A Basic Guide to Scaffolding

  • 30th November, 2012
Scaffolding Guide

If you're considering undertaking any substantial renovation or construction work on your home, chances are you'll need to think about scaffold hire as part of the project. This kind of structure is vital if you intend to do any work at height.

To ensure you stay on the right side of the law and comply with the relevant health and safety legislation, here's a brief guide to scaffolding and what you'll need to consider when using it to make alterations to your property.

What is Scaffolding?
This might seem like a daft question, but it's easy to walk past scaffolding rigs without really paying any attention to what they're made of. Obviously, scaffolding is designed to provide a stable platform from which to work at height, usually on construction projects.

In general, most scaffolding comprises a series of steel tubes that are fitted together using ties. Boards are then laid on the structure to create stable walkways for workers.

Different Scaffolding Options
As previously mentioned, basic scaffolding is erected by attaching a series of tubes together and laying boards to create a simple structure with various supports that sits next to a building and can provide access at height safely.

However, this is not the only option when it comes to scaffolding, as there is also system scaffolding. This tends to be modular in nature and can often be erected without the use of spanners, making it much quicker to put up. Innovative connections have been designed to hold the tubes in position, although this means suppliers need to be more precise when sending out scaffolding kits to sites.

There are also design scaffolds which fall outside the remit of basic scaffolding and are created to suit a particular purpose or building. These are highly specialised structures and cover things like slung and suspended scaffolds, lifting gantries and towers, temporary roofs and temporary buildings.

Which is Best?
Due to its simplistic and versatile nature, standard scaffolding will be cheaper to hire than system scaffolding. However, its main disadvantage over its more costly counterpart is that it takes longer to erect and dismantle, which may be an issue if you are working to a tight timeframe.

Either way, both are designed to adhere to the rigorous safety standards set out by the Health and Safety Executive. So, you need to consider your budget, timescale and your contractor's preference when selecting scaffolding for renovation work on your home.

Safety Considerations
As there is the potential for serious or even fatal accidents when working at height, there are numerous regulations in place relating to scaffolding. Firstly, any scaffolding structure needs to be put up by trained and competent persons, who are overseen by a suitably-qualified professional.

Scaffolding also needs to have various safety features, such as hand rails to prevent falls from the side and toe boards to stop tools, materials and other items being knocked off the edge and potentially hitting someone on the ground or working on a lower level of the scaffold.

All scaffolding towers need to be inspected following their assembly and at regular intervals thereafter until they are dismantled. You may be required to conduct additional inspections following periods of adverse weather, but particularly high winds, to check no part of the structure has been compromised.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider just with this one aspect of a construction project on your home, so make sure you hire suitably-qualified professionals to assist you with any such work.

More Articles

Rolling Scaffolding
The Lowdown on Rolling Scaffolding

Rolling scaffolding is a highly versatile mobile working platform popular with tradesman and DIY enthusiasts alike.

  • 26th December, 2013
Scaffolding Suppliers
Buying From Scaffolding Suppliers

It's worth taking the time to choose a good scaffolding supplier thus ensuring you get high quality product at the best possible price.

  • 16th December, 2013
Scaffolding Services
Scaffolding Services - What Can They Offer Me?

It's always a good idea to find out what services you can expect from scaffolding companies before hiring.

  • 14th December, 2013
Scaffolding Erectors
Scaffolding Erectors and the Services They Provide

If your unsure about putting up scaffolding correctly and safely you may consider using the services of a scaffolding erector.

  • 13th December, 2013
Scaffolding Towers
A Guide to Scaffolding Towers

Whether your a builder, tradesman or DIY enthusiast scaffolding towers provide a safe platform to work at height.

  • 13th December, 2013

More Articles