When do I need scaffolding and how much does it cost?

What is a scaffolding ?

Scaffolding, also called scaffold or staging; is a temporary structure used to support a work crew and materials to aid in the construction; maintenance and repair of buildings, bridges and all other man made structures. Scaffolds are widely used on site to get access to heights and areas; that would be otherwise hard to get to.

If you ask whether you legally require scaffolding for a given job; you’ll get half a dozen self-styled experts each giving you a different answer. The regulations aren’t always precise, but understanding them will give you a firm guideline to what’s needed.

When is scaffolding required ?

The short answer to the question of when scaffolding is needed; is when a thorough risk assessment concludes that it’s necessary. A risk assessment must by law be carried out on any job where any employees are working at height. It’s not a legal requirement when an individual is doing the work privately; but it’s common sense to take safety seriously.

Employees working at height (which isn’t clearly defined) must by law be safeguarded. For low-risk jobs, such as minor roof repairs to a domestic house; it might be considered safe to use a ladder; however we would always recommend utilizing scaffolding or a working platform; for Health and Safety reasons to increase stability and reduce the risk of accidents occurring. If you are planning to be working at height for a long period or moving about at height; then this is when it is imperative that you use a safer working platform; such as an appropriately designed scaffolding system.

Why is scaffolding necessary ?

Even when the law doesn’t specify it, there are numerous reasons why scaffolding is important. Anyone working at height for extended periods, especially in wet or windy weather, could be at risk of falling. Having a stable platform on a secure framework will reduce the risk to acceptable levels. Scaffolding also makes it easier to move around the building without having to constantly climb up and down.

In addition, scaffolding provides an easier means to tether tools and prevent a possible tragedy; since even a small tool falling from height could kill someone below. Besides common humanity, the safety aspect is a legal obligation for the person responsible for the site’s safety; — often the contractor, but a business such as a property developer or landlord may have responsibility for work being done.

How much does scaffolding cost per day in the UK ?

Looking for UK Scaffolding costs per day ? Scaffolding hire prices can vary from £40 a day to upwards of £150 a day; depending on the complexity of the project, ease of access and length of hire. We will explain the many different factors and prices points for your scaffolding projects; and explain how each factor affects the cost.

  1. Length of hire – This is probably the cost variable that you’ll think of first. A length of hire can range from six to eight weeks. Dependent on how long your project is you will be quoted a fixed price for that time. If your work is unusually long you may have to pay weekly after the initial set cost.
  2. Location – Location really does matter when it comes to the price. Hiring in a city, especially London can be up to three times the price compared to a rural setting; so make sure to factor that into your budget. Apart from the fact that, let’s face it, everything in London is more expensive; this could also be due to the access requirements. London, in general, has more ‘hard to get to areas.
  3. Height – The higher your scaffolding, the more metal poles and wooden boards that are needed, therefore the cost goes up. This seems obvious but can make a huge difference to the price. You’ll have to speak to your scaffolding provider to see how high you will need to go.
  4. Number of levels – This one goes hand in hand with height. If you’re painting a house rather than fixing something on the roof then you’ll need more levels and walkways.

Other requirements that can decide the cost of scaffolding services in UK

  1. Special requirements – Most scaffolding jobs are pretty straight forward when it comes to putting up the actual structure; but sometimes, you can run into problems where special walkways need to be created or gaps bridged over. The equipment for these special requirements is readily available but expect the price to increase as a result.
  2. Restriction of public access – Some projects may require you to put up scaffolding on a public road or footpath. In these special cases you’ll need to get permission from the local council, which can increase your costs drastically. This could also impact on the length of the project; so make sure not to engage a scaffolding company until you have the required permissions!
  3. Ease of access – Ease of access is something we can easily overlook. Scaffolding costs can vary greatly when it comes to how easily accessible your building is. If the scaffolder can get the frame up quickly and efficiently; you can expect costs to be low – especially if you’re paying a day rate. If scaffolding needs to be maneuvered through tight passages or even through the building then the cost will go up.

Properties that can use scaffolding.

The cost of scaffolding can vary greatly. Whether you’re doing the work yourself or have a contractor in to do it for you; always make sure the safety and security of everyone around you is your top priority. Get some good estimates and compare price and quality between suppliers; so that you can rest easy knowing you’ve got the right person for the project. Give your home the attention it deserves.

Any building that you build, demolish or substantially repair is likely to require scaffolding. The size doesn’t matter, nor whether it’s commercial, domestic or public.

A multi-storey office block being demolished will have scaffolding that’s dismantled from the top downwards as the building gets lower. If and when the promised repairs to Parliament get started, we’ll see the Palace of Westminster swathed in scaffolding. On the other hand, you might also need it for substantial work on the roof of your home.

The right scaffolding is available for all of these requirements. If you have any questions about scaffolding, feel free to get in touch with us.

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