Scaffolding Costs in the UK and Influencing Factors
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. In this article, we will explain the many different factors and prices points for your scaffolding projects and explain how each factor affects the cost.
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At one point or another, it is likely that you will need to use scaffolding to repair and maintain your home, or for a larger commercial project. Scaffolding keeps workers safe and makes sure the job is done professionally and efficiently. Workers are able to reach areas, which are inaccessible by ladder, safely and securely.
Whilst the use of scaffolding is a necessity, paying a high price isn’t. Take a look and learn about the hidden factors involved in the cost of scaffolding as well as the answers to some frequently asked questions below.
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Scaffolding Price Factors Explained
We might try and avoid paying out for the cost of scaffolding because we think we can do it ourselves but sometimes standing on a chair doesn’t quite cut it. Whether you’re doing a little home maintenance or starting your home from scratch, scaffolding is often required.
While some decorators and roofers may provide their own equipment for projects, they often don’t offer the flexibility a project needs so you'll need to search for your own scaffolding rental prices. See the factors below that affect scaffolding costs. Let's start with the obvious factors!
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.
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.
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.
5. 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.
6. 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!
7. 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 manoeuvred through tight passages or even through the building then the cost will go up.
Loft conversion scaffolding costs
Scaffolding for a loft conversion is one of the most commonly searched scaffolding costs. However, the price will vary depending on your specific needs i.e. the dimension of the loft, the ease of access as above and how complex the loft conversion project is.
A good starting point for the cost of scaffolding per square metre is £16. Additional materials start at £9 per square metre with edge protectors and handrails coming in at £10.
Whether you’re looking to repaint your house, fix a gutter or replace some roof tiles, if you have a conservatory you will need to build a bridge over it. Depending on where you live in the UK and the size of your conservatory you can expect to pay between £450 and £900 per week to rent the scaffolding.
Chimney work is fairly common as they often require repair work. Although this doesn’t require your whole house to be wrapped it does require some height and multiple safety precautions to be taken into consideration.
Chimney scaffold is fitted over the highest part of the roof. It is fitted over the ridge of the roof which is where two roof areas intersect. A worker will need access to all sides of the chimney in order to re-point a chimney stack or rebuild it. Estimating the cost of chimney work is difficult as each one is different but expect to pay about £65 per day or £420 a week.
Hiring an access tower can start from £65 a week but you could end up paying over £120. Prices can vary greatly for this one and can even reach as high as £500.
Gutter repair is common but just because the amount of scaffolding needed for the project is smaller doesn’t mean that the price is cheap. You may only need a single tower to fix a leaky gutter or replace some roof tiles but it will still cost you around £250-£300. In London, you can expect the price to be a little higher ranging from £300-£400.
Scaffolding for a semi-detached house is the priciest of these examples. Erecting scaffolding for an entire house is often the case when roof work is being done. Making sure all the metal work, lift and walkway are done will set you back between £650 and £850. In London, you could pay up to £1,100. Bear in mind that these prices are for one walkway only and if you require multiple levels then the cost will increase.
- 4 storey semi-detached house with roof: Erecting scaffolding for a four storey semi-detached house on three sides and over the roof can cost you from £1,000 to £1,250 a week.
- 2-bed semi-detached house: dependent on your location prices for this one can come in at £750-£900 per week.
- 3-bed semi-detached house: the average cost to erect scaffold around the walls of a 3-bed semi-detached house can be anywhere in between £900 and £1,150 per week.
- 10 metre scaffold up to first floor: taking approximately 2-3 hours to set up, the rental price per week for this project can cost £550-£700.
- Wall work on a terraced house: scaffolding wall work is higher in general. Expect to pay around £310 for a single side of scaffold per week. Overall, you should expect to pay somewhere in between £960 and £1,100.
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Frequently asked scaffolding questions
When do you need to use scaffolding?
Scaffolding is something that cannot be avoided whether you’re looking to repair a home or build a new one. Access to the roof and other parts of the house are needed if there is a leak, the chimney needs repairing or if you’re just looking to re-paint the building. Sometimes a ladder just isn’t enough when it comes to height and the erection of scaffolding is the only way to ensure a job is done correctly and safely.
