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Skinny Scaffold or Two 2 Board Scaffolding for tight spaces

This is something I hadn't expect to have to learn anything about during our Whitby Cottage restoration. As it happens it's just another one of the problems that get thrown at you when you take the restoration of a period property.

We engaged a local builder to replace our leaking roof he in turn recommended a local scaffolder who knows all the in's and out of working in this historic town. All was assessed, quoted for and time scales agreed.

The Initial Scaffolding Plan

The cottage fronts right on to a narrow, one way street. The plan was to span over the narrow street to a adjacent raised car park. When it came to it and the license to erect the scaffolding was applied for we ran in to problems. The highways regulations demand a certain height under the scaffolding to allow free flow of all traffic (5.41). Ours is only a little cottage so the scaffolding would be impractically higher than roof.

All other options were rejected by the highways authority, apart from applying for a road closure which it turns out would cost way in excess of £1000.

After many phone calls, research in to the relevant legislation, investigation in the appeals procedures (chapter 8, Highways Act 1980 etc) and expressing the need for safety reasons to get the roof fixed we eventually got a concession.

Plan B the Skinny Scaffold Solution

I first persuaded the, quite reasonably, reluctant builder to work from a 2 board scaffold. It's not easy to work off and won't take the weight of material being stored up there. I gladly accepted the extra cost in labour the skinny scaffold would incur. After all I'd rather it goes to him than the council, their appointed contractors, highway consultants, signage and on notification in the press that the road closure or restriction would cost.

I pointed out to Highways Authority the road was narrower further down the street so vehicles over a certain width could not get to our cottage anyway. The concession was given that a scaffold could be erected if the road was left 100mm wider outside the cottage than the roads narrowest point further down.

By this time the delays had all added up to point that we didn't get the scaffolding erected for 5 months bringing us in to the depths of winter so, at the time of writing, work can't start until the weather improves.

Details of the Skinny Scaffolding, 2 Board Scaffold

Skinny Scaffold, Two 2 Board Scaffolding

Details of Skinny Scaffolding

A Skinny Scaffold is also more "technically" called a two board scaffold as it hold a platform that is two scaffold boards wide.

Each standard board is 225mm wide so the platform is just 450mm wide. This is further reduced by the toe board.

The scaffold tubes (each 48mm) adds another 96mm and the connectors make the effective minimum width 600mm.

There is also a clearance from the wall to allow for.

The complete scaffold also needs to be securely tied to the wall. The red circles in the picture shows how the stonework has been drill to accept anchors from the scaffold.

The scaffolder on our job managed to squeeze everything in to the satisfaction of the highways authority


Cost of Scaffolding for re-roofing

The front Skinny, 2 Board Scaffold plus the rear 5 Board scaffold and the chimney scaffold came to £890. The Scaffold license cost from the council added an additional £150.


The Rest of The Scaffolding Job.

Much more conventional and easier for the builder is a 5 board scaffolding to rear of the cottage. This spans over the passage way. And due to truss being used it over the neighbour roof the passage is kept clear.

We also need the top of the chimney rebuilding and the large pots re fixing after the two chimney liners have been fitted. For this, scaffolding has been erected around the chimney stack. When this work has been completed the chimney scaffold can be dismantled so the roof can be stripped and refitted.

5 Board Scaffold

Chimney Scaffold


If you want to know more about the Cottage Renovation a good starting point is here and the mid project guided tour video is here

The Scaffolding Licence Woes are covered on the Blog

We like read your comment and even answer questions over on the Blog. Follow this link to leave a comment about the skinny scaffolding


See all the cottage renovation blog posts here


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