relocation | When you tear down walls or need to use a crane

The piano, the safe, the marble table… we forget how massive and heavy certain objects in our daily lives are. Until we have to move: then they become a real nightmare!

Posted at 12:00 p.m

Karyne Duplessis Piche

Karyne Duplessis Piche
Special collaboration

These “XXL” objects are difficult to deal with during the moving season and, above all, are expensive to take with you.

Pierre-Olivier Cyr knows something about it. Touching stories, he has hundreds to tell. Since 2015, the young man has headed the Montreal family business Clan Panneton. From his first steps in the profession at the age of 16, he was quickly confronted with extraordinary objects.

His biggest challenge? Safes, which are quite common on the island of Montreal. “They sometimes weigh as much as 1,200 pounds,” he says. This means that sometimes we have to tear down walls to get them out or move them with a crane. »

Michel Jacques, owner of Déménagement DMAX Express in Saint-Jérôme, often encounters another juggernaut: pianos. The instrument can be found cheaply on classifieds sites, and some give it away for free. According to Mr Jacques, this is no coincidence: the pianos are sometimes so heavy, so difficult to move, that he often advises his customers to discard them rather than move them.


Photo David Boily, LA PRESSE

Moving a piano comes with many restrictions.

“When people realize the price involved, the risk to home integrity and people’s safety, I tell them that if they aren’t on it, they had better take out the saw chain and cut it,” says Mr Jacques. It costs less and avoids many problems. »


Photo David Boily, LA PRESSE

The stairs, still not very reassuring…

Marble furniture, like a table, which is often expensive, also has great sentimental value. However, when it comes time to move them to a new home, it’s not uncommon for customers to be in for a nasty surprise. Marble is not only heavy, it dries out and cracks over time. The object can then no longer be moved.

high performance refrigerators

The new devices are nicer, smarter and more efficient, but not lighter. On the other hand. When movers arrive on-site, they often find that the kitchen comes equipped with a full-size refrigerator (like Sub-Zero’s). These new appliances, such as gas stoves, are so heavy that additional personnel often have to be called in.

Fashionable items like grills or smokehouses are frighteningly heavy. It can be up to 500 pounds.

Michel Jacques, from Demenagement DMAX Express

The latest televisions pose the opposite problem. They’re much lighter than the old CRT screens, but they’re so thin and so wide that movers don’t always dare to pack them in their truck for fear of damaging them.

Prepare well

Movers are observing that customers forget or hide non-standard furniture during the listing in hopes of reducing costs. However, these bulky items often require a second truck. And when employees need to be called out at the last minute, customers sometimes have to pay the equivalent of two moves.


Photo Martin Chamberland, LA PRESSE archive

Moving a spa also presents some challenges.

Bringing your hot tub falls into this category.

“Usually you need a second truck,” explains Pierre-Olivier Cyr from Clan Panneton. You need to put him aside and take some precautions. People don’t know that even if you are very careful, you often destroy the whole garden when you take it out. »

When moving, the spa’s plastic tends to crack and the unit’s inner tubes to unscrew. Therefore, the professional strongly recommends consulting a professional before restarting the device.

Same advice for a pool table. Moving it always requires the services of a professional to keep the slates intact.

Because even if the items are well packed, the poor road conditions mean that the truck is often moved, exposing the items inside to breakage.


Illustration Julien Chung, La Presse

We are not moving on a magic carpet! The streets of Montreal are our worst enemy.

Pierre-Olivier Cyr of Clan Panneton

Vibration is bad for a lot of cheap furniture. A few boxes stacked on top of each other and potholes are enough for a table to fall apart during transport. Word of the movers.

The Collections

Collectibles are often a headache for movers. Whether it’s the rare bottles of wine that need to be held horizontally from start to finish of the trip, or the room full of vinyl records whose sleeves need to be arranged in the same order at the destination, movers have seen all colors.

Pierre Cyr, former president of the Panneton clan, was himself the owner of an exceptional property: a cigar room. The piece was bulky and heavy, but the manager refused to use a crane to move it to its new home. The transport of this extraordinary object was a real obstacle course.

“It took eight hours to get to 18e Ground with a clearance of 5 cm in the fire escape, says his son Pierre-Olivier Cyr. All employees remember that. »

The cigar room arrived intact on the top floor of the building, but that’s not always the case. To avoid unpleasant surprises, movers advise taking dozens of photos of non-standard objects before D-Day and notifying your insurance company.

Most importantly, they all recommend not waiting until the last minute to tell your mover that the living room sofa is actually the size of a cinema suite!

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