How much for repairs?

Cost of repairs

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Visits to my workshop are by appointment only.

All repair work starts at £60 for the initial hour and then £35 per hour after that, plus materials. I sometimes do while-you-wait or same-day repairs (not Sat or Sun). These are likely to be simple repairs that take no longer than an hour. These cost from £60. NB: I do not charge VAT!!

Inspection and guideline valuation is £30, unless I carry out work on that instrument.

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 often get contacted about old piano accordions. In many cases they are no longer playable. Occasionally 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 need to be restored. Some people are surprised at the costs involved. 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 accordion and concertina repair or restoration :

  • Restore a small piano accordion to playable condition – for instance two voices on the RH and 12 basses – £350 to £500.
  • Tune a 21 key/ 8 bass, 2 voice melodeon  – £120 to £200.
  • Overhaul bass reed block on piano accordion (24 reeds – remove/clean/re-valve and tune) – from £200, depending on the condition of the reeds.
  • Replace worn tape on bellows – £100 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.
  • Custom made accordion bellows – from £300. I get them made in Italy. The process entails: take measurements, place order, wait (up to 8 weeks), receive bellows, remove old bellows from accordion, fit new bellows.
  • Re-valve, re-wax an old Hohner Pokerwork 21 key 2 voice melodeon – from £400 plus parts.
  • Complete overhaul of a full sized 41 key, 120 bass piano accordion. 20 to 30 hours, plus parts. For old vintage instruments and ones that haven’t been touched for decades, this is almost always the only way to get it playing properly. The number of voices matters, because more voices means more reeds, so it takes longer to work through them all. There may be other issues, e.g. uneven or sticking keys or sticky couplers/registers, or leaky and or damaged bellows. If it was originally a quality accordion, the resulting instrument will sound excellent, compared to a new/modern instrument which costs the same as the overhaul. However there is a calculation on whether the instrument is ‘worth’ saving. Vintage instruments have a charm and are often lighter in weight to modern full sized PAs. And many old accordions just look much better than modern ones.
  • Concertina repairs vary so much, and are dependent on age and condition, the number of reeds, the type (Anglo, English, Duet), and of course the requirement. A general overhaul of (say) a 28 key anglo, might take 10 t0 15 hours, plus materials and parts. A 48 key English concertina takes longer, if it involves replacing pads or tuning, because there are more reeds.

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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