To start with, the question splits onto two separate domains. First, whether you need to use a scaffolding structure at all. Second, whether you need to hire a scaffolding company or build the structure yourself.
When do you need to use a scaffolding structure?
The answer on the surface is ‘every time you need to accomplish works at height. But, indeed, the question is not as plain as this. To clarify, there are various height access solutions applicable for such works:
- Rope access
- Suspended access platforms
- Mobile elevating work platform, etc
So, the decision about what access solution to choose depends on the project you intend to undertake. For example, rope access may suit simple building maintenance tasks. However, it is unsuitable for tasks that require frequent to-and-fro moving and dealing with heavy or bulky equipment, instruments, and materials. The platforms also have their limitations.
Moreover, most of the access technologies are not a good fit for large-scale and long-term projects.
Thus, you definitely need to scaffold your building when you undertake the following projects:
- Building construction
- Building exterior reconstruction
- Non-explosive demolition
When do you need to hire a scaffolding contractor?
In theory, one can buy a scaffolding kit and build a structure by oneself. However, there are at least three aspects to consider:
- First, Work at Height Regulations 2005 allow using only a recognised standard configuration for DIY scaffolding. In contrast, the bespoke configuration requires engaging a competent engineer for its designing.
- Second, even when using a structure of a standard configuration, you must undertake all required inspections. According to law, only a person of relevant CISRS scaffold inspection qualification is allowed to inspect the scaffold.
- Third, do your numbers. Compare costs of scaffolding your building yourself and these of hiring a scaffolding company. To clarify, for short-term projects it is feasible to rent rather than buy.
To conclude, scaffolding is essential for construction, reconstruction, and demolition projects. Moreover, unless you have a competent person in your staff, you must turn your head to a scaffolding company. At last, even if the standard configuration option fits your project, hiring a contractor may be cheaper than building it yourself.