Construction Tools & Equipment – Is it better to buy or hire?

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If you own a construction company, or have a large upcoming project, then you will need to decide whether to purchase the tools outright or hire them for a limited period of time. This can be a tricky decision, as both options have a number of distinct advantages. It’s worth taking the time to think about which will be the most cost-effective solution for your business.

Here are a few key questions to ask yourself:

1. What is your budget?

Buying tools outright will necessitate a large initial outlay, particularly if you require several pieces of equipment. Hiring allows you to spread the cost, which may be the most cost-effective solution if you have a limited budget.

It’s important to remember that hiring equipment in the long term will eventually cost you more than buying outright.

2. Are you able to maintain the product?

Some tools don’t need much upkeep, such as ladders or power drills. However, many tools require maintenance to keep them working efficiently and safely. Examples include table saws (changing blades), chainsaws (sharpening), extractors (filter replacement) and powered access towers (dismantling to perform safety checks). Think about whether you have the knowledge and time to perform maintenance on the tool.

If you don’t think the tool will need much maintenance, then consider purchasing outright. If the tool does require maintenance, then you may benefit from hiring, as the hire company will be able to provide support and servicing.

3. What is the lifespan of the equipment?

Some tools and equipment are regularly upgraded as technology and industry standards improve, such as surveying equipment. If your business relies on the latest technology, then hiring will make more sense, as you will be able to upgrade easily, quickly and at a reduced cost.

4. Will storage be an issue?

If you buy the tools, then you’ll need to find somewhere secure to store your gear between jobs. Storage should be a consideration for larger items, such as lighting, ladders, extractors and generators. If you have to pay for a storage facility, then factor the storage fees into your decision.

If you choose to hire the tools, then storage won’t be an issue between projects.   

Benefits and drawbacks of hiring tools

Hiring is simply paying to use a tool for a set amount of time, and you’ll usually receive a price per week.

Benefits of tool hire:

  • You can spread the cost, making it more affordable
  • Includes service and maintenance
  • Support and advice available
  • Upgrade to the latest technology when required

Drawbacks to tool hire:

  • Will cost more if you are hiring long term
  • You never actually own the product

Benefits and drawbacks of buying tools

Purchasing a tool could be a wise investment if you plan to use it regularly for many months or years.

Benefits of purchasing:

  • Cheaper if you plan to use the tool regularly in the long term
  • You own the equipment
  • Flexibility
  • Potential to sell the equipment when you no longer need it

Drawbacks to purchasing:

  • Expensive initial cost
  • Service/maintenance costs
  • Requires secure storage location when not in use

Whether you’ve decided to hire or purchase, the next step is to do your research. Check out local companies and stores to compare prices, but don’t necessarily choose the cheapest quote. Although cost is important, remember to look for reviews of tools/companies to make sure they are reliable.

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