Should I Rebuild My Piano?

The key to maintaining a piano is servicing its parts routinely. However, since there are so many mechanisms within a piano, they will inevitably wear down over time, creating more frequent problems. 

Eventually, there comes a point at which the defects in your piano make it less enjoyable to play. Finer tweaks and fixes stop being effective, and more significant repairs must take place. That’s when rebuilding a piano might be an option. In this article, we will answer your questions regarding piano rebuilding and whether it is right for you.

When do you need to Rebuild a Piano?

First, if you notice that most of your instrument’s parts are out of shape, then it is time for a rebuild. The rebuilding process can cover all of the parts of a piano, unlike more specific processes like action regulation. 

If you would like to preserve the value of your piano, then it is necessary to rebuild it. A piano will always deteriorate over time, and keeping it fit for playing will retain its value as well.

If a piano is of a valuable brand, it makes even more sense to keep it in shape. Certain models of pianos can rise in value. As long as you have done your research in determining if your model is sought after, then keeping it in shape now can become very useful in the future when a potential sale may come along.

What Parts Usually Get Rebuilt?


Put simply, the action of a piano is the mechanism of the hammers striking the strings after a key is pressed. After years of wear, the parts that make up a piano’s action begin to break down, causing sound and playability issues. Additionally, constant seasonal temperature and humidity changes will, over time, cause increased wear on the action of your piano. 

If your piano’s action is damaged, yet all other parts are working, then consider rebuilding only that specific region. If you would like to look further into the action of a piano, we have another article that you should check out.


The cabinet of a piano is the housing in which its mechanisms are located. A fully rebuilt cabinet can get very expensive as the wood must be either refinished or replaced. Many small piano shops also often have their cabinets painted elsewhere, adding onto the time this process takes. Despite these downsides, an investment into a rebuilt cabinet definitely pays off. A cabinet with brand new wood or finish is downright beautiful and will both add to the resale value and your enjoyment of your instrument.


Another commonly rebuilt portion of the piano is the soundbox, which is the region consisting of the piano’s soundboard, ribs, bridges, strings, etc. All of these components make up the quality of the piano’s sound. 

Over time, these parts can get easily damaged due to the pressure put on them by the strings and by environmental changes (temperature and humidity). A rebuilt soundbox will revive the sound of the piano, allowing it to have a fuller and richer tone. 

Cons of Piano Rebuilding 

If you’re looking to rebuild your piano, you will definitely have to consider several factors before making the big decision:


First, the cost. Piano rebuilding can get very expensive as it is a very large task. Premium brand pianos can cost up to $40,000 to rebuild. If you are willing to make the investment, be prepared to pay the price.


Additionally, piano rebuilding is a very lengthy process. Since the entirety of the piano’s mechanisms are being rebuilt, months can be taken at a time. If you are rebuilding to make a profit, which we will discuss in a bit, then do not expect to make a quick buck by having your piano rebuilt. You must put great consideration and planning into your decision before making it.

The Pros of Piano Rebuilding

However, rebuilding your piano can have several benefits as well.


Most obviously, the sound and playability of the piano will improve. The process will convert the piano into a beautifully playing instrument. If you choose the right piano shop, the degree of work that can be done to improve your piano is simply amazing.

An Heirloom for Years to Come

Additionally, if you have had a piano in your family across generations, rebuilding it will revitalize it, allowing you to keep it for years to come. For many people, their family’s piano is a prized possession; investing in a rebuilding is an investment in their family itself. A rebuilt piano will be able to last another generation of playing, if not more.

Resale Value Increase 

Lastly, rebuilding your piano typically yields increased resale value. If you are 

planning on selling your piano, rebuilding it (as long as the new resale price will exceed the cost of rebuilding) will provide you with a greater profit. However, as we’ll talk about in our next section, you have to be careful with choosing to rebuild. If you think you will have difficulties selling your piano after rebuilding, then it would be wiser to not do it in the first place.

Is Rebuilding Worth it?

In short, it really depends on the type of piano you own and how long you are willing to keep it. Since rebuilding the entire instrument can become very expensive, you will have to consider whether it will be a good investment. 

For instance, a cheaper piano or one of lesser quality is typically not a good candidate for rebuilding. Even after rebuilding, its resale value will still remain lower than the cost of the process itself.

You can speak with a knowledgeable technician to find out whether it will make sense to rebuild a piano. They will be able to guide you through the best solution. 

Another factor that you should consider is the length that you will own the piano after rebuilding it. Oftentimes, as a private seller, it is difficult to make a profit from a newly rebuilt piano. If you are not willing to sell through a store, It makes more sense to invest in a rebuilding in order to enjoy the piano for years on end.

This brings us to the next point: rebuilt pianos in retail stores are often considered to be like-new, whereas pianos from private sellers are perceived as used. It may be wise to look into selling your piano to a shop, where in turn you will make a greater profit on the rebuilding. 