Scaffolding means access but it also means efficiency. Multiple people can work at the same time from the same level. Heavy materials can be pre-loaded onto levels to save trips up and down and multiple levels can be added to ensure maximum coverage; this all means that you save time and money.
How does scaffolding work?
Scaffolding is a system that allows access to ‘hard to reach’ places; it often relies on strong metal supports which are tubes with adjustable feet. Each level then has horizontal tubes where wooden boards are placed to walk or store materials on. Climbing a scaffold is easy as there are usually built in ladder rungs. It is a flexible but simple system.
This simple system dates back a long way. The earliest scaffolds were made from wood, which is still in use today but perhaps not as safe or efficient as some of the more modern systems available now. Although employing different materials, all the systems are constructed in essentially the same way – a frame designed to hold workers safely at great heights. There are four main types of material that are used in scaffolding around the world today:
- H-frame/façade modular system
- Tube and coupler component
- Prefabricated modular system
Modern scaffolding was first patented in 1913 by its originator, David Palmer-Jones; he eliminated the need to use rope in his construction. He was able to show off his new invention during the reconstruction of Buckingham Palace in that same year. Jones revolutionised the scaffold. By 1944, scaffolding had made the most of using light-weight metals and all the best technology. The design is so reliable that it hasn’t changed much since then.
Today, whatever material is used, scaffolds are constructed the same way with tubes, couplers and boards. The tubes are made from light-weight metals and can be cut to the desired length. The boards are made from wood and vary in thickness depending on the amount of weight they need to support and the couplers, which hold the whole thing together, are adapted to the needs of the structure.
Do I need a permit for scaffolding?
In the UK everyone who intends to erect a scaffold needs a permit; this ensures all safety standards are adhered to and reduces the risk of injury on site. Your scaffolding company/contractor should obtain a permit before work starts but you should check with them to make sure they have one.
What are the rules and regulations in the scaffolding industry?
When it comes to any building site there are of course rules and regulations and standards that must be followed. Whether you’re putting up a one storey or ten storey scaffold, the rules must be adhered to. Standards measure anything from ensuring the use of high-quality materials to the size of the parts needed in a scaffold.
The industry is regulated by ‘Work at Height’ regulations; these standards have been put in place by the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) to ensure the risk of injury and falling is significantly reduced on all work at height in the UK and Europe.
Here are the regulations you need to be following:
- All work at height should be appropriately planned and organised
- Anyone involved in work at height must be a competent professional
- The risks from work at height need to be assessed first and then suitable work equipment is to be selected and used
- The risks from fragile surfaces must be properly controlled
- Equipment for work at height should be properly examined and upheld
The regulations also state that duty holders must:
- Avoid work at height if at all possible
- Use work equipment or other measures to avoid falls when they cannot avoid working at height
- If they cannot remove the risk of a fall, then they should use work equipment or other measures to reduce the distance and consequences of a fall, if one should happen
Is there a minimum rental time?
Scaffolding services usually require you book them in slots. There are a few places that will commit to short term projects but commonly the initial rental period is between six and eight weeks. Your scaffolding cost will depend on the cost of labour in relation to the size and time it takes to set up.
Remember, if your project is taking longer than expected, make sure you discuss this with your scaffolding company. Try and negotiate a price per day or per week for the extra time in order to get the best deal possible.
Should I hire my own scaffolding?
Hiring your own scaffolding can be easy and cost-effective whether you bargain the price with your contractor or hire a company independently. Always consider safety and never sacrifice quality for the price. Make your money go further by investing in something worthwhile.
Number 1 tip before hiring any contractor!
Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can’t hire scaffold independently from your contractor. Many contractors will give you the impression that you either have to use their scaffolding or that you are simply getting the best deal by using their scaffolding. Shop around before you decide on a scaffold supplier. The cost of scaffolding can often be a large part of the project budget so make sure you get it right.
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.
We also exist to educate you in scaffolding prices and costs. There are so many factors that influence the price of scaffolding that it can be hard to navigate the ins and outs of what is needed and estimate how much you'll need to pay.