Written by Terry Smith
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Best tower scaffold [UK]: DIY 6 meter and 7 metres with some stair options
This article was last updated on July 31st, 2021 at 9:16 am
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There are some people who are more than happy to balance precariously on the top of a telescopic ladder, with a brush in one hand, and a can of paint in the other.
For all us sane folk, that probably doesn’t sound like the safest way to get things done, and so we usually call some scaffolders around and get the pros to do it, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Except for the expense that is.
There is a third option available that will allow you to clean the upstairs windows, fix your guttering, trim the top of tall hedges, and all the other jobs that need you to be up high, and still feel like you have a secure footing. I’m talking about tower scaffolds, or scaffolding towers as they are also known, and they can be a great alternative.
Best tower scaffold
You don’t need to be a pro scaffolder to set these products up, and they are available in a range of different sizes. And the best thing? They are yours to keep, so you don’t have to shell out every time you have to work up at heights. The best tow scaffolds are easy to setup and safe to use as well as reasonably priced and built from galvanised material so it’ll keep on lasting!
Although covid-19 has limited our options for a lot of products, we still managed to get our hands on and review the top-rated tower scaffolds that you can get dropped off on your doorstep, and below you can read our reviews of each product as well as a best tower scaffold buyers’ guide to help you understand what you’re getting for your hard earned money.
1. 5m DIY Aluminium Scaffold Tower
If you’re looking for something quick and easy to set up, that will get you up to those second floor windows, BPS Access Solutions’ DIY aluminium scaffold tower is the best there is.
Opting to use superior grade aluminium instead of galvanised steel for the former’s anti-corrosion properties, BPS have guaranteed that their scaffold tower will still be as functional further down the road as it is the day you unpack it on day one.
This is an ideal product for people buying their first tower scaffold. The twist and lock brace system makes setting up a piece of cake, and it is just as easy to take down again using the quick release mechanisms on the platform clamps.
Everything you need to set up a solid scaffold is supplied, including horizontal and diagonal braces, stabiliser bars, and marine plywood footboards with a non-slip surface. The finished structure is able to handle loads of 150kg too, so you won’t have to skip your extra-large bacon sandwich for lunch.
Once set up, the working platform can be height adjusted in increments of 300mm, and the structure can even be used, partially erected, and this gives you a lot of options and outstanding versatility.
Even though the tower does come with stabilisers, it is still very lightweight and so doesn’t feel quite as stable as a steel tower scaffold, and I would still advise tying on to a building, or using some extra structural support, especially if not on a completely fat surface.
A very handy feature of the BPS tower scaffold is that the stabilisers have wheels built into them, so when it is time to shift the structure along to a new spot, you simply tilt it back and push to the desired location. However, I will say that the wheels themselves are probably the weakest link in this product, but they can easily be swapped out for some higher quality ones from the local DIY shop, or bought online.
Easy to set up and take down, mobile, and versatile, the BPS tower scaffold is a user-friendly product with a very reasonable price tag. You’ll need to make a few adjustments to make it really stable, but that is true for nearly all DIY scaffolds, and the knowledge of how to do so is readily available online.
2. Classic 6.3m (WH) DIY Galvanised Scaffold Tower
This 6.3m scaffold tower is the most popular size in Top Tower’s classic range, but you can opt to go for their larger or smaller versions to suit your needs. This one is the perfect size for working up in the gutters on an average sized house, checking out roofs for damage, etc. and probably the reason it is so widely used.
To fight rust and corrosion, the steel rails have all been given a galvanised coating, something that is very much needed considering how much time it’ll spend outside in the British weather. In addition to the coating, Top Tower have ensured the longevity of their tower scaffold with some top-notch welding, and are so confident in it, they have given a lifetime guarantee.
At just under 370 pounds, it is fairly priced for such a good quality tower scaffold, but you will have to spend more to make this truly safe. You see, this comes as just a base structure, and although the base plates and footboards are included in the price, things like stabilisers have to be purchased separately as part of an additional safety pack. You should also figure out some way to tie it into the building, but this is a fairly easy DIY job, and the company is only a phone call or email away to advise on this.
This is a very easy tower scaffold to erect, and it is possible to do it on your own, although I would recommend getting help from at least one person, to check your work, and for safety reasons.
With a couple of add-ons from the same company, such as the stabilisers, ladder attachment, and others, the cost does increase somewhat over the base price, but I would definitely say it is worth it, and you end up with a durable and stable scaffold that you can use again and again.
3. Superb 7m DIY Scaffold Tower
Able to be used at different heights, with a maximum platform height of 4.73 metres, Tubesca’s tower scaffold is just the thing to help you clean out those gutters without risking life and limb.
