What Factors Affect the Cost of Scaffolding?

Lori Kilchermann

There are many factors that affect the cost of scaffolding. The number of scaffolding sections used can be factored using the length and height of the project. The number of workers that will need space accommodations on the scaffolding, the weight that the scaffolding will be required to support as well as the length of time the scaffolding will be needed on the job site are all common factors contributing to the cost of scaffolding. The cost of scaffolding is also determined by the type and style of scaffolding being rented. Some of the heavier components are typically more expensive to rent because the components cost more for the rental service to purchase from the vendor.

Scaffolding costs can depend on the number of workers using the scaffolding.
Scaffolding costs can depend on the number of workers using the scaffolding.

Scaffolding is commonly rented from a scaffolding supply service, with several factors contributing to the total cost of scaffolding for any given job. Smaller scaffolding sections can typically cost less than larger units. For a job that might involve several block masons building a concrete block wall, the cost of scaffolding will often be higher than other types of scaffolding due to the requirement of the scaffolding to be able to safely support not only the block masons, but the blocks and mortar as well.

Scaffolding workers must not be fearful of heights.
Scaffolding workers must not be fearful of heights.

Industrial-strength scaffolding will commonly be more costly to rent than home-use scaffold, however, depending on the frequency of rental, the industrial cost of scaffolding may actually be less expensive per section. Other factors that contribute to the cost of scaffolding can be the time of year in which the scaffolding is being rented and the number of scaffolding rentals in the area. In off months, cost may reflect special pricing in order to urge contractors to rent when they may otherwise not use the product. Conversely, when several contractors are using scaffolding in a similar area, the scaffolding availability becomes a premium and the cost can rise accordingly.

Metal scaffolding is typically more expensive than the wooden version due, in part, to the increased safety in using the steel product as well as the ease of assembly as compared to the heavier wooden components. Another factor that can raise the price of scaffolding significantly is the use of purpose-built platforms. In choosing the aluminum platforms over the use of wooden planks, the cost of scaffolding units can rise substantially. New scaffolding will typically rent for a higher price than used units, due to the tighter fit and perceived higher quality of the new components as compared to the older used units.

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