I have been the marketing manager for Mr Scaffold for a couple of years and have contributed most of the content for these pages in that time. I have learnt a lot about scaffolding and its’ uses, the rules and some of the tricks that have been relayed to me by the professionals. I have created models of some of our mobile towers and have worked with scaffolding drawing software. I had even put some parts onto our display scaffolds when they needed to be moved etc. I had not actually used a scaffold for my own purposes though.
Recently however, it became necessary for my wife and I to start the process of repainting the internal walls in our house. We had done this before in our previous house, so we knew how we were going to distribute the workload and get it all done.
My wife is much better with a brush than me, her steadier hand and more even application when cutting in produces a much better finish than I am capable of. I am better at rolling out the wall, so we tend to split the labour up in this fashion. There is a problem with this though, as the small stool that we have used in the past to reach the ceiling cornice for cutting in is not high enough for her to reach comfortably, and it can be difficult with a ladder to get a lot done, as my expensive multiposition ladder is heavy for my wife to reposition.
This time, I decided to hire a FOLDSCAF from Mr Scaffold. Yes, I get a discount being an employee, and yes, it is my job to promote these to you, but I think it is still worth the effort to tell you of the difference I have found between the folding scaffold and the transformable ladder.
Firstly, there are more parts to the scaffold, though in truth, it doesn’t take up that much more room in my shed. The weight is similar between the two, but there, the similarities stop. My wife was able to carry the individual parts up our stairs and put the scaffold together. Moving it was extremely easy (as long as you remember to unlock the wheels) and adjusting the height of the platform was equally simple.
The scaffold is far more stable, with a wider spread between the two sides than the ladder, and with an extra length that makes it so much more versatile. When doing the cutting in, we can position the scaffold against the wall, and lock the wheels. The paint pot and brush are placed on the platform and one or both of us hop onto the wide and secure workspace. The platform can be adjusted up or down in the frame to place it at the right height for the work you are doing. We then have both hands free to do our work. For those of you who have painted a wall, cutting in with a brush in one hand, a pot in the other and reaching up to the cornice around the ceiling edge is quite a balancing act on a ladder. Not to mention that you are constantly up and down to reach a different spot.
With the almost two metre length of the FOLDSCSAF, I found I could easily reach and paint across a significant portion of the wall, and that moving the scaffold was very easy, just unlocking the brakes on the four wheels once we were both down and rolling it to the next spot. My work became better and my wife produced professional quality.
It didn’t stop there, I found a multitude of situations where the scaffold simply outperforms the ladder. On one corner of our house, we have a gutter on the garage that is overshadowed by the tea-trees that are in the neighbouring yard. I have to admit that I hate the job of getting up the ladder to clean out the gutter, I have to reach above my head, scoop the gunk out of the gutter, throw it down to the wheelbarrow (making a mess in the process) and then move the ladder, wheelbarrow and start again with the next foot of the gutter I can reach.
With the FOLDSCAF, I simply rolled the scaffold into place, put a 20 litre bucket on the platform (leftover cleaned out paint tin) and I was able to easily reach the gutter with one hand, scoop the gunk into the bucket which I could hold up nearby with the other, all whilst being able to change my position to get the best angle on the gutter cleanout. I got half the length cleaned out in one go before needing to move the scaffold, lock the wheels again, and get the rest of the gutter cleaned out. I was even able to get back up and get a hose onto the stubborn leftovers.
The consequence of me being reluctant to do this task is that the plaster inside the garage has caught some of the excess rain and is sagging. I am thinking that the FOLDSCAF will be the perfect platform for me to tackle this project too.
I know that this is one tool that I will want to use more and more as I get less agile on a ladder (I am in my fifties), so this is my big hint to my wife that this should be THE Christmas present for me.