This article covers some of the things you might want to think carefully about before you invest money in shrink wrapping materials, equipment and training for your team. We then look at the typical costs of materials and how much scaffold shrink wrap installers typically charge, so you can get a feel for the ‘business case’ of incorporating shrink wrapping into the services you offer your customers.
Finally we will look at how to get started, from buying your first ‘start up kit’ of materials and equipment to getting some training to enable you to start off on the right foot.
Shrink wrapping is a profitable service and being able to offer a product to your customers with additional benefits over and above traditional style scaffold sheeting is a great way to differentiate your company from other scaffolders in your area. However, it isn’t for everyone.
Before you go ahead and set up your scaffold shrink wrapping service, here are a few questions to consider.
The first thing to consider is who are the typical clients that you carry out work for? If you are mostly carrying out domestic scaffolding around private homes or for relatively short term projects then shrink wrapping may not be the right product for your customers. These type of projects tend to require a fairly basic level of temporary weather protection.
The only exception to this tends to be projects on large domestic properties in high profile areas where a tight and smart appearance is required.
From our own experience carrying out the encapsulation of scaffolding for temporary weather protection or environmental containment, the benefits that shrink wrap brings tens to be appreciated by larger scaffolding projects at the ‘industrial’ end of the market. So, if you’ve ever:
Then you will be working on the type of projects where encapsulating the scaffold with a shrink wrap sheeting can bring benefits to your customers.
In summary, although the appearance is great, shrink wrap sheeting is designed for challenging applications that require a very high level of weather protection to appreciate the benefits. So if not, they customer usually won’t be prepared to pay any more than they do for standard traditional style scaffold sheeting.
The main benefits of scaffold shrink wrap are;
Secondly, have you got the time to deal with the inevitable learning curve that comes from taking on a new product or service? Shrink wrapping is not like traditional style scaffold sheeting which is fitted on a lift by lift basis. Scaffold shrink wrap is a versatile product that can be used in many different ways.
Although we try and cover as much during training as possible, inevitably a certain amount of learning has to come from ‘on the job’ real world experience.
Like many things, to get really good at installing shrink wrap sheeting, it takes practice, patience and experience.
If your team are only required to shrink wrap a scaffolding every 6 months, they’ll probably not get enough practice and gradually forget the skills they were trained in. In this scenario, it’s probably best to use a specialist scaffold shrink wrap installation company.
If your customers are demanding more from the sheeting than you can achieve with traditional style scaffold sheeting for example:
Although prices may vary, most specialists charge around from £6/m2 to supply and fix scaffold sheeting to a scaffolding facade. This rate is very much an average. Small jobs (less than 100 square metres) may command a higher price. Temporary roofs from £9/m2. Internal projects, such as factory screens, where installation speed is unaffected by the weather, may be offered at a lower rate.
A rate of £6-£8/m2 probably covers the majority of shrink wrap installations. However, it’s worth re-iterating this is not a great solution for customers with restricted budgets for scaffold sheeting. Although, when compared to the more traditional alternatives, the cost is actually very similar!
OK, so you have customers with the types of projects that would really benefit from shrink wrap sheeting, you have a basic understanding of the business model and how to create a profitable line of business for your company? How do you get started?
Getting started is as simple as choosing a supplier and getting some materials and equipment. We believe our own materials are the best quality and easiest to work with, however we always recommend doing your own research.
Typical start up kit:
1x 7m x 15m 300 Micron Shrink Wrap Roll, Flame Retardant to EN13501
1x Reusable Clips – (box of 100)
1x Heat Gun with Hose + Regulator
1x Welding Gloves
1x Stanley FATMAX Retractable Twin Blade Knife
3x Patch Tape Rolls
Scaffold Shrink Wrap Start Up Kit – £647
In summary we can either provide training on a ‘training structure’ at our very own yard in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire or we can provide training to your team on a ‘live job’. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, but prices start from £695 for a ‘hands on’ course, although now we even offer virtual training for just £495!