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Scaffolders in Northampton | Safe and Reliable Scaffolding Northampton

Westone Scaffolding are professional scaffolding contractors with an extensive 20 years of trade and industry experience. Our scaffolders travel throughout England, delivering a comprehensive range of services extending to all residential and commercial properties. Based in Northampton, our experts deliver a local service with main contractor resources, a unique combination which few other scaffolding companies are able to offer.

Our reputation as one of the premier scaffolding companies not just in our hometown but Nationwide, sees our business earn widespread acclaim and glowing testimonials from our many satisfied clients. We deliver a custom-focused service experience built around core health and safety values, at some of the most competitive prices across Northamptonshire and Nationwide.

Tel.  01604 408496

mobile 07932 763155

22 Churchway. Weston Favell village.

Northampton. NN3 3BT.

Tel. 01604 408496.

Open 7 Days a Week 24 hrs a Day

The Trusted Scaffolder in Northampton

We are access system specialists with the team, the equipment and the expertise to handle all awkward and hard-to-reach areas. As distinctly versatile scaffolding contractors, we can adapt to work on properties of any size and our talents extend to all new or existing builds. No matter what your requirements may be, our scaffolders, who are some of the most hard-working and experienced in and around Northampton and Nationwide, can undertake all erection work to your complete satisfaction.

For a free site survey and a no-obligation written quote, talk to our professionals today. We’ll provide all of the advice and assistance you need to obtain safe and affordable scaffolding that enables your own work to be undertaken in complete safety. That’s why Westone Scaffolding are widely regarded as one of the best scaffolding companies in Northampton and Nationwide.

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Commercial Scaffolding
projects range from churches, office blocks andcommercial buildings

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Domestic Scaffolding
Our domestic scaffolding services can be for flats, houses, or bungalows.

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Bespoke Scaffolding
do you need to add to an existing scaffold, have an unusuallyshaped structure we can erect scaffolding to your requirements.

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Westone Scaffolding services are an established Northampton based scaffolding contractor, fully qualified and certified.

We provide a comprehensive range of scaffolding services to commercial, residential, developers and industrial clients throughout the UK.


Westone Scaffolding Health and Safety Policy

We value all our employees and subcontractor’s reviews and process to safeguard their welfare.

We actively encourage our employees and subcontractor’s suggestions and recommendations to further improve site safety.

As a member of CHAS, we are committed to follow and ensure all employees health and safety needs, we undertake audits by our own in house NEBOSH safety advisor as well as external audits to ensure every aspect of safety is carried out to the highest level.

Mr Dermot Fox

Podiatrist at The Foot Clinic Northampton. I recommend this scaffolding company. Professional and quick. Rated 10/10


A brief history: Scaffolding through the ages

Posted: Wednesday 9 January 2019

Since human beings have aspired to build upwards, there have been certain kinds of scaffolding used to help them achieve their goals.Although scaffolding has become commonplace in recent years, its origins stretch back all the way to the dawn of man.

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Back to the Beginning

Builders have been developing and adapting scaffolding for thousands of years. While the scaffolding we see today is surprisingly sophisticated, the first scaffolding was far less complicated. We might never know for sure, but historians have said that there’s circumstantial evidence that even prehistoric settlers were using some form of scaffolding.

Scaffolder in Northampton Scaffolding,

17,000-year-old cave paintings on ancient cave walls in France were found so high up in the cave that the painters would need to have used some form of rudimentary scaffolding. Socket holes were also found scattered around the cave, which could have been used to support this hypothetical scaffold.

Ancient Evolution

Scaffolder in Northampton, Scaffolding in Northampton.

Whilst evidence of the very first scaffold usage is far from solid, in both ancient Greece and ancient Egypt its use is well-documented. The Greek historian Herodotus noted that wooden scaffolding was used to build the famous pyramids. In ancient Greece, meanwhile, there is evidence of wooden scaffolding being used as early as 5th Century BC.

The first real steps towards modern scaffolding, however, began in ancient China, where bamboo was tied together with rope to create something approximating the structures we still see today. Indeed, in some South-East Asian countries, bamboo scaffolding is still used to this day, though with a few more obvious safety precautions. Proponents of bamboo scaffolding claim that it is more suitable in areas where earthquakes are common, although this has been disputed.

Scaffolder in Northampton, Scaffolding in Northampton.

