Summary: How much is it to hire scaffolding, average scaffolding prices and average scaffolding labour costs.
Whether you’re building a new extension, repairing a crumbling outer wall, or painting a high ceiling, if you need a temporary structure to allow building or repair work to take place then you’re going to need to look at all the implications of hiring scaffolding. Costs are determined by the type and scale of the scaffolding and may range from £200 for a smaller structure to access a couple of upper floor windows through to £8,000 or more for the scaffolding required to re-roof a 6 bedroom house.
|Scaffolding (m²)||£25 – £45 (m²)||2019||n/a|
Factors to consider
There are 5 main types of scaffold, of which there can be endless variations in construction:
- Single pole scaffold – this is totally dependent on the structure it is supporting as it only has one row of uprights.
- Independent or birdcage scaffold – two rows of uprights can be used for single level work such as ceilings.
- Suspended or swingstage scaffold – mostly commonly seen used by window washers.
- Santilever scaffold – this type of scaffold is supported or attached at only one end.
- Hanging bracket scaffold – this complex type of scaffold should be designed by an engineer; its horizontal units are supported by the floors of buildings or other construction.
When hiring scaffolding you will need to speak to a local scaffolding company. Local councils or certain comparison websites will have a list of approved companies. It is essential to use approved contractors to ensure that the work is adequately insured and to avoid any health and safety issues in particular. If your scaffolder is working above 12 feet (approximately 3.7metres) above ground level they will need a training and competency certificate. Materials should always be erected in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions and boards used should be British Standard BS2482. Also it is vital to use a qualified scaffolder or builder to put up the scaffolding. Health and safety should be paramount at all times. The Health and Safety Executive has strict guidelines about the erection, supervision, modification, inspection and dismantling of scaffolding. Allow your hire company to ignore any of these at your peril.
If your scaffolding is going to extend beyond your land onto the public highway (pavement, road or back lane) it is the responsibility of the scaffolding company to ensure a scaffolding licence is gained from the appropriate local council. It is essential that the council is informed to ensure it can regulate use of the highways. Please note that If your scaffolding is to be erected on private land you own and in no way goes over the boundary onto public land then you will not need a licence. The longer the length of highway being obstructed by the scaffolding, the higher the charge. The charge for a licence often applies for 7 days then a reduced rate for following weeks. This is noticeably less than the considerable fines for non-compliance. Although this is the scaffolding company’s responsibility it is always worth checking that they have the legal document and that is doesn’t run out before your work will be finished. Also do check that licence has been applied for in good time – there will be a period of time before the licence can be issued. A scaffolding licence is only usually valid for a maximum of 12 weeks, but if you only need it for a shorter period please state that.
Costs to consider
Remember when getting a quote, you are paying for the time it takes the scaffolding hire company to erect and take down the scaffolding, not necessarily the time you have it up. It shouldn’t make much difference if you have the scaffolding up for a week or a month, but do check this out – you don’t want to be stung for extra charges if your job takes longer than expected due to, for example, rain.
Although the scaffolding is the hire company’s responsibility you should always be vigilant about the following points:
- A solid, level foundation is imperative for safe erection of scaffolding.
- Scaffolding should never be placed dangerously near power lines.
- Domestic ladders are unsuitable for use with scaffolding. Builders ladders should be strong, safely secured and in good condition.
- Heavy loads or loads that are difficult to carry should not be carried up ladders.
- Avoid any danger to the public by ensuring the scaffold boards are unobstructed, with stable barriers around the scaffolding above 2 metres high.
Remember, when choosing scaffolding you need not only to consider the cost implications, but also the human cost should the correct choices not be made. Scaffolding should be routinely checked weekly and also inspected after changes, damage and adverse weather conditions. People’s lives depend on the appropriate equipment for the job; always ask for advice if you’re not sure.