Construction projects and large scale property repairs usually require the use of scaffoldings. They work as temporary support for construction workers, repairmen, electricians, plumbers and carpenters depending upon the work that’s being done. It’s essentially a skeletal structure surrounding one or more sides of a building that provides easy access to the different floors of a building without hindering access to the main entrance. For this purpose, scaffolding rentals are more economically viable.

The scaffolding is built with breakaway units that are easy to assemble and disassemble. Since it’s essentially a large skeletal surrounding for a building, there is an easy fix to estimate the cost of scaffolding rentals. However, rates for scaffolding services could vary from service to service depending upon the quality of materials used to make the scaffolding. Cheap scaffoldings are often made of wood and high density polymers like plastic and high quality scaffoldings are more expensive and made out of metal. The latter support more weight and are much more apt for heavy construction while the former can be used for minor repairs to buildings.

Estimating the Costs Yourself

If you need a fairly standard scaffolding to repair or maintain a certain part of a building you should probably use common sense and measure the dimensions of the building and the area that you need to repair. Using a tape measure, you should take a measure of the total area where the scaffolding will need to be placed in feet or in meters. It should take into account the corners of the building and a certain distance of around 1-2 feet away from the building on all sides.

You should also measure the height to which the scaffolding will need to go and not stick to a standard measure. All buildings have differences in measurements that can accumulate into large deviations as buildings rise higher and higher.

After estimating the measurements, you can get in touch with the local scaffolding services and ask them for a quote. You should remember to ask as many scaffolding rental services that you can find in order to get the best price you can. This is common sense in any business decision and can save you anywhere from a couple of dozen bucks to hundreds of dollars in the long run.

Important Questions for Scaffolding Rentals

You should keep in mind that you’re on a budget and get the highest cost estimate you can. Sometimes scaffolding services can quote you a modest figure but when the final bill arrives, you may be surprised by some hidden costs that you were not aware of before. Businesses can take advantage of this ignorance at times so it doesn’t hurt to be aware.

You should ask for the price of the rental rate per scaffolding unit and then compare it to the length and width and height in feet or meters that you need. Most units are eight feet in length and six feet in height, yet this can vary depending on the manufacturer.

If you feel that you can skim on one or two feet and that the scaffolding rental can cost less and still get the job done, go ahead. However, don’t be miserly with you purchase. You shouldn’t arrive at the construction site and find out that the scaffolding you ordered is more than insufficient for the project.

Your scaffolding rental should also take into account the length of time that the scaffolding service bills you on. If the length of time is significant, say a quarter or half of a year, there could a discount or a special deal you could get. Also make sure that any late fees or hidden fees that are applicable if the project has to be extended don’t pass you by.

Renting vs. Buying

Usually scaffolding rentals apply for short term jobs. These can last anywhere from a week or 10 days up to four to six months depending on the magnitude of the project. Remodeling buildings, building wide paint jobs, repairing decade old cracks and replacing windows and outer plumbing all need scaffolding rentals.

An advantage of renting over buying is that you will need a place to store the scaffolding once you’re done with it if you buy it. With rentals, you will only need to return it to the scaffolding services. The real estate costs needed for storage spaces can vary depending on the volume of scaffolding that you’ve purchased. It’s an additional expense that will add to your bill and is not really necessary given the length of the job.

Renting is cheaper overall and leaves you with extra cash to invest in other areas of your project such as hiring labor and securing better quality raw materials for construction. The average price per trailer load of scaffolding is $40,000 while the average pricing of a rental is $2,000 per trailer load for a billing cycle of a minimum of 28 days. This means that scaffolding rentals for 19 months would still be $2,000 cheaper than buying scaffolding trailer loads.

Labor for Setup

Most erector style scaffolding setups come in a lot of breakaway pieces that have to be assembled. Scaffoldings can be big and bulky so it’s probably a good idea to hire labor from the scaffolding services to assemble it. There are instructions online on how to assemble it but trust us when we say; it’s not a one man job. Scaffolding safety needs to come first.

Labor costs can vary depending on the height and width and even the weight of the scaffold. A two meter scaffold could require a one week hire cost of around $270 if the job is small. If the job is spread out over several weeks or months, the labor cost can come down significantly to around $100 a week. If the scaffolding is over 4 or 5 meters in height, the labor costs can go up to as much as $370 for a one week hiring and $200-$250 for multiple weeks.

Assembling scaffolding sections can take up to 15-30 minutes; an estimate that can vary greatly depending on the volume required. You can even ask the scaffolding contractors that provided the scaffolding rentals for labor to help you assemble it. This of course comes at an increased price; however, it’s a price that most should willingly pay rather than risk damaging the scaffoldings and/or themselves.