The Birth of the Modern

In Medieval England, monks were trained in the art of building and using scaffolding in order to build the abbeys and churches that still stand today. Wooden 'staging' was used, but these structures would often collapse under their own weight. It wasn't until the 20th century when the use of steel tubing (which was lighter than timber) became commonplace that scaffolding began to really take shape and become the secure, modular scaffolding we use today.

It was the brothers David Henry and Daniel Palmer Jones that really changed the game by standardising the modular parts used to build vertical scaffold structures. This meant parts could be traded with ease. David created a piece of tubing known as a “Scaffixer” that was far more secure and flexible than rope, as well as the “Universal Coupler”. The brothers so impressed the upper echelons of British society that there were hired to renovate Buckingham Palace. It was during this renovation that they experimented with a variety of groundbreaking techniques.

Scaffolder in Northampton, Scaffolding in Northampton.

Scaffolding Today

In the wake of World War II, a great many building projects were begun to replace homes and offices destroyed during the conflict. The scale of work required meant lots of unskilled labour, and lackadaisical health and safety practices were common. The accidents that occurred during these years led to significant improvements in the 1960s, including the usage of plastic sheeting and heaters to stop walkways from getting slippy during winter months and harnesses to keep workers from falling.

Scaffolder in Northampton, Scaffolding in Northampton.

Even though we still use many of the same basic components that were first created by the Joneses 100 years ago, advances in technology and safety regulations mean that new materials have been introduced in order to make erecting, using and taking down scaffold towers easier and safer. The steel tubing of old has been replaced by aluminium and more lightweight steel with composite materials sometimes used where more strength is required.

Scaffolders in Northampton, Scaffolding in Northampton.

So Much Change; So Much the Same

A great deal has changed in the last 17,000 years. The vast industrial scaffolding used to build our great modern skyscrapers has its intellectual roots in the basic concepts first dreamt up by those ambitious cavemen. At its heart, scaffolding is simple, but there is definitely a reason its popularity has endured.

Scaffolders in Northampton, Scaffolding in Northampton.

Scaffolding in Northampton, Scaffolding in Northampton.

Scaffolding, also called scaffold or staging, is a temporary structure used to support a work crew and materials to aid in the construction, maintenance and repair of buildings, bridges and all other man-made structures. Scaffolds are widely used on site to get access to heights and areas that would be otherwise hard to get to. Unsafe scaffolding has the potential to result in death or serious injury. Scaffolding is also used in adapted forms for formwork and shoring, grandstand seating, concert stages, access/viewing towers, exhibition stands, ski ramps, half pipes and art projects.

There are five main types of scaffolding used worldwide today. These are Tube and Coupler (fitting) components, prefabricated modular system scaffold components, H-frame / facade modular system scaffolds, timber scaffolds and bamboo scaffolds (particularly in China). Each type is made from several components which often include:

  • A base jack or plate which is a load-bearing base for the scaffold.
  • The standard, the upright component with connector joins.
  • The ledger, a horizontal brace.
  • The transom, a horizontal cross-section load-bearing component which holds the batten, board, or decking unit.
  • Brace diagonal and/or cross section bracing component.
  • Batten or board decking component used to make the working platform.
  • Coupler, a fitting used to join components together.
  • Scaffold tie, used to tie in the scaffold to structures.
  • Brackets, used to extend the width of working platforms.

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Specialized components used to aid in their use as a temporary structure often include heavy duty load bearing transoms, ladders or stairway units for the ingress and egress of the scaffold, beams ladder/unit types used to span obstacles and rubbish chutes used to remove unwanted materials from the scaffold or construction project. Scaffolders in Northampton

Modern era

Scaffolding was erected by individual firms with wildly varying standards and sizes. The process was revolutionized by Daniel Palmer Jones and David Henry Jones. Modern day scaffolding standards, practices and processes can be attributed to these men and their companies: Rapid Scaffold Tie Company Ltd, Tubular Scaffolding Company and Scaffolding Great Britain Ltd (SGB).

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David Palmer-Jones patented the "Scaffixer", a coupling device far more robust than rope which revolutionized scaffolding construction. In 1913, his company was commissioned for the reconstruction of Buckingham Palace, during which his Scaffixer gained much publicity. Palmer-Jones followed this up with the improved "Universal Coupler" in 1919 - this soon became the industry standard coupling and has remained so to this day.

