When planning a construction project, scaffolding is going to play an essential role in ensuring its success. It doesn’t matter if it’s a relatively small residential renovation or a multi-million dollar commercial development, scaffolding is going to make the work move along efficiently and provide a high level of safety for everyone on the worksite. The nature of the use of scaffolding means that most projects will require it for an extensive portion of construction time and therefore it is a component of a project that has a relatively large influence on the overall budget of the project.

When people are outlining their costs for their project they often come to a fork in the road for scaffolding… Does it make more sense to rent or buy scaffolding? While there is no question that an inexperienced builder should always err on the side of caution and rent scaffolding from a professional scaffolding team, for more experienced builders it may be slightly more complicated deciding whether to rent or buy scaffolding. There are many different factors to consider and in today’s blog post we are going to cover some of the pros and cons between buying and renting scaffolding.

When Should You Rent Scaffolding?

Hiring scaffolding comes with many advantages when compared to buying it outright. The convenience of the logistics should factor majorly into your decision, as hiring scaffolding means that the scaffolding company will take care of transporting the scaffolding to its desired location. They are then able to erect the tower in a manner that is safe, efficient, and in the best configuration for your project based on their years of experience. To add to this point, purchasing scaffolding means that you would need the correct qualifications in erecting and dismantling scaffolding while simultaneously ensuring that you are meeting the various safety codes required for working at heights. Furthermore, you will require a secure facility to store the scaffolding when not in use.

Logistics aside, hiring scaffolding is significantly cheaper than buying scaffolding. This is particularly true if it is required for short-term use for projects. Consider this – while the cost to hire encompasses the scaffolding itself, it also covers the transporting, storage, and maintenance of the scaffolding system. These additional costs can really inflate the price of owning scaffolding.

Hiring scaffolding for projects that are oddly shaped is highly recommended as the experience of the scaffolding company will ensure that erecting the scaffolding is done safely. A good scaffolding company will have a vast array of projects under their belt and have solutions for these complex structures that an inexperienced builder does not have. This is also true for projects that require the use of scaffolding over 5 meters in height from the top of the scaffold such (for example, the handrail).

When Should You Buy Scaffolding?

If you’re a construction company that works on multiple projects a year or projects that are long in duration, buying scaffolding may be a feasible option. It should be noted that there are still a number of considerations when deciding whether or not to purchase scaffolding. As outlined above, transporting and storing scaffolding in a secure facility can be a large overhead cost. In addition to this, time and money need to be set aside in order to maintain the scaffolding. This is required to ensure that the scaffolding used meets New Zealand safety standards and requires the knowledge and qualification to know when components of the scaffolding need to be replaced.

By purchasing scaffolding you have access to it at all times. It removes the need to sink time into researching the best prices, reviewing extensive terms and conditions of the lease, and organising timelines that work for both you and the scaffolding company. It also helps to own the scaffolding in the event that your project’s timeline is extended.

If your project is less than 4 meters in height purchasing scaffolding may be a great option. This is because these scaffolding systems are often very versatile and can be used on a range of different projects. It should still be noted that you will still need qualified personnel to erect and dismantle the tower with an effective safety programme in place.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to the question of whether or not you should buy scaffolding there are a range of factors that require consideration. A simple rule to go by is that if a project takes less than three months or has significant height or complexity issues, hiring scaffolding is the better option. Conversely, if the project is likely to go on for a while or doesn’t require work to be performed at heights or complex structures it may be in your best interest to purchase it. Buying scaffolding does offer you the option to resell after a project to recoup the costs, but these costs can be quite significant when compared to the transportation, storage, and scaffolding erecting and maintenance services offered by scaffolding hiring companies.

As you can see, there is no black or white answer to whether you should buy or rent scaffolding. While you can take all the listed factors into consideration for making your decision, your best bet is to talk to an experienced, reputable scaffolding company to help you decide the best course of action for your next project. South Pacific Scaffolding has a reputation for offering industry-leading scaffolding services across the wider Auckland region, with experience working on projects of all sizes and complexities. Get in contact with our team today and find out how we can ensure the success of your next construction project.