The Seven Types of Scaffolding

The Different Types of Scaffolding in Exeter

Before you get started on scaffolding safety, it is important to know the different types of scaffolding. Learn the types of scaffolding in Exeter here.

Whether your project is commercial or industrial, scaffolding is a vital aspect of any construction site.

Essentially, scaffolding provides a stable platform for construction workers to safely continue their work at any height. It’s used on construction projects, repair jobs or for cleaning the outside of a building or big machine.

Scaffolding comes in different forms. Before you choose which one is best for your project, let’s look at what scaffolding is and the different available types of scaffolding in Exeter.

What is scaffolding?

The term scaffolding refers to a temporary, rigid structure used by workmen to easily and safely access a task that’s usually quite high.

The most common scaffolding in Exeter is made from steel poles and wooden planks, but bamboo has also been famously used for scaffolding in China, most notably while building the Great Wall of China.

Scaffolding in Exeter is made up of different parts:

  • The standard refers to the vertical poles that will carry the weight of the structure.
  • The ledgers are the supporting components that run parallel to the structure.
  • Braces are supports that run diagonally to the standards that make the temporary structure more rigid.
  • The putlog is placed horizontally between the ledger and the structure, offering extra support.
  • Transoms refer to the name given to putlogs when both ends of the putlog are supported by the ledger.
  • The Boarding, also known as batten or board decking, are the horizontal platforms, sometimes made up by wooden planks, that supports workmen and their materials. These should be at least 46 centimetres wide to allow workmen to easily move around on them.
  • A Guard Rail is like a ledger but placed at a working level. This protects workers from falling off the structure or from being hit by falling building materials and should be installed on all exposed sides of the structure.
  • The Toe Board is placed parallel to the ledger and supported by the putlog. It is used at the level workmen are working at to offer extra protection and stop materials from falling off the edge.

Ideally, supported scaffolding should be able to support four times it’s maximum intended load while rigging for suspension loads should hold six times the intended load.

Customised scaffolding should be designed by an engineer with working knowledge of suspension and scaffolding regulations.

Different types of scaffolding in Exeter

Scaffolding can be made from various materials and in various sizes to best suit the project you’re working on.

It’s also designed differently according to the weight they will need to hold up.

1. Single scaffolding

Single scaffolding in Exeter is also sometimes called Brick Layer’s Scaffolding.

As the name suggests, it’s often used by brick masons while building walls.

This type of scaffolding consists of a single framework of standards fixed securely to the ground, 2,4 to three meters apart from each other.

These are connected by ledgers placed 1,2 to 1,5 meters apart. The structure is connected to the wall with putlogs linked to the ledgers with ties at 1,2-meter intervals.

Braces can be used to add extra support if the scaffolding needs to be quite high.

Single scaffolding is termed supported scaffolding as it’s built from the base up. It’s widely considered to be a safe and affordable form of scaffolding in Exeter, making it a popular choice for construction companies.

2. Double scaffolding

Double scaffolding is also called mason’s scaffolding, as it’s most commonly used by stone masons.

It’s difficult to leave holes for putlogs in stone masonry. That’s why this kind of scaffolding structure is completely separate from the wall, using itself as a support.

It relies on two frames of standards. The first is placed as close to the wall as possible with the second placed 1,5 meters away. To handle heavier loads, they could be placed closer together.

Transoms are used on the ledgers to make the structure sturdier.

Double scaffolding is another example of a supported scaffolding option.

3. Cantilever scaffolding

Sometimes referred to as needle scaffolding or a single frame type scaffolding, cantilever scaffolding is used in instances where it may not be possible to build the structure from the ground up.

This may be because you are working on a busy street where you don’t want to obstruct traffic or working high up on the side of a building.

Instead of fixing the standards on the ground, they are supported by a series of needles, usually made from timber, fixed to holes in the wall or window corners.

Vertical struts are wedged between the needle and the headpiece to stop the needles from slipping out. In a double type version of this scaffolding, the needles would be strutted to the floor through openings in the structure.

Only one side of a cantilever scaffolding is secured to the building. This means workmen working high up on the side of the building may need to wear a harness to ensure their safety.

That said, this type of scaffolding in Exeter is an efficient way for workers to get access to awkward, hard to reach places and is relatively simple to erect.

4. Suspended scaffolding

Ever seen window cleaners at work on the side of a building? They usually use suspended scaffolding.

It’s also used for maintenance and repair jobs on the side of a building.

Basically, a platform or boarding, with a guard rail, is suspended from the top of a building using ropes, wires or chains; with a counterweight made of a sturdy material on the other end.

It can easily be lowered or raised, either mechanically or manually, as needed. Suspended scaffolding must be secured to make sure it doesn’t sway while being adjusted.

It’s important to inspect the ropes, wires or chains for any possible damage before use.

Debris nets are sometimes used to catch building tools or materials that may be knocked off the platform.

Because the scaffolding is exposed, it would be a good idea for workers using suspended scaffolding in Exeter to consider using a harness here as well, for safety.

5. Trestle scaffolding

If you’re busy with minor repairs or indoor painting, this is the scaffolding you’ll most likely use.

Trestle scaffolding refers to a boarding or platform held up by movable ladders or tripods. There are no standards, ledgers or putlogs.

It’s made from lightweight materials and can sometimes be put on wheels, making them easy to move around. This is why it’s also sometimes called mobile or rolling scaffolding.

Trestle scaffolding in Exeter is only really used for working five meters high or lower. It replaces the use of a ladder, while also giving workers a platform to work on.

It’s also used in instances where lots of work needs to be done in one space, rendering an immovable structure impractical.

6. Steel scaffolding

Steel or tubular scaffolding is very similar to double scaffolding with only a few slight differences.

According to the Dictionary of Construction, steel scaffolding is defined as: “Scaffolding manufactured from galvanised steel or aluminium tube and connected by clamps.”

The steel tubes replace the timber usually used in mason’s scaffolding while steel couplers or fittings replace the rope that would be used to fasten components together.

Standards are also welded to a base plate instead of merely being fixed to the ground. The metal tubes are generally 40 to 60 millimetres in diameter.

When setting up a steel scaffolding structure, the standards should be placed 2,5 to three meters apart. They are then connected by ledgers at 1,8-meter vertical intervals. Putlogs used here are usually 1,2 to 1,8 meters long.

Steel scaffolding can be expensive and it requires skilled labour to assemble along with regular maintenance, but it’s advantages far outweigh the initial cost.

It can be erected and dismantled fairly quickly. Considering it’s also more durable than timber and fire resistant, the long-term saving of time and costs makes it an economical option.

Steel scaffolding in Exeter is stronger than timber and can be built up to be higher.  It’s generally considered to be a safer option for workers is used extensively these days.

7. Patented scaffolding

Patented scaffolding can be bought ready-made.

While it’s also made of steel, it has its own special couplings and frame.

Traditional couplings are replaced by an integral locking device and the working platform rests on brackets that can easily be adjusted to the height you require.

Besides being easy to assemble using semi-skilled labour, patented scaffolding in Exeter should automatically comply with local building safety regulations.

The only drawback of this scaffolding is it’s lack of flexibility when compared to more traditional options. It may not be the best fit for work that needs to be done at awkward angles or places.

Choosing the best type scaffolding in Exeter

Before you embark on a construction, maintenance or cleaning project, consider contacting a scaffolding company.

Customised scaffolding solutions that comply with industry best practices will help ensure the safety of your workers.

A business like Drake Scaffolding, for example, will be able to provide you with the best option for the job by conducting a detailed on-site inspection and survey.