Tag Archives: Piano Removals

House & Piano Removal Customer Feedback Jun-Aug 17

Check out some of the reviews we received for our house removals and piano removals services from the last few months. All the reviews are independently verified and are authentic customer comments. A massive thank you to all our customers who took the time to provide this hugely valuable feedback.

House Removal Feedback Faversham KentPiano Removal Review – Faverhsam Kent 15 August 17

Extremely competent skillful removers. Took endless care to avoid damage to house walls and instrument, which was very heavy.

House Removal Feedback DorsetHouse Removal Review from Kent to Dorset 8 August 17

The team of removal people were very friendly, courteous and polite and we were so happy that they took the time to check details with us and ask questions. It meant the move was much less stressful than it could have been.


Whitstable house removal feedbackHouse Removal Review Whistable Kent 27 July 17

The whole process was incredibly stress free. Everything went smoothly. Chris and Steven were an absolute delight. Friendly but professional, going the extra mile to ensure I was happy.

Everything was packed up and installed in my new home speedily but with care. I hadn’t imagined that the process would be so pleasurable but it was!

Customer review of house removal from Kent to NewportHouse Removal Review from Kent to Newport 20 July 17

The company made on 3 day removal as smooth as they could. They were helpful and courteous under trying conditions. We would have no hesitation in recommending them.

Kent house removal customer reviewHouse Removal Review – Sissinghurst Kent 18 July 17

We have had 8 moves in the last 20 years and this was the best by a mile. Chris H and Mark were brilliant!! We will certainly be recommending your company.

Many thanks Rob and Jill.


Sandwich house removal customer reviewHouse Removal Review – Sandwich Kent 11 July 17

The all round service was excellent. The team kept us informed and did what they said they would. Packing, loading and unloading were all smooth and efficient.


Customer comments on our house removal in Maidstone KentHouse Removal Review – Maidstone Kent 12 June 17

The Colin batt team were very professional, courteous super efficient in packing removal and safe delivery of our belonged to our new house on a hot day.



Feedback from a house removal Maidstone KentHouse Removal Review – Maidstone Kent 1 June 17

Steve and Walter were fantastic crew who made this move as easy and stress free as possible. Would recommend!



Check out all of our reviews at http://www.referenceline.com/removers_removals_companies-in-ashford-colinbattremovals-15104

Piano Care Top Tips

Over the years we have gleaned loads of piano care top tips and advice from pianists, manufacturers, tuners and shop owners. So here is the best piano care top tips from the piano industry to help keep your pride and joy in brilliant health.

Piano Care Top Tips #1 – Location

Try and position your piano on an internal wall away from direct sunlight. External walls vary more in temperature than internal walls. If you can keep pianos away from windows as UV light can bleach the piano casing. Also try and keep your piano away from any sources of direct heat or cold e.g. a radiator or air conditioning unit. If you need to place you piano next to a radiator consider turning it off or at least turning it down. We will happily move your piano to any location in your home so think about the best place for your piano to enjoy it, play it and keep it in the best condition.

Piano Care Top TipsPiano Care Top Tips # 2- Humidity

A piano is made of natural materials such as wood, felt, cloth and leather. As such it expands and contracts with variations in temperature and more importantly humidity. The natural materials will swell or shrink as the relative humidity goes up or down and this can affect the sound of the piano.  For instance, felt will absorb water if the humidity increases which can dull the action, piano strings can rust and keys can expand and become sticky. In the worst case large and regular humidity changes can cause cracks in the sound board or loosen the tuning pins.

A piano does not like being in an overly damp or an excessively dry environment, therefore it is helpful if you can keep your piano in a room that holds a fairly constant humidity. For instance, try and avoid placing your piano near an external door. To help maintain the humidity you may also wish to consider buying a piano humidifier or a cheaper option is to keep a small jar of water underneath or inside the piano. Just remember to move the water jar before the piano movers arrive!

Piano Care Top TipsPiano Care Top Tips #3 – Cleaning

Dust can dull the hammer action and affect the sound of the piano. Most experts recommend you dust your piano every other week using a feather duster or soft cloth. Never use chemical cleaners or alcohol to clean the piano. If you need to clean the piano use only mild soap and water and use a well wrung out damp cloth. Avoid using any water on the internal parts of the piano.

Piano Care Top Tips #4 – Vases and Displays

We would recommend you avoid placing items on the top of the piano. These can cause poor tone or vibrations whilst you are playing. Heavy items placed on the lid may mark the piano case. Vases filled with water could obviously spill, causing water damage to the case, strings, hammer or action.

