The Complete Guide to Choosing the Right Scaffolding for your Project

Scaffolding , also known as staging, is a temporary structure that helps to support workers and materials normally during the construction or renovation of buildings or homes. Scaffolding is very versatile and serves many purposes; it can be utilised for small builds, big city skyscraper, or other infrastructure projects. Scaffolding has been used in construction for a long period of time for a broad range of projects and is absolutely necessary for all major construction projects around the globe. It might come as a surprise but there are many different types of scaffolding, all produced from various materials, so it’s paramount to understand precisely what scaffolding will be required for your project. The materials used to make scaffolding range from bamboo, preassembled structures, modular structures, and the traditional metal pipes scaffolding. To have an understanding of what sort of scaffolding is suitable for various projects, a good place to start is to gain knowledge of the basic types of scaffolding available. In the following, we’ll explain some of the more common types of scaffolding used today.

Single Scaffolding

Single scaffolding, also known as brick layer’s scaffolding, uses a sequence of vertical members made of timber or bamboo. These are referred to as standards. The scaffolding is securely fixed to the ground and is positioned parallel to the side of the building. If the project requires workers to perform their jobs at heights, braces are frequently used to enhance the stability of the scaffolding as it increases in height.

Double Scaffolding

This kind of scaffolding is stronger than single scaffolding and is commonly used with stone masonry. Not surprisingly, double scaffolding is also referred to as mason’s scaffolding. The main difference between these two types of scaffolding is that double scaffolding includes two rows of standards that are fixed into the ground, in contrast to single scaffolding where only a single row is fixed into the ground.

Steel Scaffolding

Steel scaffolding, or tubular scaffolding, has a similar structure to single and double scaffolding, however the major difference lies within the materials used to construct this type of scaffolding. Rather than using timber, steel tubing is used with a diameter ranging from 40mm to 60mm. Steel couples are used as an alternative to rope lashing and rather than fixing the standards into the ground, steel scaffolding uses a base plate.

There are a number of advantages in utilising steel scaffolding. This kind of scaffolding can be assembled and disassembled a lot faster than timber scaffolding, making it very effective in reducing construction timeframes and therefore costs. Furthermore, the materials used are much more resilient than timber scaffolding, and are fire resistant which provides workers with a safer working environment. Steel scaffolding is also suitable and safe at any height, making it very effective for a wide range of projects.

Needle Scaffolding

Needle scaffolding is an ideal option in certain circumstances, particularly when it’s not possible to fix the scaffolding to the ground. Rather than being fixed to the ground, needle scaffolding is positioned at certain height above ground level. Where the stands are placed upon is called the needle, hence where the name comes from. The needle itself is made from timber and this kind of scaffolding is a great option where construction needs to be carried out in busy urban areas. It’s also commonly utilised for construction performed at high levels such as tall buildings and skyscrapers.

Trestle Scaffolding

This type of scaffolding is much smaller and is commonly used inside rooms, with a maximum height reach of up to 5 metres. Being very mobile, trestle scaffolding is used on small projects such as DIY home repairs and painting jobs. It’s particularly effective as it provides a stable platform for workers where a ladder may not be suitable. Safety is always paramount in construction, but comfort is certainly an added benefit!

Suspended Scaffolding

You’ve probably seen construction workers, painters, or perhaps window washers on the side of a building? Well it most cases, these workers are using suspended scaffolding. These working platforms use either ropes or chains that are suspended from rooftops. The platform is then lowered to the appropriate level where work needs to be performed. Typically, this kind of scaffolding is used for window washers, painting jobs or other repair works that needs to be performed on the sides of tall buildings.

How do you recognise what kind of scaffolding is best for your project?

Identifying the appropriate type of scaffolding you require for your project means that you’ll be able to budget accurately and you’ll have the the right equipment to effectively complete a project in a timely manner. Prices will vary according to what type of scaffolding you require and how much scaffolding you need. This is why it’s very important to recognise your scaffolding requirements in order to complete your project safely and effectively.

You need to have a clear understanding of how your scaffolding will assist you in completing your project. What jobs will be performed on the scaffolding? Where will the scaffolding be positioned? How many workers will be using the scaffolding at any one time? To clear up any confusion you may have, the following lists some questions that you should yourself before embarking on your project:

● Will the scaffolding be required for a single story or multi-story building?
● Is the project comprised of constructing or renovating?
● What kind of design does the building have?
● Will the project take place inside or outside the building?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you’ll have a much better idea on the most appropriate type of scaffolding that you should hire or buy for your project. On the other hand, if you’re still not certain, always seek assistance from a qualified scaffolding hire or sales company who can give professional advice on the type of equipment you’ll require for your project.

Uni-Span are scaffold hire and sales specialists who have worked on a wide range of construction projects in all major cities across Australia. If you require any assistance with various scaffolding or formwork requirements, get in contact with Uni-Span on 1300 882 825, or visit their website for more information: http://uni-span.com.au.

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