When To Rent vs Buy Scaffolding


A common question that comes up around commercial scaffolding is whether it’s better to buy vs rent.  In some cases this can pay off, saving firms money in the long-term and giving them more control; in most cases however it makes more sense to rent from a reputable scaffolding company.

Not sure to buy or rent?

Ask yourself these questions:

How long do you need it for?

For quick jobs of around a week or two it is not cost effective for you to buy scaffolding. If you are starting a small project and are unsure about securing any future projects, renting is the way to go. This is generally what smaller contractors do.

We recommend that you should consider buying when you know that you will regularly be working on projects that last for a few months or more. The question you need to ask yourself is will buying the scaffolding pay for itself in the long term and how would the rental feels stack up?

Do you have scaffolding skills?

If your firm has skilled scaffolders in ticket with knowledge of the latest HSE and OSHA regulations, buying your own scaffolding could be a wise choice. However you will have to stick to renting if you don’t have the skills, experience and qualifications that scaffolding requires.

The law says that scaffolding should be erected by a competent person with adequate training.  If you purchase scaffolding and do not have the expertise within your organisation to safely install it, insurance may not pay out in the case of any incidents and you may be held liable.

As with anything in construction, safety always comes first. Scaffolding in the hands of an incompetent worker can be deadly. Do not cut corners when it comes to scaffolding.

How much do you need?

If you buy your own scaffolding you also have to consider the implications of storage. Scaffolding is large and bulky and will require its own dedicated storage location, storage costs can build quickly if you don’t already have a location.

You will also have to provide the vehicles and manpower to move it back and forth from job to storage site. The scaffolding parts will have to be regularly inspected and maintained which also incurs costs.

How big is your budget?

On a per project basis renting scaffolding is far more affordable than buying. For example a job that would require £40,000 worth of scaffolding may only cost £2,000 to rent!

It’s all about weighing up these costs with the duration of your project, renting will free up costs for other areas. But is renting cost effective for a project that will take years?


We understand that erecting and dismantling scaffolding is a complicated process that requires the skill and experience of seasoned tradespeople like us. This also applies to the pitfalls and complications that can come with making the choice between renting and buying.

If you have any questions about anything regarding renting or buying scaffolding please feel free to contact us for solid professional advice from a team with over 100 years of experience between us.


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