Protecting-Beethovens-PianoPiano Care Top Tips #5 – Piano Storage

If you need to store your piano, for instance if you are temporarily emigrating or down sizing whilst you decorate, you should look for a professional piano mover and storage expert to take care of you instrument. Just like in your home your piano will need to be protected from UV, temperature and humidity changes to keep it in the best of condition. Any professional piano mover will be able to offer you a range of piano storage services to meet your needs and budget. From standard storage to climate-controlled storage, where the temperature and humidity are maintained at optimum conditions, there are many storage options. In addition, if you are storing a grand piano you should consider storing the piano on its legs, this is how the piano was designed to be kept. However, storing a grand piano in this way does cost more, as it takes up more space, so most professional piano movers offer an option to store your grand piano on its side. This is perfectly safe and may be a better value for money option for you.

Piano Care Top Tips #6 – Piano Tuning

Your piano is a living instrument and as such it needs a check-up every so often. The piano will slowly go out of tune over time, whether it is used or not. As such it is recommended that you get your piano tuned every 6 months. If you have a brand new piano this increases to 4 times in the first year, as the new strings stretch more in the first 12 months as they bed in. Leaving a piano out of tune for a prolonged period of time can permanently alter the pitch of the piano or require major re-tuning to bring it back to concert pitch. To avoid this expense and stress for the piano go for regular tuning. You should also consider getting you piano tuned when it is stored, the effects of time on the pitch and tune apply to pianos in store as well as time at home. To find a reputable piano tuner in Kent, Sussex or London check out – piano-tuners.org.

Piano Care Top Tips - Piano Tuning

Pianos are such special and beautiful instruments. To keep them in the best of condition they need to be looked after and cared for. A small amount of preparation will help you choose and maintain the best environment for the piano. Regular, careful cleaning will help keep the look and tone while professional tuning will keep the pith perfect throughout its life. If you look after your piano it will provide many years of joy for you and your family. By applying these piano care top tips you will keep your beautiful instrument sounding and looking great.

We’re in the Press – Removals Firm’s Great Reputation

Happy New Year from all of us at Colin Batt Removals Firm and we hope you had a great Christmas. While you were enjoying some well earned time off you may have sat down with the Kentish Express on Christmas Eve and seen a great article on us. We’re very excited that the Kentish Express journalists wanted to write a piece on us and found our removals firm story interesting.

Removals Firm Reputation Article Kentish ExpressWe’re really proud of our history and our reputation. We have worked hard to grow and nurture this from the very first day that Colin Batt started the Company back in 1978. We have grown a lot since those early days but the Removals Firm is still family owned by Simon Batt and now covers house removals, piano moves, storage and document archive. In fact, we have a new and expanded store on Maidstone Road in Ashford, Kent.

If you missed the article or didn’t get a copy of the Kentish Express here is a copy of the great editorial.

The Removals Firm that knows Reputation is Key

By Aiden Barlow abarlow@thekmgroup.co.uk @aidanbarlowKM

An RAF Typhoon fighter pilot turned businessman says business is booming after his removals firm completed the purchase of new premises.

Simon Batt, 39, took over Colin Batt Removals from his father just over three years ago alongside childhood friend Andrew Urquhart.

As a Royal Air Force pilot and father of one he is keeping alive the family business that his father started in Challock in 1978.

The company originally prided itself on being one of the best at moving musical instruments such as pianos and has even carried out work for the Royal Household and moved Beethoven’s piano across Europe.

But now Mr Batt says things are really moving after he took over the Move-It Storage Warehouse in Maidstone Road off the A20.

He said: “We have pretty much doubled our workforce and completed our move to the new location. So we’re really pleased with the progress, especially given the growth of the business even when the economy has been fairly stagnant.

“My father started the business, but my passion while I was growing up was always for flying. I met Andrew in the RAF Air Cadets as youngsters and we’ve been friends ever since.

“We thought it would be a good idea to work together here with him managing the business day to day while I finish my career in the RAF.

“We’re very lucky that my father built such a great company with a great reputation. He started it as a piano-moving business on his own with a van.

“It included for the Spencer family and later for Royals including Prince Charles.”

He said the business grew such a big reputation that musical performers like Duran Duran and Elton John also used the company’s services.

But the greatest honour was perhaps moving Beethoven’s famous piano from a museum in Hungary to tour Europe.

Mr Batt said: “It is insured for about £7 million, but it is 175 years old so it is really priceless.

“Moving it was a fantastic accolade for the business and we’re all really proud of it.”

His friend Andrew had left the Air Training Corps to pursue a golfing career.

He said: “I came on board to help push the company forward, so when we took over the Move-It site it presented a big opportunity and we had to grab it with both hands.”

