Scaffolding Costs: Buying vs. Hiring


In most businesses, operating costs could spell the difference between success and failure. The construction industry is no exception. Whether you are a big company or a small- and medium-sized business, every effort must be made to reduce expenses and maximise profits.

Safety is something that is never compromised, especially in the construction business. But some measures can minimise costs without compromising the welfare of workers. One example is the use of scaffolding, specifically, whether you should buy it from a construction material supplier or get a scaffolding for hire. To answer this question, you must consider the following factors:

Duration of Use

The duration of your project has much to do with the practicality of buying or hiring scaffolding. Buying obviously entails a higher upfront cost, but once bought, the equipment is yours to use anytime with no additional charge. On the other hand, hiring is cheaper at a glance, but the accumulated amount over a long period of renting has to be considered.

Hiring is a better option if you are working on short-term projects. Start-up contractors who do not have a steady stream of jobs yet could look to get a scaffolding for hire while working on one-off projects. As your company becomes more established and start getting long-term jobs, you could look into buying scaffolding if it would yield a higher return on your investment.

When looking for a company to rent from, start with local companies close to the job site to reduce transport costs. You can also weigh if the lower rates of a rental company farther from the site could offset the added mileage cost. Another thing to consider when renting is whether the company leases the equipment by piece or per kit.

Available Storage

Storage, in itself, requires significant investment. It must also be included when you consider buying your own scaffold materials as you would need a place to store them in between projects. It is more suitable for bigger companies that are able to recoup the cost with a constant stream of long-term projects. For smaller businesses, hiring will do away with the added cost of long-term storage.

Logistics and Labour Cost

If you have your own scaffolding, you need qualified workers who can safely erect and disassemble the structure, which could take anywhere from several hours to a few days, depending on the complexity. In addition, you would need more man-hours to handle the materials from the construction sites to your storage area and vice versa. Each added complexity in your operation entails additional costs that have to be balanced against the gain that it delivers.

Most rental companies offer to install the equipment for you. They have qualified personnel who have much experience in setting up scaffolding. You can inquire about their rates for this service and decide if you would avail or do it yourself.

Size of the Project

There are times when you need to take on big projects that require a lot of scaffold materials, more than what you already have if you do own some. In these cases, your best option is to hire scaffolding. Buying all the materials needed for a project this size would be impractical as they would end up spending more time in storage than on a job site.

Kelly Passarelly
Kelly Passarelly is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about different topics.

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