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4 Pros & 5 Cons to Hiring Scaffold Towers


Are you considering a scaffold tower for easy internal or external decorating? Or, you may need it for easy access to windows, gutters and roofs. Whatever the case, we will review the pros and cons of whether it is worth buying or hiring scaffold towers.

Before we commence, it is essential to note that LEWIS Access manufacture and distribute scaffold towers. We may be slightly biased towards buying rather than hiring. However, we recognise that buying is not always the best decision for everyone. So, we have written it with a balanced perspective.

When Hiring a Scaffold Tower Makes Sense

Infrequent DIY-er

If you enjoy a bit of DIY but rarely have the time or skillset to do it yourself, you may be better off with a scaffold tower hire. 

Following our research, scaffold tower hire is typically in the low end of double digits for a week. 

Professional with the Odd Job at Height

Suppose you have a window cleaning business or a gutter cleaning business. We assume you primarily work from the ground using an extendable window cleaning pool or a gutter vacuum. 

Therefore, hiring a scaffold tower is likely more cost-effective than buying one. In fact, it makes more sense to buy a high-quality trade ladder or industrial ladder.

Time to Undertake the Task or Job

If the time to complete a task or job spans several weeks, and you may never need a scaffold tower again, hiring one will likely be more cost-effective. 

However, if the task or job is likely to span several months, buying a scaffold tower may be a better option. Ultimately, it will depend on the type of tower you require and the cost of hiring it for such a period. 

Not in the Best Financial Situation (or Financial Goals)

Whether you are an individual or a business owner, your financial situation and the above reasons may mean it is better to hire a scaffold tower. For example, hiring may be the most suitable option, especially if you need to raise additional capital for a cash purchase.

When Buying a Scaffold Tower Makes Sense

Frequent Usage

With all forms of equipment, there is the cost of hiring versus owning. 

Generally, for short-term projects (or infrequent usage), the cost of hiring is the more favourable option, even though you will pay the markup on the cost of ownership plus the cost of renting. 

However, long-term projects (or frequent usage) will pay off the initial investment cost despite additional maintenance costs. 

Control Over Availability

Imagine you have a project in the pipeline lasting several months, and a scaffold tower hire supplier has confirmed availability. Great! 

You start the project as planned, but it is extended by two months. If you do not own the scaffold tower, you cannot control it. So, you would have to go back to the supplier and ask if they can extend the time you can borrow it. This is when it can become problematic. 

The supplier may have planned to lease it to another business, so your time is taken up trying to find another trusted and reliable supplier for instant delivery. However, you can prevent problems like this by owning a scaffold tower. 

Storage Space

Despite scaffold towers being more mobile and some being foldable, they still require a reasonable size space to store them. 

If you have a storage lockup, depot, or large van, buying a scaffold tower is a better option, as you can easily store it for future use.

List of Pros & Cons to Hiring Scaffold Towers

Pros of Hiring Scaffold Towers

  • Lower initial investment
  • Access to a wide range of scaffold towers as and when required
  • Latest models offered (depended on supplier)
  • The supplier deals with maintenance and insurance

Cons to Hiring Scaffold Towers

  • Cheaper over the long term
  • Recoup initial investment when no longer required and you sell it
  • Control and flexibility on when you can use it
  • Potentially less downtime
  • Potentially offset it against tax (speak to your accountant)

Considerations When Hiring a Scaffold Tower

Minimum Charges & Upfront Deposits

Scaffold tower hire businesses have minimum charges and upfront deposits, which usually means hiring for at least a week. So, you could pay more than you need to if you require it for just a day. A solution to this is scheduling jobs that require an access tower together.

In addition, you will often be required to pay a deposit, which is quite substantial compared to the cost of hiring. For the supplier, it is their insurance policy if a customer decides to run away. Your deposit is returned to you when they collect it.


Usually, you are responsible for storing the scaffold tower safely while hiring it. So, if you lose it or it is stolen, you could be liable for the total cost, plus additional fees for lost income for your supplier.


Typically, you would be liable for damages, and the fees could be high. In other words, a considerable markup exists for losing and breaking a component, even by accident. Always review the terms and conditions.


You will likely be required to clean the tower before it is due to be returned. Otherwise, you could face a hefty cleaning fee as the supplier must clean it quickly for the following user.

Why Buying from Scaffold Towers is the Better Option

We are the UK’s leading scaffold tower manufacturer, having begun our operations in 2004. Over the years, we have built an exceptional reputation for the quality of our engineering, excellent prices, and customer service.