Final Thoughts

If your piano is showing significant signs of wear across its parts, then you should consider a rebuilding. If this is the case, you should confirm that other processes like tuning or action regulation will not be able to restore the full playability of the piano. Having decided on a rebuilding, you’ll have to consider a few things first:

The financial side of the rebuilding process is much more important than simply maintaining the piano. Rebuilding is expensive. So, you need to consider if rebuilding your piano is worth the money. Will you keep it or will you sell it? If you are choosing the latter option, then making sure that you will profit from the rebuilding is crucial. Sometimes, it may be even wiser to not rebuild it at all. If you have a cheaper piano, rebuilding it before selling will lose you money.

If you decide to keep the piano, though, then investing in a rebuilding has no downsides. A rebuilt piano will provide you with enjoyment until the end of its life cycle or until it needs to be rebuilt again.

Since rebuilding your piano is a large decision to make, some guidance can certainly be helpful. If you would like to speak with a piano technician to appraise your piano or speak about rebuilding, visit us or give us a call!

A Guide on The Best Piano Brands: Steinway and Sons

Associated with the finest pianos in the world, Steinway and Sons is one of the most recognizable piano brands. Established nearly 200 years ago in New York, Steinway and Sons pianos are revered for their unique sound and craftsmanship.

Above all else, Steinway pianos produce a sound that is unparalleled in quality. While their piano prices are also unmatched, pianists and piano technicians have mentioned they are worth every penny.

Steinway & Sons – History

Heinrich Engelhard Steinway, a famous piano and cabinetmaker from Seesen, Germany immigrated to the United States in 1850. Upon arriving Heinrich put his piano making skills to good use and established a manufacturing company named Steinway & Sons, which become a symbol of wealth and culture, in early 1900s.

In fact the fine quality of the Steinway construction process and musical designs inspired other manufacturing companies to adopt their patents. Even today, many pianists are fascinated by the features that Steinway pianos offer, some of which are rich and powerful sounds, stronger frame, and sensitive action.

From generation to generation, Steinway and Sons designed modern pianos until the 1960s. During this time, they had no heir willing to continue the business. After some time, however, CBS purchased the company in 1972.

However, running an instrument business took a toll on CBS, which is why it sold the company to an investment group. In 1996, a brass and woodwind instrument manufacturing company bought the ownership of Steinway and Sons and named it Steinway Musical Instruments Inc.

Today, the piano brand owns a factory branch in Hamburg, Germany, and is one of the largest piano makers in the world.

Steinway & Sons – Product Line

This brand manufactures a wide range of hand-crafted pianos with the finest quality. Here are some popular product lines you should consider:

1.      Upright Pianos

The Upright piano’s body has incredible support due to strong braces and beams in the back. The strings, soundboard, and plate are vertical. These pianos are ideal for rooms with limited space.

Steinway’s upright pianos are around 43 to 52 in high, taking the same amount of space on the floor. Despite being suitable for smaller rooms, the performance of these Upright pianos remains top notch.

2.      Grand Pianos

Grand pianos have horizontally positioned strings and soundboard.  The action in Grand pianos is highly responsive as it works with gravity. Needless to say, the quick response action of a grand piano is comparatively better than upright pianos. The special thing about Steinway’s grand piano is three pedals. These pedals perform different functions, which include:

3.      Boston Brand

In 1992 Steinway launched its Boston line of pianos, designed by Steinway & Sons and built by Kawai.

Constructed with superior wood, Boston pianos and grands have a unique and excellent sound.

Several features in the Boston piano are similar to those in the Steinway. In addition tot that, Boston grand action incorporates some of the latest refinements of the Steinway action.

Some find Boston pianos to have a little better sustain and more tonal color than Kawai pianos, though otherwise they are similar in quality. If choosing between Kawai and Boston, trust your ear and your perception of tone and touch.

4.      Essex Brand

Essex pianos are designed by Steinway & Sons engineers and are made in factories in China and Korea by both Young Chang and Pearl River.

This brand was first introduced by Steinway in early 2001.  A major relaunch of Essex was held in 2006, and a new line of 35 grand and 35 vertical models and finishes was brought to the market.

Steinway has invested a tremendous amount of time and effort into the relaunch of Essex. Steinway engineers worked on new Essex design and incorporated many Steinway-designed refinements that resulted in a well-build piano with excellent sound quality and a tone with a longer sustain.

Choosing a Piano

The sound and tone of each piano can vary based on its age, condition, and the way the piano was maintained over the years. Tone and sound are also affected by room size, tall ceilings, hard floors, and other factors. There is no "best" piano. There is only the best piano for you.

Sound and tone of every piano, even in the same model line, will be different.

The piano you choose should be based on how it feels when you play it. It should make you feel good. The quality of the bass, middle, and treble tones should be pleasant to your ear.

Be prepared to try a specific piano out, play it for a while and make a well-informed decision based on your personal impression.

Knowledgeable technician can guide you through the process of choosing the right instrument for you. If you’re looking to buy Steinway, contact Hulme & Sweeny. Call us now and talk to our experts for assistance.