Scaffolding Interior commercial

I’ve got an industrial gig this week where the glass inside the atrium entrance is about 3 and a half stories high. I can get all of the exterior with WFP but the inside is going to be a trick.

The problem is that the management doesn’t want a scissor lift brought into the atrium because the flooring cracked when the w/c crew that did it last year used the scissor lift.

I told them that I could get to the glass if I had mobile scaffolding (with casters). I don’t want to have to set up the scaffolding too high so I thought I might be able to use an extension pole along with the scaffolding at a height of around 20 to 25 feet.

I’ve used single manlifts, articulated boom lift, and scissor lifts but never actually used scaffolding. The customer will pay for the lift but they will not set it up. The rental company will deliver the scaffolding but does not have a setup crew available.

I have a helper and another available and I don’t think the setup is complicated but probably a bit time consuming.

I’ve been studying on the internet various sites that have instructions on setting up scaffolding but I thought I’d ask if any of you guys that have set up and used scaffolding for any advice you may have to give.

Ladders will not get it inside this atrium so scaffolding is all that’s left since any type of scissor or boom lift is out.

Any advice?


Two or three guys will make setting up scaffolding super fast and easy. I’ve set up 30ft+ high scaffolding before and it took about 1 1/2 to 2 hrs w/ one helper. Get a rope and after building the base level set the plank right at the top. Have a helper get up there and then hand him the next pieces (one at a time) to put together. When that’s done help him move the plank to the top of that section and repeat the process until you reach the desired height.

Tony, how was it working from the 30’ height of scaffolding? I’ll still need a pole to reach the tallest windows even from 30’ scaffold.

While searching the net I read where one guy said he set up 7 sets high of scaffolding by himself. He tied a rope to each piece and hoisted it up to the top after each climb.

I’m going to the worksite in the morning and do some more figuring to see if it’s possible to use a really long ladder. A 40’ might do it but I really hate to use a ladder that tall, especially for interior. But it may be possible and doable with a helper.

I enjoy a challenge but don’t want to get too crazy with it.

The height was around 36ft and then I was on the very top so it was equivalent to using a 40ft ladder. It’s much easier because you can have a helper move the scaffolding as you need so there isn’t hardly any up and down compared to a ladder. I don’t really have an issue w/ heights (been up about 75ft in a lift) so no big deal for me. I’d say just get down on your hands an knees when it’s being moved just in case the mover gets a little crazy.

That’s what I was thinking too but I read that it’s against OSHA rules. I think all of the extra climbing up & down puts you at more risk than laying low on the platform as it is moved maybe 6 to 10 feet.

I’m not sure about OSHA rules, but I know every contractor I’ve ever worked w/ moved the scaffold w/ guys on it. To me it’s no different than moving a scissor lift while being in it.

I’ll probably stay on the platform to. I’d rather do that than risk falling while climbing down & then back up. That vertical climb up a scaffold aint as pleasant as the slanted climb up an extension ladder.

I’m OK with heights too but I make it a point to not get too comfortable with it. I have the utmost respect for gravity. :slight_smile:

This is the kind of attitude that everyone should have, Richard. Get too comfortable and gravity wins!

[B]BIG BUMMER[/B] today!!! I met with the building ops mgr this morning and finalized the decision on the amount of scaffolding to use on the job which would start tomorrow morning. I then shopped around for the best deal on scaffolding rental and reserved enough sets for 30’ high platform. I had only left the rental place and driven a couple of miles when the phone rings. It was the building ops mgr saying that he bumped into the head man and told him we are set to go in the morning with window cleaning.

The head man told him that he wanted to hold off on the window cleaning for a while and not spend the money at this time. I had already put in my bid and it had been approved by the building ops mgr’s superiors over a week ago. I have spent a lot of time in preparation for this gig that was all set to go tomorrow morning. All of a sudden it’s a no go for now but they definitely want to use my company when they get ready to have the windows cleaned.

That really sucks! Well, at least I do have other work that I need to take care of so I’ll just do that. I guess them’s the breaks.:frowning:

Sorry to hear that Richard.

It’s actually not bad at all because the phone is ringing off the hook and I can barely keep up with everything at the moment.

It’s just that you exert so much energy, planning and preperation for one large job then it’s put off 'til whenever by the powers that be. It just kinda pi$$e$ you off because that energy could’ve been spent on something that was going to happen now.

So I’ll just redirect my efforts to the work that needs to be and can be done now. Life goes on. :slight_smile:

This may be a blessing in disguise. 3 and a half stories is a lot to set up steel pipe scaffolding. You talked of moving around on casters. I think there is a height limit on doing that, and with crewmen on the platforms it sounds risky. Check OSHA regulations on this one. Another option is a Denka Lift. They have low pressure on the floor and rubber treads. They are hard to find however. Not everyone rents them.

I feel confident that I can do this job. It has been delayed, not cancelled. I feel that the scaffolding will work very well on a level interior floor even at 30 feet of height. I have seen it used much higher than that.

I do know that it is against OSHA rules to stay on the scaffolding platform as it is moved to another position.

The company or venue will not allow a mechanical lift of any kind because they had issues with tiles cracking last year. They wanted me to do this gig with just ladder and poles but I told them it had to at least be scaffolding if not a scissor lift. They agreed to scaffolding so that’s how the gig will have to be done. I think it’s very doable. That’s what scaffolding is for.

But who knows, there’s a reason for everything. It’s just not meant to be at this time. I can live with that too. :slight_smile:

Sorry to hear about you losing time… but at least you have future income from them! :slight_smile:

What prevented you from using a 40 footer on this job?
I don’t use a lot of scaffolding and wonder if I’m missing the boat.

Bum Deal! I hate that! I had a situation similar last fall with a large resort hotel … spent a whole day at the place one week working out all the logistics and then they decide they don’t want it done. I thought about sending them a bill just for the bid!

The lobby floor space is just too small length and width wise to deal with a 40 foot ladder. But the glass is really high.

Yeah, a little lost momentum time wise but all of the study/prep would have had to be done anyway so at least that part is out of the way.

One good thing is this. I was planning on setting up scaffolding the same day of the cleaning. The scaffolding is 24 hour rental so I think when the gig is rescheduled I’ll pick up the scaffolding at 5:30 p.m. just before the rental center closes and immediately go set it up at the venue.

That way I can go in fresh with energy the very next morning, clean the interior glass then disassemble the scaffolding and turn it back in to the rental center.

I’ll come back the next day and clean the exterior with WFP. There’s a lot more exterior glass to be cleaned than interior.

They also have two more large buildings they want me to clean so it’s a great score that will need to be done once a year.

So in the big picture it’s all good.:slight_smile:

Oh yeah, another good thing about the rescheduling is that I’m taking today off so I can get some much needed rest. I’ve been battling a terrible cold for about 5 days and have not had a chance to get rest.

I still have to make some phone calls but that’s all good too.

Big score’s are the best scores! :slight_smile:

Now go get some rest! :cool:

Thanks!! ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZzzzzZZZzzzzzzzz

Take care, Richard.