Personnel will need elevated platforms to complete work in hard to reach areas on any construction site. Everyone should be asking whether it is better to hire or purchase scaffolding outright. Deciding which option to choose depends on multiple factors, including the timeframe of the job, frequency of use and variety of applications.
Safety is a priority on large scale construction sites and scaffold systems. However, meeting that priority can incur significant costs.
Outright purchasing a scaffold transfers ownership and full responsibility to the buyer. This includes responsibility for the upkeep of equipment to retain its excellent condition and ensure its safety.
Maintenance requires regular inspections and adequate storage to comply with WorkSafe, which can be expensive.
Replacing broken equipment
More costs will incur when components eventually break down. Builders then need to repurchase components that may have a higher price point now. When and how equipment breaks are dependent on the care and storage of components.
Hiring fixes the issue as a part of the responsibility remains with suppliers and contractors. They ensure the integrity of the scaffold is not hindered and repossess the scaffold once a job is completed. Hires remove the need and cost of storage.
Many time-saving benefits arise from choosing to hire over purchasing. The experience of suppliers and their qualified scaffolders removes the time, stress and hassle of sourcing your own. This is especially true on sites with tight deadlines.
Certain projects need a scaffold for half a day or specific components for a unique site. In these scenarios, purchasing a scaffold is often the wrong choice.
Buying scaffolding to use for one week out of a month-long project is ill-advised. Site managers will often be left scrambling to arrange storage. The hassle wastes time, clutters the site and greatly increases costs.
Likewise, those needing a mobile tower for small home renovations are better off hiring. Painting only in a single room can take 1 or 2 days. Anything other than hiring will leave owners with equipment they don’t want, and collects dust in their garage.
Different packages for different jobs
Alternatively, buying when working on sites with wildly varying requirements can cost more in the long run. It may require multiple trips to suppliers over weeks to grab components not found in the base package.
Hiring systems removes the hassle when arranging storage or buying additional components. Builders can instead meet the needs of individual jobs and maximise cost-efficiency.
When acquiring scaffolds with a platform height above 4m, expertise is required to erect scaffolding that a site’s personnel may not have. It is much more efficient to simply hire equipment and scaffolders at the same time than try to train workers.
Professional scaffolders come with all the relevant qualifications for erecting towers. If recruiting from the same supplier, worksites enjoy personnel familiar with the modular systems they are assembling.
Choosing to hire scaffolding over buying provides a greater range of benefits.
So Do I Hire or Buy?
The short answer is ‘it depends’ but we’ll do our best to help you with your decision-making.
Commercial & residential construction companies
At face value it may make more sense for a company to own the equipment they use. But, the cost of owning can compound from regular maintenance, different applications between jobs and the cost of storage. For small or medium sized businesses, this is not feasible and we recommend hiring kwikstage or mobile scaffold instead.
Larger corporations meanwhile can buy and sustain their own scaffolding equipment. Despite the financial resources, large construction bodies may still choose to hire if it fits with their business.
Residential & DIY projects
Local handymen who regularly complete DIY work around the house are well suited to buying outright. The jack-of-all-trades can easily assemble mobile scaffolding. Towers provide adjustable platforms with varying access heights to match their needs. Minimal components make for easy storage in the garage or a small cupboard. The portability of towers make it ideal for tradesmen on smaller jobs. If elevated work is not a regular occurrence and the project spans only a few days, hiring is the best option.