What Are the Best Tips for Renting Scaffolding?

Dan Cavallari

Sometimes a builder will need scaffolding for a project, but it may not make fiscal sense to buy and store it. Renting scaffolding is a good option to remedy this situation, but before heading to the rental company to get the materials, the builder needs to think carefully about how the structure will be used. The cost of renting scaffolding can vary, and a builder can obtain the necessary pieces for a good price, but it is important to consider safety first: the builder may be tempted to skip renting toe boards and platforms, which is a bad idea.

It may be more cost efficient to rent scaffolds for short term projects, like painting a house.
It may be more cost efficient to rent scaffolds for short term projects, like painting a house.

Platforms are the broad pieces of material on which the workers will stand and walk during construction. Renting scaffolding without these pieces may be tempting, especially if the builder has scrap pieces of wood that he or she can use instead, but renting the platforms from the rental company is advisable because the rental units will offer the best fit and stability. They are designed specifically for the scaffolding, so the builder is less likely to run into a liability issue. Toe boards line the edges of the platform to prevent the workers from accidentally kicking tools or materials off the platform, creating a hazard for bystanders below. It may also be tempting to avoid including these boards when renting scaffolding, but in the interest of safety, the builder should consider including toe boards in the order.

Before renting scaffolding, it is important for the builder to determine how much piping he or she will need, and whether the rental company will have the appropriate amount of materials available. It is best to make a reservation ahead of time and review a contract that spells out how long the builder can use the scaffolding, as well as where and how the scaffolding can be used. It will be important to read the contract carefully to find out who is responsible should the materials break or otherwise fail; the builder could be on the hook for a lot of money if the contract states he is responsible for damaged items.

Think about how the materials will be transported before renting scaffolding. Piping, platforms, toe boards, and couplers can be heavy and bulky, and a large truck will be necessary to transport these materials. Some rental companies will deliver the materials for an extra charge, which may be worth the investment if the builder does not have transportation big enough to carry the load.

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