Kentish Express - Removals Article

Piano Moving Training

Piano MovingPiano Moving Training

Piano Removals are not easy and are not for the feint hearted, this is why piano removal moving is essential for safety and efficiency. Moving an £80 000 instrument that weighs 350kg takes strength, skill and brains, especially when you’re taking it up a flight of stairs or using a crane to put it through a third-story window. It is also not for the uninitiated or untrained and that is why all of our team at Colin Batt Removals get extensive and regular piano moving training.

Piano Moving Training Equipment

We have our own training pianos which we use to demonstrate and practice the techniques and skills required to safely and efficiently carry out a piano removal. We continually refresh the basics so that the whole team have a strong foundation of understanding; such as how to wrap a grand piano, where the balance points are on an upright and how to handle a harpsichord. We then cover more complex and specific items so that all our staff have an unrivalled knowledge of everything to do with piano removals.

Piano MovingTeamwork

Moving a piano takes teamwork, you can’t move a 9’ concert grand on your own. Piano removals also require trust, good communication and understanding, which our monthly piano moving training days are designed to develop and nurture. On every piano moving training day we recap on real world examples of difficult piano removals. For instance, how to take a piano up a spiral staircase or remove an antique piano’s weak legs. We even cover how to remove windows, build a piano crate for shipping and how to construct scaffolding to allow our teams to get your piano to wherever it needs to go.

Piano Moving Excellence

Our motto is ‘Where Service is Key’ and we pride ourselves on delivering bespoke piano removals. This is the reason we dedicate so much time to piano moving training and developing our skills. We believe this is why so many piano dealers, musicians and manufacturers ask us to move their instruments across the UK and the world. Call us to discuss your piano moving needs:

Ashford 01233 740395
Canterbury 01227 752901
Maidstone 01622 235630

Top 10 Best Piano Makers

Who are the Best Piano Makers in the World?

We move thousands of pianos each year and often get asked who are the best piano makers. There are hundreds of piano makers in the world but only a few have the quality and history to stand out and be claimed as the world’s best piano makers.

There is no scientific metric that can be used to measure the true quality and value of these beautiful instruments. It is a combination of the tone, sound, action, history and passion that imbues each instrument. The best piano makers build timeless instruments that produce unrivalled sound, be that power, tone or range. As such choosing the best piano makers is a subjective assessment but over the years we have listened to the views of pianists, tuners, players and sellers and compiled this combined wisdom into our list of the world’s best piano makers.

In no particular order, here are our Top 10 Piano Makers:


Best Piano MakersBösendorfer is one of the oldest luxury piano makers in the world, having started in Vienna, Austria in 1828. Ignaz Bösendorfer founded the company and was endowed with the honour of “official piano maker” to the Emperor of Austria in 1830. Bösendorfer is famous for inventing the extension to the 88-key keyboard with the Imperial Grand that boasts a 97-key keyboard, giving 8 octaves. This extra range made the Imperial Grand one of the most loved concert grands in the world, which continues to this day. The extra keys were so popular that Bösendorfer have extended the keyboard on many of their range.

“We are world famous for our quality, our outstanding richness of tone colour and our typical pure and inspiring sound. Acquiring a Bösendorfer is a lifetime dream for many people. For them, we build something very special, with devotion and professionalism: the Bösendorfer among the grands”

Bösendorfer offer luxury and exclusive pianos, they make only a few hundred pianos a year and each piano is handmade.  Their pianos are known for a darker or richer sound than the purer but less full-bodied sound of other pianos.



Best Piano MakersAnother great piano manufacturer from Germany, this time Leipzig. In 1853 Julius Blüthner started the company that is still run and managed by the Blüthner family. Forty-seven years later Blüthner had become the largest piano maker in Germany, producing over 5000 instruments a year. Blüthners are still renowned for their quality and a clear tone.  Wilhem Kempff, the acclaimed pianist, praised their pianos as ‘precise’ and having ‘unrivalled beauty’.

A Blüthner grand was the first piano to be used in an airborne recital, the company had built a piano for the famous airship Hindenburg which crossed the atlantic with the piano. World War Two impacted the piano maker quite heavily and their factory was destroyed by an air raid in 1943, fortunately it was rebuilt in 1945.

Over the years and to this day Blüthner has built and maintained a reputation of outstanding quality. Blüthner pianos have been purchased and played by Queen Victoria, Listz, Brahms, Tsar Nicholas II, Rachmaninov, and Tschaikovsky.

Blüthner have been awarded no less than 5 gold medals by the Leipzig Fair for their handcrafted and stunning pianos. If you can’t afford one of their premium instruments Blüthner also offer two other ranges, the Heassler and Irmler ranges.