Made from aluminium, it is corrosion proof, and extremely lightweight, yet the 40mm upright tubes let you know that sturdiness hasn’t been overlooked, and the inclusion of 4 outriggers, really makes you feel safe while you’re up at heights. There is still some slight movement if the tower scaffold is built to its maximum height, but it is very little and nothing that ever had me worried. Lower down, it is as solid as a rock.
Assembly is pretty straightforward, even though the instructions could be a lot better. Still, with the help of mate, it didn’t take me long to get it set up.
All the components were of a high quality, and there were no issues with anything being misaligned, rusted, etc. Although, I have to say that some of the edges were pretty sharp, so I’d advise grabbing a sander and going over them before building the scaffold for the first time.
Included in the 7 metre package are two trapdoor platforms, so you don’t have to go looking for planks of the right size. These platforms are, like the rest of the kit, good quality and never give you reason to think otherwise.
Like the BPS Access Solutions product, this one has wheels fitted into the base stabilising bars, and so it makes things a lot easier when you need to move it around. The lack of weight from the aluminium comes in handy here too, and it’s pretty easy to tilt the structure back. I never tried doing it at its full 7 metre height, but as a partially built structure of around 4 metres I did, and it worked just fine.
There are some extras available as separate purchases, such as castors and adjustable legs, but as the package comes, it is just fine in my opinion, but I would always tie any DIY scaffold to the building, no matter how many safety extras you employ. It’s just common sense.
4. Aluminium Scaffold Tower
The Home Master DIY scaffold tower is one of the easiest to set up that I have ever gotten my hands on. The lightweight aluminium components are a doddle to move around, and little, thoughtful, design features like the colour coded braces, make things really straightforward.
Despite its lightweight nature, the Home Master tower scaffold can handle up to 150kg, due in no small part to the high-quality welds found throughout, and the wide base stabiliser bars.
These bars come with removable wheels, and use the same tilt and glide method of moving the structure around as many similar products. It’s a system that works well, but having the choice to quickly remove the wheels for extra stability when stationary, is a good idea if you ask me.
This is an adjustable tower scaffold, and you can set the height of the trapdoor platform in 30cm increments. The platform itself is non-slip coated marine plywood, and can be adjusted very easily without tools, just like the rest of the product.
This product is usually available in 4m, 5m, 6m, and 7m heights, but covid-19 has caused restrictions and it can only be purchased in the 5 metre height at the moment. That size will give you a working platform of around 2.75 metres, and is good for trimming high hedges or for guttering on bungalows, but will not allow you to do much to a 2-story house, apart from stretch up and clean the windows.
Having said that, there are extension kits you can buy for this product to take it up 7 metres if you like, as well as other extras that are available for purchase separately. As for freebies, there are some soft ground spikes thrown in for the price, as well as the colour coded braces.
Best Tower Scaffold Buyers’ Guide
At first sight, DIY scaffolding towers all look very similar, and of course there are similarities due to the very nature of the products. Having said that, there are definitely a few differences to be found, and knowing which of these factors are desirable and which ones are essential, is highly important before buying. In this guide we’d like to point these out to any first-time buyer, so that you can feel more confident in your purchasing decision.
Obviously, these products come in different heights, but there is more to it than meets the eye. In fact, there are two measurements that you need to know about a tower scaffold. The first, which is the one used in the product description, is the overall height of the structure. The second, and the most important in my opinion, is the maximum height of the standing platform, which is usually a couple of metres lower. So, you need to work out if you can stand on that platform, and reach up safely to the height that you need to work at. In other words, if you need to be able to reach 6 metres and be able to work without stretching, you need a scaffolding tower that is at least 7 metres tall overall.
This is the maximum amount of weight that the structure can hold safely. Most of these products can handle at least 150kg, which sounds a lot, but if you’re going to be loading up the platform with paint cans, power tools, etc. that max load can soon be reached. So, be careful and do a bit of mental arithmetic before getting up there on that platform.
Stability equals safety and is not something to take for granted. Also, not to be taken at face value, is that these products come safe to use. In fact, with some DIY tower scaffolds, a lot of the most invaluable safety components are sold separately such as stabilisers, and even full safety kits. I would always recommend that you tie in to the building that you’re working on anyway, just to be sure, especially if you’re going to be working on a 6-7-metre-tall rig, as they can still wobble at the top, even with stabilisers in place.
A lot of modern DIY scaffolds are made from high grade aluminium, and this material has its benefits. It is very lightweight, which makes assembly much less hard work, and it has fantastic anti-corrosion properties, so you know the product will withstand the elements well.
Aluminium isn’t as strong as steel though, and if banged around, it can get warped and mis-shaped, so you have to be careful. Personally, I prefer galvanised steel structures, but you do have to keep an eye on the galvanised coating or rust can become a problem over time.