How much for repairs?

Cost of repairs

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Visits to my workshop are 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 £30 per hour after that, plus materials. I sometimes do while-you-wait or a walk-in repairs. These are likely to be simple repairs that take no longer than an hour. These cost from £40. NB: I do not charge VAT!!

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 accordion repair or restoration :

  • Restore a small piano accordion to playable condition – for instance two voices on the RH and 12 basses – £250 to £400.
  • Tune a 21 key/ 8 bass, 2 voice melodeon  – £100 to £160.
  • Overhaul bass reed block on piano accordion (24 reeds – remove/clean/re-valve and tune) – from £130, depending on the condition of the reeds.
  • 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.
  • Custom made accordion bellows – from £260. I get them made in Italy or the Czech Republic. The process entails: take measurements, place order, wait (up to 6 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 £300 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.

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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