Saturday, November 16, 2013

Old Pianos---are they worth it?

We don't have a piano in our home and it makes me really, really sad. Most people are surprised, even shocked.

"You don't have a piano? YOU don't have a piano?"
No, I don't . Someday.
And then, because I play the piano and organ in church. "You mean, you don't get to practice before church? You just get up there and play it?"
Correct. You do what you have to do. I do wish I had more opportunity to practice the organ because it really is not my strong instrument. But, alas, we live 5 miles from the church and I don't have a car during the day. I guess I could run there. And practice. And be stinky while I practice. Sigh.

Anyway, we have an opportunity through a friend of a friend to get a piano for free. YAY!

We went to her home, an old farmhouse she recently purchased with the intent to turn it into a bed and breakfast. She bought the 100-year-old house from the granddaughter of the people who built it, a 70-year-old woman who didn't know what to do with the stuff in the home. Our friend of a friend put the offer in on the house and all the contents of the house.

With it, came a 95-year-old piano. The friend of a friend already has a piano she really likes, and wants this one to go to a new home. We tried it out. The action of the keys was fantastic still. The wood was in good condition (except for one spot on the top from a vase). The finish was great (this is really important to Andrew, as he worked for a summer refinishing pianos). It was beautiful.

But some of the strings need to be replaced. They are in the middle. The middle strings are the most used and the hardest to get to. How brittle are the strings? When will they snap? How many need to be replaced? We aren't sure.

Restringing the piano will cost about $1000. Is it worth it when we could get a new piano for that price? I know that refinishing an old upright piano is not worth it, unless it has sentimental value. Restringing is right on the border or worth it.

This is definitely a better, more beautiful used piano than what we could get from an ad on craigslist, which we'd still probably have to put some work into. But is the price of the repairs worth it? Ultimately, the decision is up to me. I am just having a hard time.

I really like the piano. It matches the "retro" feel I have going in the rest of our living room area. It is in great condition for its age. It is free. I would really love to have a piano (finally) in our home.

So, any thoughts about old pianos?

Do you have sentimental value attached to your piano?

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