Scaffolding is a great option when you are working at heights and need a stable platform. However, many people make the assumption that scaffolding is for major jobs and that smaller jobs should be carried out with ladders. This is an assumption that should be challenged. While ladders are great for things like clearing out the gutters or cleaning the windows of your typical semi detached home. When you have a situation that requires you to go up and down with reasonable regularity then this would benefit from the use of scaffolding.
There are several reasons why scaffolding is much better than ladders and personal safety is just one of them. Falling backwards from even a short height can prove to be disastrous. With scaffolding you have a fixed structure to work from and as such is a much safer option. It also allows you greater access to the property, not to mention a handy platform for you to use to layout all of the tools and materials needed to carry pout the job at hand.
However there is a preconception among some people that only contractors can use scaffolding and that members of the public cannot themselves, hire such equipment. There is also a lack of knowledge about the different types available and therefore people wrongly assume that scaffolding is for external walls only and for large scale projects. Yet you’d be surprised at the number of jobs that can all be done quicker and safer using fixed structures:
Roof Saddles: these are fixed onto pitched roofs for chimney work or re-pointing – no more sliding down the tiles trying to get a foothold!
Putlog scaffold: allows access to the entire length of the wall and the platform can be raised or lowered as work progresses, so ideal for exterior painting or rendering.
Birdcage: for external or internal work the birdcage is ideal for painting high ceilings or replacing soffits.
Scaffold Towers: again these towers are ideal for indoor work but can also be used outdoors to repair outdoor structures. The best thing about towers is that they can either be static or mobile, so there is no need to dismantle and re-erect a tower.
Can I put up scaffolding myself?
Many people are put off from getting scaffolds for smaller jobs because they assume they are reliant on contractors erecting them and then failing to come back and take the structure down once the job is completed, leaving you with poles and tubes outside your property for weeks on end. However there is a product now called ‘system scaffolding’ which slot together and, when used correctly, are strong and flexible. This structure is ideal for the DIY market and of course once you have all the fittings you can use it again and again. However safety is paramount and before you attempt to erect the scaffolding yourself you should be aware of all the relevant safety regulations.
So if are convinced that scaffolding could be a great option for your next project then your next decision if weather or not you should either buy or hire your equipment. If it’s for DIY purposes you might be better buying as you can then use it over and over again, but for short-term larger projects then hiring will be more cost effective. Another option, if you think that the scaffold will be up for months, is to buy it, hire someone to erect it and then sell it on once the job is completed. There are always willing buyers and you may just get your money back.