Do I Need Scaffolding For A Loft Conversion?
In most cases, you will need some scaffolding at some point during the construction of your loft conversion.
Sometimes property owners are worried about having scaffolding because it might need to be:
- In a public path/road
- Over a conservatory
- In a neighbouring property
There are rules and standards governing the way that scaffolding is used and all of the problems mentioned above are easily solvable.
If scaffolding is required in a public footpath and permit can be acquired from the local authority. Weak roofs and conservatories can be bridged over with the use of special scaffolding beams.
Costs for scaffolding for a loft conversion can be anything from a few hundred to several thousand pounds, depending on the size and complexity of the project.
Scaffolding may be needed in several ways for a loft conversion :
- Access to the roof
- A platform to work/build off
- Weather protection
Accessing the Roof
For even the most basic loft conversions, making holes in the existing roof is required for windows/roof lights.
Some of this work has to be done from the outside and operatives need to be able to access the roof safely and the best way to do this is with a scaffold.
Scaffolding is very versatile, so a scaffold which is used for accessing the roof could also double up as a storage area for light building materials for operatives working on the roof.
For dormer, hip-to-gable and mansard conversions, much of the existing roof may need to be removed or modified. In instances like this, operatives need to stand next to the roof while they work on it.
They will also need to store materials on the scaffold, both when they are demolishing and building the new roof structure.
When a property is having a significant amount of the original roof removed it is often wise to extend the scaffolding above the eaves of the roof and use it as weather protection.
Scaffolding can be used to stop driving rain from entering uncovered areas horizontally, but it can also be made to span right over the top of a house to stop all the rain and effectively make a temporary roof.
This has several benefits:
- Much less chance of water ingress into the property
- Operatives are working 'inside' unhampered by the weather
- The scaffold is multi-tasking as access, working platform and weather protection
Can Anyone Build Scaffolding?
Traditional tube-and-fit scaffolding should be built by a competent person and most scaffolders will have a card to show that they have had suitable training and experience in building scaffolding.
There are other types of scaffolding called 'system scaffolds' which are like Lego kits made up of standard components. There are lots of different brands and types of system scaffolds, many of which are used in commercial and industrial settings such as temporary staging, temporary public access and large building sites.
These types of scaffolds can be built by anyone (in theory) but it is not recommended that you go out and buy/hire one unless you have experience with building similar systems.