How much for repairs?

Cost of repairs

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Visits to my workshop are completely free (by appointment only). Fault identification is free. If you want me to open and look inside your instrument, this is free if you decide to have some work done or if it takes only a few minutes to carry out an inspection. Otherwise I will charge you for my time.

I charge £40 for the first hour and then £25 per hour after that, plus materials. This means that a walk-in repair may cost from £40, though I like to give value for money, so minor repairs that only take a few minutes may be proportionally discounted.

My estimates are based on the number of hours I think it will take to finish a job, plus the cost of materials and parts.  I do keep a record of what I’ve done and how long it takes.

I am happy to investigate if you think your instrument needs maintenance of some kind, for instance by checking the tuning and by dismantling the accordion for a detailed inspection, but standard charges as above apply.

I often get contacted about old piano accordions. In many cases they are in good cosmetic condition but are no longer playable. Sometimes they are worth saving, especially if they are (or were) quality instruments or if they have sentimental value (I restore a lot of instruments that are family heirlooms).

The cost of reed overhaul (remove, clean, revalve and tune) is dependent on several things: how many reeds are in the instrument; what condition they are in; how many reeds actually need to be restored. Some people are surprised at the costs involved, especially with old, full sized piano accordions. This is directly related to the amount of work i.e. how many reeds there are and how much time has to be spent on each individual reed. Please see the illustrations below, especially this one, if you have an old piano accordion and are considering having it restored.

For illustration here are a few examples of the cost of repair or restoration :

  • Restore a small piano accordion to playable condition – for instance two voices on the RH and 12 basses – £300.
  • Restore playable 1950s Hohner 120 bass piano accordion in reasonable cosmetic condition. The minimum work entails overhauling up to half of the reeds (remove, de-rust, revalve, replace) and tuning. Guide cost would be £300 plus parts. Replacing the missing bellows straps might cost an additional £30. However the instrument may benefit from more extensive work, and this is where we would discuss the cost and scope.
  • Tune a 21 key/ 8 bass, 2 voice melodeon  – £120 to £160.
  • Overhaul bass reed block on piano accordion (24 reeds – remove/clean/re-valve and tune) – £130
  • Replace worn tape on bellows – £50 per side, plus parts, depending on the size and condition of the bellows. Replace bellows gasket – £30 to £40. It is often cheaper to replace the bellows.
  • Replace pallet facings and re-valve, re-wax and tune an old Hohner Pokerwork 21 key 2 voice melodeon – £300 plus parts.
  • Complete overhaul – which means every reed in a 41 key, 120 bass piano accordion. This is an extreme case and normally only applies to vintage instruments. For illustration this accordion has three voices (that is, three sets of reeds) on the treble side and four voices on the bass side, which means there are 123 and 48 reed plates respectively. As each reed in fact has two reed tongues, there will be over 300 valves to replace, after each reed plate has been removed and cleaned (and sometimes replaced).  The valves are all glued into place individually. With old instruments there may be other issues with keyboard alignment, and the bass machine and any reed couplers. It takes at least 30 hours to restore an old accordion, though the resulting instrument will sound excellent, compared to a new/modern instrument for the cost of the repair.

Please note the above is NOT a price list, but is for illustration.

How to get your instrument to my workshop

You come to my workshop

Probably the best way is for you to bring it to me, by appointment, and then we discuss your needs and I can give you an estimate.

I collect and/or drop off your instrument

However – I will collect and/or drop off – and the cost of this is 50p per mile – we can discuss the options on this, but I would not normally travel more than 50 miles each way. This method does however avoid having to pack an accordion for delivery by post.

Use a courier service

I can advise on courier services – accordions are sent by courier all the time and weight and size aren’t much of a restriction these days.

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