Different types of scaffolding

Scaffolding is essential for construction, but different kinds might be needed for different purposes. Photo: Kruwt, Bigstock

Scaffolding of some sort has been a major part of the history of human construction techniques and can be traced back to multiple parallel cultures. The notion of erecting a temporary platform in order to work at heights has remained a requirement of people throughout the ages and this is no different in today’s society.

This type of system is important because it works to support both the workers and the original structure that is being worked on. This kind of temporary framework is used by masons when they need to reach a high up area to install the components of a building.

Scaffolding can be used in construction, maintenance, access, repair and inspection jobs so they tend to have a wide range of versatility. Let’s take a look at the different types of scaffolding there are and what they’re useful for.

Single scaffolding

Also known as ‘brick layers’, this type of platforming is often seen in masonry jobs that work on the exterior of a building. It is made up of a single framework that uses standards, put logs and ledgers that is constructed adjacent to the wall being worked on.

For scaffolding that is placed against very high areas, braces are normally fixed to provide added support and to maintain the stability of this high altitude platforming. The braces are set up cross diagonally using rope lashing.

Double scaffolding

Like the single variants, this type of platforming is also commonly associated with masons because of how frequently they are used in those types of jobs. This kind of platforming is considered stronger and safer for supporting workers when compared to the single variant.

This type of platforming is different from the single variant because it includes two rows of standards that are split by ledgers that provide better support. This system is considered more secure and far safer for prolonged work than the single variant.

While one side of the putlog is usually attached in the holes that are made in the wall in the case of single scaffolding, putlogs are not attached with the wall in the double variant. Instead of this, the putlogs are supported by ledgers found at both ends of the temporary platforming.

This works to make sure that scaffolding is independent of the wall’s surface and it eliminates the need to put holes within the surface of the wall.

Cantilever scaffolding

Also commonly referred to as the “needle” variant cantilever works by using standards that get support from a succession of needles that are taken out through holes in the adjacent wall. This can come in double or single variants.

Single cantilever uses standards that are supported through a series of needles. The double variant instead had needles along with projecting beams that are strutted against the ground via openings.

Cantilever is more commonly used when the ground is not firm enough to support regular standards, especially on busy streets. They are also used when construction is done at height on multi-storied buildings.

Suspended scaffolding

As the name implies, this type of platforming is suspended from a higher up point rather than supported from a lower point. These systems can be easily raised or lowered to a new level and are most commonly used for quick maintenance jobs like painting or window cleaning.

Trestle scaffolding

This system consists of a working platform that is supported by two moveable ladders without any standards or putlogs. This system can be easily moved from one area to another and is commonly used by painters and plasterers.

As you can see, each variant has its own advantages and its own limitations. It’s best to do some further research to see which one is perfectly suited for your job.