Scaffolding on a per-project basis - To rent to buy?

Scaffolding on a per-project basis - To rent to buy?

Posted: Wednesday 25 September 2019



Scaffolding on a per-project basis - To rent to buy?

If you’re planning a construction project (either domestic or commercial) in the near future then you’ll need to decide whether you invest in your own scaffolding or decide to rent From a reputable local scaffolding firm. Below, we’ll explore the factors you might want to consider when making the first crucial decision.

How long are you going to need it for?

If your job is going to be relatively brief (perhaps a week or two) then the cost of buying simply doesn’t make sense. If you are starting on one project and are not sure how many more projects will be coming your way in the future (or how frequently) then it’s also a much safer bet to rent scaffolding. In fact, most smaller contractors will rent scaffolding as they generally work on more short-term projects. 

You should only start to consider buying your own scaffolding if you will regularly be working on jobs for a few months or more, particularly if you foresee a raft of similar jobs in the future where you can reuse the equipment. The middle-ground (between a month and three months) is where you really need to ask yourself whether the rental fees would stack up or if the scaffolding would pay for itself. And that's a question only you can answer.

What is your experience level?

If you are not properly trained in the erection and dismantling of scaffolding and its various assorted accessories then even if you own the scaffolding itself, you’ll need to hire skilled workers to put it up and take it down for you. If you have several years worth of experience within the industry and have the requisite certifications to your name and up-to-date knowledge of the latest OSHA regulations, then buying your own scaffolding might be a wise move.

Ultimately, it’s about safety. Scaffolding is serious equipment that can prove deadly in the wrong hands, particularly if it hasn’t been assembled and dismantled properly. Utilising a third-party scaffolding rental company means you’ll have the expertise of their team to rely on and there will be far fewer safety risks to contend with.

How much are you going to need?

Next, consider the actual volume of scaffolding that will be required to complete the job ahead of you and any potential jobs further on in the future. If the job is a particularly large and ambitious one then you’ll probably need a lot of scaffolding and if you need a lot of scaffolding then you’re going to need somewhere to store it. 

Storage is a consideration that is seldom mentioned but storage costs can build quickly if you don’t have a large or secure enough space set aside. Buying scaffolding isn’t just an investment in the scaffolding itself but in all of the manpower needed to not only inspect and maintain it but to move it from storage and erect/dismantle it too.

What is your budget?

Finally, renting scaffolding equipment is far more affordable than buying your own on a per project basis. For example, scaffolding that costs £40,000 to purchase might only cost around £2,000 to rent for a month. Determine the budget for your project and make your decision accordingly. 

If your project is due to take a couple of years to complete and you only have £40,000 in the budget, then purchasing might be the better option. If, however, the  job is only set to take a month or two, then you’ll be left with £36,000 to invest in other areas of the project. It’s all about having a clear picture of your needs, your experience and your budget and using that picture to make an informed decision.

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