Scaffolding is an umbrella term covering a variety of temporary structures used as support for crew during construction, repair and maintenance work of buildings. It can also be used as temporary structures for seating and concert stages, in ski ramps and exhibitions. However, regular usage implies mainly construction applications.
Variety of scaffolding:
- Developing countries all across the world still rely on bamboo tied together with ropes whereas modern scaffolding uses sectional construction or the more commonly used tube and clamp or coupler type.
- System scaffolding is the most sophisticated with engineered components designed for fast and secure assembly.
- The tube and coupler system is a prefabricated design comprising upright standard, horizontal braces, transoms, diagonal braces, battens used as working platforms, couplers, base plate to bear the load, brackets and scaffold ties to hold it in place, usually attached to openings in the buildings. These sectional components are usually assembled on site for the desired width and height. Material may be steel or aluminum with the latter being lighter in weight while steel gives more strength.
- Then there are fixed portable type scaffolds that can be moved into place. Even ladders and high reach aerial work platforms may be considered a type of scaffolding.
In construction and repair work, it is usual to go for scaffolding hire firms that work best by adhering to the construction rules set up by the government or by the local building authorities. Well established companies offer a range of materials and types to suit the repair or construction activity. However, not all such companies are equal in cost of equipment or quality of services. Here is how you select the right firm for your job.
Tips to choose scaffolding hire companies:
- A quick browse through the website will show how well established the company is and the variety of scaffolding equipment it offers. Some may offer simple tube and coupler types whereas better ones will give options on fiberglass.
- Evaluate your requirements before you select the type of scaffolding needed.
- Look at the safety record. Better companies are usually members of some reputed construction or builders’ association and they are covered by insurance. They know risks and liabilities and will ensure precise erection to make it absolutely safe for workmen to work confidently on the scaffolding. Quality companies usually follow safety codes developed by the Scaffold Industry Association. You will find that such companies will also visit the site and inspect it before giving a quote.
- If permits are required to erect the scaffolding, usually the hire companies might be expected to assist. This is preceded by risk assessment prior to the commencement.
- Any company worth its name will have a full complement of trained and professional staff with full training, certification and licensing to carry out the work according to the industry standards. Checking this credential is an absolute must.
- Rates vary since transportation plays a vital role in the final cost so it is better to hire scaffolding from a company nearest to you. However, for specialized needs it might be worthwhile paying a higher price for specialized services because quality of services can never be compromised. The liability is too much with human lives at stake. Rates also depend on duration so it is worthwhile having your contractor coordinate with the hired company to have the structure in place precisely when work is to commence and then dismantled after completion.
So it can be said that we should evaluate our requirements before selecting a scaffolding hire. Safety records of the workmen should also be considered on the priority. At the same time, you should also select and finalize a company that has a flexible nature of working.