What is scaffolding?

While it might often be considered an eyesore, scaffolding is a necessary structure that allows workmen access to the exterior of your property, including the roof. Scaffolding works best when used on small properties; for larger buildings (such as a large industrial building or a high-rise building) it might be better to use a power access platform.

Do roofers need scaffolding?

The short answer? Usually, yes. If you’re going to be employing roofers to carry out work on your property, you’re going to want to install scaffolding to ensure their security while moving around on your roof. Accidents are much more likely to occur if your roofers are forced to move up and down ladders all the time, especially if they’re working in windy or wet weather.

There are a couple of instances where scaffolding isn’t necessary: for example, if there is already access to your roof via a stairwell, roof door, or interior passageway. In these instances, scaffolding won’t usually be necessary as there’s already a safe passage for your roofers.

Benefits of scaffolding

Aside from ensuring a safe place for your roofers to work, using scaffolding can be beneficial in a number of other, different ways:

Easier to carry out work

With a scaffolding structure in place, your roofers will be able to move around your roof more safely and easily, making it easier for them to carry out the work efficiently. If they’re forced to work with ladders, not only is the possibility of accidents or injury higher, but it can also be cumbersome for them to transport work materials, and find a place to store their materials when they don’t need them. Scaffolding simplifies everything, and allows your roofers to store their tools and materials in one place.


As your roofers won’t need to go up and down ladders all day, you’ll find that your home repairs or roof work gets completed faster. If you’re employing roofers on an hourly basis, this can work out better for you when it comes to calculating the final costs of your maintenance. Scaffolding is also much less expensive than hiring other safety tools, such as a forklift or power access platform; scaffolding is both efficient and cost-effective.

Protection from the elements

Wind and rain are two factors that can render an outdoor workspace dangerous. Having roofers go to and from your roof (often carrying equipment) during adverse weather can increase the likelihood of accidents or injuries occurring. Scaffolding protects roofers from the elements, and prevents them from having to make dangerous back-and-forth journeys.

When should I use scaffolding?

For any work being done on your roof, it’s a good idea to use scaffolding. The only time where scaffolding isn’t necessary is when you already have in-built access to your roof via your property (such as side stairs, or a ladder leading from the interior of your property to your roof.)

Even if your home isn’t particularly high-rise (such as a bungalow or a cottage) scaffolding is still a good idea; roofers can still fall when walking up ladders, and can still fall from the roof and get injured. If you’re going to be carrying out any work on your property that poses a potential fall risk or safety risk, make sure you speak to your roofing company about installing scaffolding.

Types of scaffolding

When it comes to installing scaffolding, there are three main types:

Supported scaffolding: The most common type of scaffolding is supported scaffolding, and is erected outside the area of construction. Typically, supported scaffolding is constructed upwards via the base, and works by supporting the structure before it’s finished.

Suspended scaffolding: Typically suspended above the property, suspended scaffolding uses ropes to remain in place. These types of scaffolds tend to be used if a property isn’t easily accessible, if the property is too large to use supported scaffolding. As the scaffolding functions via a suspension, it’s much easier to adjust the height of the scaffolding.

Mobile scaffolding: As their name implies, mobile scaffolds are used when the work being done involves moving around or relocations. Mobile scaffolding is most frequently used for repair and renovation projects.

How much does scaffolding cost?

Scaffolding can cost anywhere from £400 to £3000, depending on the size of your building and how long you’re going to be leaving the scaffolding up for.

Many scaffolding hire companies will allow you to rent scaffolding either by day, week, or month; in order to avoid paying excess costs, it’s a good idea to establish how long the work is going to take before getting started; this way, you won’t end up going over budget.

Frequently asked scaffolding questions

Is scaffolding a legal requirement?

Scaffolding isn’t required by law, but if you’re carrying out work on a property, you’ll be obliged (by the Work at Height regulation act of 2005) to implement all necessary safety measures to prevent work falls and other accidents.

Do roofers provide the scaffolding?

Most roofing companies will be able to provide scaffolding services at an extra cost. Make sure to discuss these costs beforehand, especially if you opt for a weekly or daily charge. Costs can easily stack up if you don’t agree on a budget beforehand.

Do I need permission to install scaffolding?

You don’t need a licence to install scaffolding around your home or business property. However, if the scaffolding encroaches onto any public pavement or public road, you’ll need a licence from your local council.

Mike Alexander
Hey there, I'm Mike - writer and part time home improvement expert at Refurbb. Since owning and refurbishing my own property in 2018, I've since been developing rental properties, writing about my home improvement endeavours, sharing what I've learned and connecting readers to reputable tradespeople in the UK.

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