Advancements in metallurgy throughout the early 20th century saw the introduction of tubular steel water pipes (instead of timber poles) with standardized dimensions, allowing for the industrial interchangeability of parts and improving the structural stability of the scaffold. The use of diagonal bracings also helped to improve stability, especially on tall buildings. The first frame system was brought to market by SGB in 1944 and was used extensively for the postwar reconstruction.

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The purpose of a working scaffold is to provide a safe working platform and access suitable for work crews to carry out their work. The European Standard sets out performance requirements for working scaffolds. These are substantially independent of the materials of which the scaffold is made. The standard is intended to be used as the basis for enquiry and design.


The basic components of scaffolding are tubes, couplers and boards.

The basic lightweight tube scaffolding that became the standard and revolutionised scaffolding, becoming the baseline for decades, was invented and marketed in the mid-1950s. With one basic 24 pound unit a scaffold of various sizes and heights could be assembled easily by a couple of labourers without the nuts or bolts previously needed.

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Tubes are usually made either of steel or aluminium; although there is composite scaffolding which uses filament-wound tubes of glass fibre in a nylon or polyester matrix, because of the high cost of composite tube, it is usually only used when there is a risk from overhead electric cables that cannot be isolated. If steel, they are either 'black' or galvanised. The tubes come in a variety of lengths and a standard diameter of 48.3 mm. (1.5 NPS pipe). The chief difference between the two types of metal tubes is the lower weight of aluminium tubes (1.7 kg/m as opposed to 4.4 kg/m). However they are more flexible and have a lower resistance to stress. Tubes are generally bought in 6.3 m lengths and can then be cut down to certain typical sizes. Most large companies will brand their tubes with their name and address in order to deter theft.

Boards provide a working surface for scaffold users. They are seasoned wood and come in three thicknesses (38 mm (usual), 50 mm and 63 mm) are a standard width (225 mm) and are a maximum of 3.9 m long. The board ends are protected either by metal plates called hoop irons or sometimes nail plates, which often have the company name stamped into them. Timber scaffold boards in the UK should comply with the requirements of BS 2482. As well as timber, steel or aluminium decking is used, as well as laminate boards. In addition to the boards for the working platform, there are sole boards which are placed beneath the scaffolding if the surface is soft or otherwise suspect, although ordinary boards can also be used. Another solution, called a scaffpad, is made from a rubber base with a base plate moulded inside; these are desirable for use on uneven ground since they adapt, whereas sole boards may split and have to be replaced.

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A short section of steel scaffold tube.

Couplers are the fittings which hold the tubes together. The most common are called scaffold couplers, and there are three basic types: right-angle couplers, putlog couplers and swivel couplers. To join tubes end-to-end joint pins (also called spigots) or sleeve couplers are used. Only right angle couplers and swivel couplers can be used to fix tube in a 'load-bearing connection'. Single couplers are not load-bearing couplers and have no design capacity.

Other common scaffolding components include base plates, ladders, ropes, anchor ties, reveal ties, gin wheels, sheeting, etc. Most companies will adopt a specific colour to paint the scaffolding with, in order that quick visual identification can be made in case of theft. All components that are made from metal can be painted but items that are wooden should never be painted as this could hide defects. Despite the metric measurements given, many scaffolders measure tubes and boards in imperial units, with tubes from 21 feet down and boards from 13 ft down.

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Basic scaffolding

The key elements of the scaffolding are the standard, ledger and transoms. The standards, also called uprights, are the vertical tubes that transfer the entire weight of the structure to the ground where they rest on a square base plate to spread the load. The base plate has a shank in its centre to hold the tube and is sometimes pinned to a sole board. Ledgers are horizontal tubes which connect between the standards. Transoms rest upon the ledgers at right angles. Main transoms are placed next to the standards, they hold the standards in place and provide support for boards; intermediate transoms are those placed between the main transoms to provide extra support for boards. In Canada this style is referred to as "English". "American" has the transoms attached to the standards and is used less but has certain advantages in some situations.

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Scaffolding in Tretyakovsky Proyezd, Moscow

As well as the tubes at right angles there are cross braces to increase rigidity, these are placed diagonally from ledger to ledger, next to the standards to which they are fitted. If the braces are fitted to the ledgers they are called ledger braces. To limit sway a facade brace is fitted to the face of the scaffold every 30 metres or so at an angle of 35°-55° running right from the base to the top of the scaffold and fixed at every level.
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Of the couplers previously mentioned, right-angle couplers join ledgers or transoms to standards, putlog or single couplers join board bearing transoms to ledgers - Non-board bearing transoms should be fixed using a right-angle coupler. Swivel couplers are to connect tubes at any other angle. The actual joints are staggered to avoid occurring at the same level in neighbouring standards.