Steinway & Sons

Best Piano MakersSteinway & Sons are possibly the most well known and revered piano manufacturer in the world. Every Steinway & Sons piano takes over a year to be built by their master craftsman and each piano is made of more than 12,000 parts. Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg began making pianos in his kitchen in Sessen, Germany at the ripe old age of 20. Twenty-five years after building his “kitchen” piano and 482 instruments later Heinrich decided to move to America. In New York, the now Henry E Steinway founded possibly the most famous of our piano makers, Steinway & Sons with his family in 1853.

Steinway & Sons are considered the founders of the modern piano and have127 patents to their name to date.1700 professional pianists swear by their Steinway & Sons piano and many other musical institutions use them. Steinway & Sons still build pianos in New York and also have a factory in Hamburg. The company produce grand and Upright pianos and also have two bespoke lines called Crown jewels and Custom for the customer who wants a real statement piece.

“Each Steinway grand piano a unique masterpiece produced by the hands of craftsmen. We take our time in production – everything is done quietly and with care.”

Steinways & Sons have received awards from New York, Paris and many organisations for the quality of their pianos.  This does mean that their pianos are not cheap but the good news is that if you can’t afford a Steinway & Sons then the company also produce two more affordable brands, Essex and Boston. Essex is Steinway’s entry-level brand and Boston is aimed at the mid-level market.



Best Piano MakersBechstein are celebrated for producing pianos with great tone and beauty. As with all the elite piano makers listed here, Bechstein handcraft each of their instruments. Remarkably Bechstein is another German piano manufacturer that was formed in 1853, this time in Berlin. Carl Bechstein built his first piano for the vigorous and energetic player as well as the subtle and delicate pianist.

In 1885 Bechstein had grown and opened a store in London and the allure of the manufacturer was massively enhanced when Queen Victoria bought a gilded Beckstein grand. The London store grew to be the largest showroom in Europe and the company went on to build the Bechstein Hall, what we now call the Wigmore Hall. Many other stars and artists have been supporters of the brand including the Beatles, Elton John and Freddy Mercury.

Claude Debussey said “One should only write piano music for Bechstein”.

In 1992 Beckstein moved from Berlin to their current location in Seifhennersdorf. Since then Bechstein have invested over £18million on new technology and design to keep Bechstein at the forefront of piano design. The passion and dedication to perfection are second to none within the Bechstein family. The Technical Director has his staff individually select each hammer shank for the treble, middle or bass areas dependant on the shank’s natural pitch.

Beyond the tonal qualities of their pianos, Bechstein have become known as the creators of the one-of-a-kind art case piano. This is where craftsman individually embellish and decorate the piano cases to make individual and unique piano cases. So you not only get a great sounding instrument, it is also a piece of art in its own right. In fact some of Bechstein’s art case pianos are museum pieces.


Piano removals

We specialise in piano removals, having moved some of the world’s most expensive and unique instruments including Beethoven’s Fortepiano.


Best Piano MaketsAlthough the company only began in 1981, Paulo Fazioli has created one of the best piano makers in the world. As a concert pianist and the son of a famous cabinet maker Paulo Fazioli had the perfect background to create a unique piano. He went well beyond this with a passion to create an instrument with unrivalled touch and tone and without compromise. Simply put Paulo Fazioli wanted to make the best piano money could buy.

“To produce grand and concert grand pianos exclusively, aiming for the highest quality with no concern for large production”

Built in Italy these pianos don’t come cheap, their price tag ranges from $100,00 to as much as $300,000. That is a lot of money but the company only produce between 120 and 130 pianos a year, they even make a 24-carat gold leaf piano. However, Fazioli only make grands or concert grand pianos, they do not build upright pianos. Also, don’t try and move their largest concert grand piano on your own, the beautiful F308 weighs a massive 570kg and measures over 10 feet in length.

This young piano maker has really made a mark producing exquisite instruments with an unrivalled reputation and respect. If you can afford it a Fazoili is a really beautiful instrument and, given the low production numbers, has a real potential to be a great investment.


Shigeru Kawai

Best Piano MakersShigeru Kawai is a bespoke brand that span out of the Kawai Piano stable. Kawai pianos was founded in 1927 by Koichi Kawai, his son Shigeru took on the company and built on his father’s dream of building the world’s finest piano. Nothing but the finest quality pianos come out of this premier Japanese piano maker.

“The passion, the honour, the soul.”

