News Letter A Scaffolding vs Rope Access Case Study

How to decide whether to use rope access in sydney

A great way to Compare Scaffolding and Rope Access

An Astounding Access Comparison!

  • Scaffolding
    • Scaffolding is a very traditional and practical method of access to high areas for remedial works on a building.
  • Industrial Rope Access
    • Rope Access is a relatively new form of access for remedial works on high rise building.
    • Rope Access is in fact dated back to the Pyramids.
  • Safe Workers
    • Working on correctly installed scaffolding is a very safe work practice.
    • Setting up and De-Installing Scaffolding is a High Risk Profession.
    • Rope Access. Safest form of access on the planet.

How to compare Rope Access and Scaffolding in Sydney

This stunning strata building was recently completed using 100% Rope Access to reach the higher areas.

There were many render repairs to be carried out before the commencement of the painting works. Installing Render Repairs always poses the problem of matching up to the older surfaces.

These older surfaces were in fact quite roughed up with trowel marks all over the original finish as well as varying textures and divots.

With assistance from the Dulux Team, we were able to achieve a very uniform and closely matched finish all round.

But just as in working off an erected scaffold, it takes a qualified and suitably trained technician to carry out these types of surface matching when preparing for works.

This comes from not only having experienced technicians on the job, but also an on site training and testing module that the renders can be applied to, obtaining the required finish.

Not using the building as a testing ground.

So achieving quality really is not an issue when using either Scaffolding of Rope Access for work positioning to the building face.

It always comes back to the skill of the technicians on the wall. Sitting in a chair or standing on the deck.

But let’s look here at a very important factor.

Price $$$

Of course price is of extreme importance as long as all of the Safety and Quality Criteria can be met.

With this building, it was just night and day. The LOWEST rates I was able to find for scaffold setup and hire was $15 a Square Metre. Then $2 a square a week after the first month.

You can go online and check this figure. If you can find lower, please let me know. I was unable to.

The estimated Sq Metre surface of this one building is: 3,360 Sq Metres.

With Render Repairs, Curing Time and then the full recoating of the building, we are looking at 8 weeks on each of these buildings.

This gives us a hire cost of $56,720 for the scaffold hire along. Note that at this point, there has not been a single inch of preparation works carried out on the face of the building.

App 10 Sq of Render Repairs @  $495 Sq. $4,950.

Full Dulux Acra Shield Membrane Coating @ $20 Sq. $67,200.

Now we have a total of $128,770 for a well completed project.

And let’s not forget the final window clean of all external glass and sliding doors. A cheap $4,000 may make the grade.

Please note that these are very minimal rates for all scaffolding, remedial works and painting. Note that estimates made from the owners were looking way above these simple article figures.

How would this compare to Rope Access?

Well! We completed this project for about 70% of the pricing above.

Between shifts and on the weekends, there were no unsightly scaffolds surrounding the building.

There were no security issues with unwelcome visitors climbing the sides of the buildings at any time of the night.

No additional charge for extensions due to rain of extra works. And, yes there were additional requested.

The end result, you can see for yourself. A professional trade finish.

Hope that this helps.

Happy repainting!

PS: If you are wondering what the scaffolding was used for in the upper image, please email me direct to, with the subject line: “Why Scaffolding” and I will tell you why.

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