The spacings of the basic elements in the scaffold are fairly standard. For a general purpose scaffold the maximum bay length is 2.1 m, for heavier work the bay size is reduced to 2 or even 1.8 m while for inspection a bay width of up to 2.7 m is allowed.

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The scaffolding width is determined by the width of the boards, the minimum width allowed is 600 mm but a more typical four-board scaffold would be 870 mm wide from standard to standard. More heavy-duty scaffolding can require 5, 6 or even up to 8 boards width. Often an inside board is added to reduce the gap between the inner standard and the structure.

The lift height, the spacing between ledgers, is 2 m, although the base lift can be up to 2.7 m. The diagram above also shows a kicker lift, which is just 150 mm or so above the ground.

Transom spacing is determined by the thickness of the boards supported, 38 mm boards require a transom spacing of no more than 1.2 m while a 50 mm board can stand a transom spacing of 2.6 m and 63 mm boards can have a maximum span of 3.25 m. The minimum overhang for all boards is 50 mm and the maximum overhang is no more than 4x the thickness of the board.


Good foundations are essential. Often scaffold frameworks will require more than simple base plates to safely carry and spread the load. Scaffolding can be used without base plates on concrete or similar hard surfaces, although base plates are always recommended. For surfaces like pavements or tarmac base plates are necessary. For softer or more doubtful surfaces sole boards must be used, beneath a single standard a sole board should be at least 1,000 square centimetres (160 in2) with no dimension less than 220 millimetres (8.7 in), the thickness must be at least 35 millimetres (1.4 in). For heavier duty scaffold much more substantial baulks set in concrete can be required. On uneven ground steps must be cut for the base plates, a minimum step size of around 450 millimetres (18 in) is recommended. A working platform requires certain other elements to be safe. They must be close-boarded, have double guard rails and toe and stop boards. Safe and secure access must also be provided.

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Scaffolding showing required protection of a working platform with maximum dimensions. Butt-board not visible. No couplers shown


The Holy Trinity Church in Vladimir, with scaffolding wrapped in safety mesh.

Scaffolds are only rarely independent structures. To provide stability for a scaffolding (at left) framework ties are generally fixed to the adjacent building/fabric/steelwork.

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General practice is to attach a tie every 4 m on alternate lifts (traditional scaffolding). Prefabricated System scaffolds require structural connections at all frames - i.e. 2–3 m centres (tie patterns must be provided by the System manufacturer/supplier). The ties are coupled to the scaffold as close to the junction of standard and ledger (node point) as possible. Due to recent regulation changes, scaffolding ties must support +/- loads (tie/butt loads) and lateral (shear) loads.

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Due to the different nature of structures there is a variety of different ties to take advantage of the opportunities.

Through ties are put through structure openings such as windows. A vertical inside tube crossing the opening is attached to the scaffold by a transom and a crossing horizontal tube on the outside called a bridle tube. The gaps between the tubes and the structure surfaces are packed or wedged with timber sections to ensure a solid fit.

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Box ties are used to attach the scaffold to suitable pillars or comparable features. Two additional transoms are put across from the lift on each side of the feature and are joined on both sides with shorter tubes called tie tubes. When a complete box tie is impossible a l-shaped lip tie can be used to hook the scaffold to the structure, to limit inward movement an additional transom, a butt transom, is placed hard against the outside face of the structure.

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Sometimes it is possible to use anchor ties (also called bolt ties), these are ties fitted into holes drilled in the structure. A common type is a ring bolt with an expanding wedge which is then tied to a node point.

The least 'invasive' tie is a reveal tie. These use an opening in the structure but use a tube wedged horizontally in the opening. The reveal tube is usually held in place by a reveal screw pin (an adjustable threaded bar) and protective packing at either end. A transom tie tube links the reveal tube to the scaffold. Reveal ties are not well regarded, they rely solely on friction and need regular checking so it is not recommended that more than half of all ties be reveal ties.

If it is not possible to use a safe number of ties rakers can be used. These are single tubes attached to a ledger extending out from the scaffold at an angle of less than 75° and securely founded. A transom at the base then completes a triangle back to the base of the main scaffold.

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