Shigeru Kawai pianos are a blend of traditional craftsmanship, technical innovations and state-of-the-art materials. The soundboards are built using 10-year aged wood from the rare Ezo Spruce that is found in snow-shrouded mountains of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. This is combined with a piano action, the Millennium III, which is made from modern composite. This action has received many plaudits, with some saying the Millennium III is the most significant development for the piano in our generation – some accolade.

All Shigeru pianos have a supremely rich tonal depth and fewer than 250 pianos are produced each year which bear the name Shigeru Kawai. Every piano is a personal legacy of the Kawai family, you will see not just the labour and love but part of Shigeru Kawai’s life, one of the truly great piano makers.


Mason and Hamlin

Best Piano Makers - Mason and HamlinIn 1854 two Massachusetts gentlemen, Henry Mason a classical pianist and Emmons Hamlin a great inventor, formed the Mason and Hamlin Company to manufacturer a new type of instrument that they called the Organ Harmonium. Their attention to detail, passion and limited production volumes proved immediately popular. From these early beginnings the team went on to win first prize for their American Cabinet Organ in the 1867 Paris Exhibition but it wasn’t until 1881 that the company turned their attention to pianos. At that time Mason and Hamiln’s pianos were the most costly to produce but widely considered the best in the world.

“Mason & Hamlin pianos have a mystique about them.”

Mason and Hamlin slowly lost their way after the Second World War but since they were bought by PianoDisc in 1996 they have regained there former glory as a leader in the world of piano makers. They are still the costliest pianos to build but once again they adorn many concert halls and musical institutes. With a focus on quality not quantity the 70 skilled craftsman produce 50 uprights and 300 grands a year. Each one is inspected no less than 12 times during its birth.


Stuart and Sons 

Best Piano MakersThe youngest of the piano makers on our list, Stuart and Sons started life in 1990 and herald from New South Wales, Australia. What they may lack in years they certainly make up with in home-grown passion and awards. What they are not is mass produced, according to their website to date Stuart & Sons have only built 55 pianos.

Stuart and Sons produce two grands, a studio grand and a concert grand (measuring 7.2’ and 9.5’ respectively) but these two models are made with various beautiful and rare natural timbers. You can get your grand piano made in Red Cedar, Tasmanian Sassafras or Tasmanian Huon Pine and they all look exquisite.

“A rare and beautiful instrument that respects tradition while embracing innovation.”

The Stuart and Sons pianos not only look good they really perform, the range of their instruments is immense with each piano having 97 or 102 keys. They claim that no other piano makers reaches as high pitch as can be reached on their instruments.



Best Piano MakersThe Schimmel brand began life in Leipzig in 1885 and will soon celebrate 130 years of piano production.  Wilhelm Schimmel was the founder of this stellar piano manufacturer, famed for the quality of the actions and tone of their pianos.  The Konzert range is the pinnacle of the pride and innovation that resides at the heart of every Schimmel instrument. Their Konzert upright model highlights this, Schimmel have produced an upright to emulate the tonal and performance qualities of a grand piano.

Schimmel produce their pianos using traditional techniques and their proprietary CAPE system (Computer Assisted Piano Engineering). The pursuit of perfection combined with a national heritage of 300 years building pianos allow Schimmel to proudly stand as one of the best piano makers in the world. In fact, Schimmel are now the largest and most awarded piano manufacturer in Germany.

In 1927 the company moved from Leipzig to what remains their home Braunschweig. Now with a fourth generation Schimmel at the helm, the legacy of artistry, passion and craftsmanship continue with this great piano manufacturer. Schimmel are renowned for timeless and tasteful piano casework designs. This combined with beautiful sound and touch endears them to their fans. Their glass grand piano was unveiled in 1951 and has since become a cult classic.


Grotrian Steinweg

Best Piano MakersGortrian Steinweg can trace its roots all the way back to 1835 when Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg  began building pianos. Theodor Steinweg was the son and heir to Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg who founded Steinway & Sons in America. Theodor Steinweg was joined by Friedrich Grotrian in 1853 after Friedrich returned from his music business in Moscow. This duo then went on to create another amazing piano maker from Germany.

“Build good pianos and the rest will take care of itself”

The company builds the astonishing Gotrian Duo. This is two grand pianos joined together so that they can be played as “one” instrument. Fortunately for us, you can split the piano into two to move it. This piano is a reflection of the philosophy which is at the heart of the company – A unique tone and love for music. Other Gotrian Steinweg innovations include the star-shaped back frame and a unique string scale that allows the hammers strike the strings at the optimal spot.

Gotrian Steiweg have been family piano makers for 157 years and the 6th generation of the family is still running the business. The longevity of this business can be traced back to the founding philosophy of uncompromised quality. The company now produce about 500 uprights and 100 grands a year.