A Guide to the Different Kinds of Scaffolds


The temporary structures used in construction work to give workers a stable, secure platform to work on during building have existed for millennia, and are available in a range of different materials and kinds of structures to suit particular needs. Read on for a guide to the types of scaffolds that are available for you to choose for your next construction project.


A list of 8 types and their uses:

1. Single

This type is normally used for brickwork and brick laying. They are made up of rails, standards, ledgers and so on which are parallel to the wall at a distance of around 1.2 metres. These are probably the simplest and commonly used of them all.


2. Double

These are commonly used for stonework projects and use two rows to make it sturdier, as stone is difficult to put holes in for the putlogs. Cross braces and other materials may also be used to further improve the soundness of the structure. These are also known as independent types.


3. Patented scaffolds

Made of steel and frames, this type can be bought pre-made and modified to suit the required height for the construction project.  They are easy to assemble and dismantle.


4. Trestle scaffolds

These brace the work platform using ladders or tripods at up to a 5 metre distance. They are easy to move and are often used for indoor projects such as putting up artwork in galleries or repair work on ceilings and gutters.


5. Cantilever scaffolds

When a scaffold is unable to be put on the floor, such as if the ground is weak or contains traffic, cantilever is the best option. These are held up using multiple needles which are put in through holes in the wall. It is essential that these are installed with great care to make sure they are stable and don’t pose a safety risk. They are sometimes referred to as independent or double frame type.


6. Suspended scaffolds

Here, the work platform is held up from the roof using chains or ropes and lowered or raised to the desired height. These are often used for painting and repairing the upper levels of walls, cleaning windows and so on.


7. Steel scaffolds

These are a highly safe option for workers made by linking together steel tubes with fittings. They are simple to build or dismantle and are very durable and strong, as well as fire resistant. They can be more expensive than other types, but their other benefits make them a worthwhile consideration. They are quite widely used in construction projects.


8. Foldable scaffolds

Used when convenience and mobility is essential, these are often made of light-weight aluminium and can be fitted through doorways for ease of use. They may also function as a trolley with which to transport equipment across the work site, factory or home. Easy to use and adjustable, they are often used by trade workers such as electricians, plasterers and interior decorators.  They normally range from between 1-2 metres in height. It is possible to add an extension pack if necessary.



Whilst these are perhaps the most commonly used, there may be other types currently on the market that may suit one’s specific needs. It may be worth considering hiring a qualified professional to assess your project and determine the type that is required. There are also a range of accessories available for purchase, such as couplers, wheels, jacks, platforms and acro props. Overall, it is important to select the safest option rather than the most economical where possible.



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About the Author: Megan DeGrom

Megan DeGrom was born and raised in New Jersey just outside the Pine Barrons. As a journalist, Megan has contributed to many online publications including Rotten Tomatoes and Variety. In regards to academics, Megan earned a degree in business from St. John's University. Megan covers economy stories here at Clear Publicist.