a few broken wires and other minor parts, or giving it a good cleaning and tuning. Full restoration and rebuilding work often involves many hours, if not even days or weeks of work. Piano restoration technicians in Bethesda need to understand each part of the piano, including how to restore ivory piano keys and other parts not commonly use today. Note some steps typically involved in restoring a piano:

  • The action of a keyboard is adjusted and rebuilt. A piano's action refers to the parts that work to press hammers onto strings, to create sound. These parts include the keys, hammers, dampers and their levers, and other such pieces. For many pianos, there are some 8000 parts involved in the keyboard's action!
  • The soundbox often needs full rebuilding. This soundbox is the belly of the keyboard and includes its bridges, strings, soundboard, pins and pin block, parts of the dampers, and other such structural pieces inside the piano. A soundbox can quickly dry out and crack over time so that these parts don't function as they should; the pin block might not hold the pins in place properly as this happens, as an example.
  • A piano might need restringing. Note that piano wires are made from metal and not fabric or another type of corded material, so that these wires might eventually rust, pit, or show similar signs of wear and fatigue. Simply tightening overly worn and damaged strings won't restore their use and sound.
  • The cabinet or body of a piano can wear out with age, and sections might even separate from each other. Refinishing the cabinet can be very time-consuming and expensive, but a solid piano body, shaped properly and without any worn and warped parts, is needed to support the inner workings of a piano. Note, too, that the appearance of a keyboard often affects its value, which is why repairing the piano body is a vital part of piano restoration work.

Each Bethesda piano restoration or rebuilding project will vary according to the extent of damage to the piano, the number of parts that need replacing versus repair, and the size and model of the keyboard as well. These factors also affect the cost to restore a piano and the time needed for the project.

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Is Every Piano a Good Candidate for Restoration?

While every piano needs consistent tuning and minor repairs, not every instrument is necessarily a good candidate for a full restoration. The amount of work required to rebuild a piano in Bethesda can make this service quite expensive, and sometimes equal the work needed to build an entirely new keyboard!

However, restoration is an excellent choice for particularly expensive pianos and those used for performance, instruction, and the like. Note a few considerations to keep in mind when determining if your piano is a good candidate for restoration and if it’s worth your potential piano restoration cost in Bethesda:

  • Consider the name brand of your keyboard. Classic brands such as Baldwin, Emerson, Kimball, and Steinway may retain their resale value over time, whereas models such as Yamaha and Kawai may not be as valuable.
  • Consider the age of the piano as well, no matter its brand. While a select few newer pianos are made with high-quality parts and precision, many musical instruments and pianos especially made in the last few decades have a large number of low-quality, factory-made parts, and might not have much resale value. On the other hand, antique pianos might have a higher value simply due to their age and craftsmanship.
  • Handmade pianos might offer intricate, unique detailing along the box and legs, so they may have quite a bit of value after being restored or rebuilt.
  • What is the use of the piano? If you only want a keyboard for an occasional hobby, you might find that buying a new, cheap model will suffice for your needs. However, if you perform professionally, it might be good to invest in having a piano restored so you know you'll end up with a quality keyboard that offers the rich sound you expect.
  • Consider, too, if there are personal reasons to invest in an antique piano restoration or repair job. For example, a piano that has been in the family for generations, one that was owned or used by a particular celebrity or historical figure, or one rescued from a specific area might have personal meaning to you. Unique pianos, such as a player piano with punched-paper music rolls, might also be more valuable than you expect, so the investment of a full restoration is then worth the cost.

Related Questions

How often should you tune a piano?

Most pianos require professional tuning about twice per year. However, piano teachers may want to consider more frequent tuning, and professional musicians should consider having their pianos tuned before any concert or other performance.

Does rebuilding a piano always increase its value?

Piano restoration in Bethesda can make a piano usable once again, but whether or not a keyboard can then be resold for a profit will depend on its model, year of manufacture, the current market demands, and other such factors. Speak with a piano reseller for specific information about your piano's resale potential.

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