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How to estimate scaffolding

Updated July 19, 2017

Scaffolding is a vital component of construction equipment when working on projects in which a large amount of work is to be done off the ground. Scaffolding is a temporary type of structure that has been used throughout history to aid builders in all fields of construction. Most commonly, scaffolding is available in semi-assembled units that can be easily utilised. Like other construction equipment, scaffolding rental cost is generally straightforward to estimate, and can be completed by just about anyone.

Measure the total length (in metres) of the area you will be using the scaffolding, using the tape measure. This distance will commonly wrap around corners of a building.

Measure the maximum height (in metres) that you will need to reach with the scaffolding, using the tape measure.

Call a local construction equipment rental or building supply centre to quote the current daily rental rate per scaffold unit, and the size (both length and height) of each unit. Scaffold units are most commonly 2.4 m (8 feet) long and 1.8 m (6 feet) high, depending on the manufacturer and type.

Divide the total length of the working area (measured earlier in the process) by the length of the scaffolding units; this will calculate the total number of units you will need to completely span the length of the working area. Divide the maximum height of the working area (measured earlier in the process) by the height of the scaffolding units; this will calculate the total number of units you will need to completely span the height of the working area. Add these numbers together to find the total number of scaffolding units you will need.

Multiply the total number of scaffolding units you will need by their daily rental cost to find the total daily rental rate.

Estimate the number of days you will need the scaffolding; this will vary greatly depending on the job that is to be done. Multiply this number by the total daily rental rate to find the total cost of rental.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Calculator
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About the Author

J. Cavan Barry is an architecture student with over a decade of experience in the general construction field, and four years in architecture. Barry also has nearly a decade of automotive repair experience and is an avid auto enthusiast. After finding an interest in creative writing, he began writing a novel and recently finished the first draft.