Wednesday 17 May 2023

Why is scaffolding sometimes needed when replacing windows?

Although scaffolding won’t always be required when replacing windows, there are several scenarios when scaffolding will be needed due to the location and design of the window.

When is scaffolding required?

Scaffolding is required when external access is required to fit a window or if there is a potential risk to people below from something falling out of the window while we are fitting. Generally, this is on windows that are on the first floor and above.

Much of our work involves installing windows from the inside, where we won’t normally require scaffolding.  However, windows that are fitted from the outside will almost certainly require scaffolding.  This can apply to both sash windows and casement windows.

When installing a window externally, unless the window is on the ground floor (where the installer can install the window standing on the ground outside), full scaffolding or a scaffolding tower will be needed so the installer can safely work outside the window.  This allows the installer to ensure that the window is installed correctly and to the highest standards.

Under what circumstances do we need full scaffolding?

The Sash Window Workshop can on occasion provide scaffold towers for our installers to work from.

However, scaffold towers are limited in their application, meaning that there are several scenarios where full scaffolding is required.  Reasons you would need full scaffolding, rather than a scaffolding tower, include:

  • Windows that are above the maximum height the scaffold towers can reach (circa 4m)
  • Where the ground directly below the window(s) is not flat and/or stable
  • Wide bay windows
  • Where there is not enough room for the support struts

For example, if the window is directly above a narrow pavement or road, full scaffolding will be required.

As scaffolding towers provide limited space on the platform to work from, they may not be suitable for wider windows.

This means that, in reality, the use of scaffold towers can be quite restricted.

What requirements does my scaffolding need to meet?

Any scaffold that we use, must be provided by a reputable supplier with full licence to erect scaffold. The scaffold must be tagged to demonstrate this. We know then that the scaffold will be erected to the highest standards and fit for purpose.

It is also important that the window(s) being worked on are not blocked by scaffold poles to enable the work to be carried out.  The platforms must also be set at least 40cm below the existing external cill level to enable full access to the window(s).

Health and safety regulations

If you are having work carried out on your home, it is worth considering health and safety legislation.

Although the average homeowner is often not responsible for site injuries, if they have controlled how the worker does the work, they can sometimes be liable for injuries that occur as a result (source).

However, the liability for injuries is different if you are having the work done on behalf of your company or if you are managing a domestic property, for example as a landlord or an estate agent.

If the work is being commissioned by a landlord or a company, you will be responsible for ensuring that the site is safe and that health and safety procedures are being followed (source).  This means that it is important that you ensure that the people you choose to commission to carry out the work comply to health and safety legislation.

How we work

At The Sash Window Workshop there is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our staff. We will never compromise safety on site as any failure may have catastrophic consequences, both to individuals, our customers, and our business.

Safe Contractor Certified

We are proud to be Safe Contractor registered, highlighting our compliance with health and safety legislation.

This may mean that we request scaffolding where other companies won’t, but you can be assured that we will only recommend it when it is required and that we don’t make any money from scaffolding.


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Health and safety importance in the window and door industry
How safe are sash windows

Scaffolding for replacement windows

scaffolding for a casement bay