Transport Costs

You will obviously need vehicles to transport the scaffoldings from the scaffolding services warehouse or office to the construction site. The transport can range from semis or large trucks to even large vans. Scaffolding services can usually charge a small fee depending on the size of the scaffolding rental to transport the trailer load. This can range anywhere from $50 to $150 or more.

Miscellaneous Costs

There are certain custom changes made to scaffoldings or additions required for certain buildings that can increase the price of the total scaffolding rental. Scaffolding services usually include provisions for these increases in their total price list, however there is the odd custom project that requires some special modifications that just aren’t in the company’s standard plans.

Scaffoldings can be built for maximum access to each and every nook and cranny of the building as well as to not at all block the entrance to the building. Sometimes scaffoldings are even put indoors in halls and high ceiling rooms that require careful modeling not needed for the outdoors. This can add to the cost of the rental.

At times the geographic location of your building can cause problems for the scaffolding. If the house or building is not in the city or in an urban area and somewhere in the country or in a rural setting, the ground around the home or building may be uneven. This can cause problems for the scaffolding and custom modifications may need to be made.

At times the building it shaped so that the scaffolding rental is required to be a bridge. In that case, the length, and not the height, of the scaffolding is to take precedence and may require extra connectors and braces for stability. If construction workers and repairmen need to walk across this scaffolding bridge on a regular basis, it will most surely require increase reinforcement.  Wood or plastic scaffoldings won’t cut it in this case and the use of metal will be required. This will undoubtedly push the cost up.

There are aluminum walk boards that can be rented at $75 a week or $125 a month; this is much more expensive than the 5 feet high scaffolding section that can be rented at $25 a month.

There are also set rolling scaffolds that could be used in a construction project that requires a lot of moving in between the different sections of a building or through the inside of a building. That requires a rental cost of over $95-100 a month.

Special Modifications

Scaffoldings can also include little modifications including a 3-outlet power strip in order to support the operation of different tools at high elevations. These could include drills, automatic screwdrivers, scrubbers, window polishers and rotary electric cutters and saws.

The scaffolding services could include this as a courtesy or it could simply come as a standard addition to the package that you paid for. In some scaffolding services however, you would have to request these additions specially and it would bring your cost up considerably. The reason for this may be that the power outlets would have to be properly insulated. Shock prevention and fire hazards are also a priority whenever construction is concerned. Here, paying extra for these additions would be a boon to your construction project rather than a bane. Sure, it would eat into your budget, but it would ensure the safety of your workforce and of the myriad civilians that would pass through the construction site every day.

Safe Working Load Estimates

Some construction work requires heavy machinery to be operated and heavy materials to be transported throughout the site. This obviously requires sturdier and more robust scaffolding rentals than the average repair job. In that case, it is imperative to figure out the Safe Working Load (SWL) that the scaffolding is able to support.

Some scaffolding services have a standard SWL of 450kg, meaning they adopt the SUPASCAF scaffolding. That’s a double width scaffold made out of aluminum. They can also supply scaffolds of varying SWLs depending on the weight of material you are transporting across it. The SWLs can go down to 225kg.

It’s very important to estimate and measure the heavy machinery and materials you would be transporting during the project as well as the number of construction workers working on the project on any given day. This is necessary for scaffolding safety. There is also an imperative to remove as many unneeded personnel from the construction site as possible or to direct them away from the scaffoldings at all costs.

This will ensure that you make a responsible business decision regarding the cost of the scaffolding rental and that you provide maximum safety to your workers and to the civilians and pedestrians passing by.

Inflation due to Material Costs

Scaffolding rentals can vary in cost most considerably not just because of labor, but because of the differences in materials. Wood and plastic scaffoldings cost the least for light duty work, yet aluminum scaffoldings can cost quite a bit more due to their increased reinforcement and increased SWL.

Steel is the final frontier in terms of strength when it comes to scaffolding rentals and it costs the most. For example a scaffolding unit made of steel at Home Depot can run you anywhere from $200 to $2,000. As a specific example, a Fortress Industries dry wall scaffold unit can cost $458 and supports over a thousand pounds. The Rolling Scaffold tower that supports 2,000 pounds costs around $1,700.

You can save a lot on scaffolding rentals by simply being thorough and looking for value instead of flashy deals that spark the average consumer’s interest. It’s important to put safety first and then think of the budget. However, if you simply apply a bit of common sense, scaffolding rentals won’t break the bank.