When it comes to completing construction projects on time and on budget, having the right tools and equipment is a priority. One of the most fundamental types of equipment used on construction sites is scaffolding.
As we all know, Scaffolding temporary structures which support workers and equipment when working at heights during the construction, repair, or maintenance of buildings, bridges, and other structures. There are various types of scaffolding available that suit different projects and purposes and choosing the right scaffolding for your needs is not a straightforward task.
Therefore, when embarking on a project that requires the use of scaffold, it is important for you to know the kind of scaffold that will necessary in the given project.
Below are 5 tips that will help you in choosing the right scaffold for your project;
1. Steel or Aluminium: Scaffold comes in 2 main types, that being steel or aluminium and they are used for very different purposes. Steel scaffold can carry much more load than aluminium and therefore can be built much higher and used for jobs that require materials to be stacked on it such as bricklaying. Steel scaffold is what you’ll see around building sites for multi story apartment blocks. The downside of steel is that it’s much harder to work with as it’s much heavier and usually requires more people, or even a crane to lift it in place.
Aluminium scaffold is the easiest to work with and the most versatile scaffold there is. It is lightweight, has flexible design and can be fitted to suit almost every situation. It does not have the load capacity of steel, and therefore it cannot be loaded up with materials. It also cannot be built to the same height as steel. Aluminium scaffold is used for things such as single story homes, roof repairs or technical jobs that require minimal disturbance such as heritage listed buildings, or interior work.
2. Are you building up or down: When you think of scaffolding you usually think of building up to reach a higher point for repairs or building, but what if you have to work under a bridge? You can have a scaffold tower which enables you to reach heights, but you can also have a suspension scaffold that allows you to build down from a structure such as a bridge to reach underneath for repairs and maintenance.
The main purpose of suspension scaffold is to reach areas when there is no solid structure underneath to build off, or where the structure you are trying to reach is higher than practical for a standard scaffold tower. If your job required repairs to a bridge spanning water a suspension scaffold would be your go to.
3. Prioritising safety: When working at heights, safety is the number one priority which should never be compromised. Understanding safety protocols when it comes to scaffold use is vital and only qualified and competent people can erect scaffolding which is greater than four metres in height. It’s also recommended to use internationally recognised brands that meet strict safety regulations, and not cheap copies made in China. The safety features which should be used with scaffold equipment include guardrails, toe boards, slip-resistant surfaces, sturdy platforms designed for scaffold use, along with comprehensive user information and instructions.
4. Your budget: Your budget is usually a central factor when it comes to choosing scaffolding equipment as different types of scaffolding have differing costs. Generally speaking, supported scaffolding systems are the cheapest option considering that most of the components are reusable. While adjustable scaffolding are more expensive than supported scaffolding systems, work can generally be performed faster and more efficiently. Lastly, suspended scaffolding must be custom-made for each project so they are easily the most expensive scaffolding system.
5. Get recommendations: One of the most reliable ways to understand which type of scaffolding is best suited to your project is by getting recommendations and advice from experts in the industry. Companies with experience in the same type of project will be able to offer practical advice to help you get the job completed more efficiently and productively. If you need any advice on choosing the right scaffolding for your next project, get in touch with the professionals at Midas Scaffolds.