Deciding on steel security screens is often a wise choice for ensuring optimal security and privacy for your property, premises or project. However, having decided that steel security screens are the right choice, the next decision is often one which really takes some thinking about – whether to hire or buy.
To help identify whether buying would be best-fit for the budget or hiring more financially-friendly, it’s as well to consider all aspects of your planning. By asking yourself our key questions, you stand a better chance of making a fully informed and cost-conscious decision for this and any future projects:
- How long the installation will be for?
The length of time the screens will be needed can be a real factor in whether to buy or hire. Buying can be more cost effective in the long term, for example if a property is to be boarded for a considerable period of vacancy, such as when waiting for planning consents to come through.
- How many projects will the screens be needed for?
Steel security screens are extremely robust and are designed so that each screen is durable across a significant number of projects and varying types of sites. If you are looking to secure your property for just one project, it may be more cost-effective to hire as the screens can be removed and taken away at the end of the hire term.Alternatively, if you are looking to have screens available to use across a number of projects. whether one after the other or concurrently, then purchasing the minimum number you need may mean that the initial outlay of purchase is recouped (when compared to the costs of hiring) by as soon as the second or third project.
- Is storage readily and cost-effectively available between projects?
Although steel security screens are designed to be easy and space-saving for storage, they still need to be stored somewhere between uses. If you don’t have adequate storage space and would need to pay to store any screens you own, then this additional cost would be needed to add to your overall purchase costs. As such, it may work out better value for you to hire the screens for each project as that way the storage issue is not a space or cost problem for you – especially if your projects are few and far between.If you do have adequate and secure storage, then it doesn’t matter how long or how often your projects occur, you won’t be incurring additional storage or hire costs and you’ll have the screens already on hand as each new project arises.
- Is deployment and installation likely to be within an easily accessible area of where you are working from?
This should be considered alongside the logistics of storage as, if your projects are within a given radius of where you’re working from (and possibly going to be storing the screens) then buying the security screens could be the most viable option for you as you will incur minimal costs of both the time and money kind by transporting and installing within a fairly localised proximity.On the other hand, if your projects take you across the UK and you have limited means of transport or access to a ready schedule of installation, it may be better to hire the screens you need each time, as SafeSite Security Solutions can deliver and install anywhere across the UK as part of the hire costs.
- Are your requirement similar across projects and properties similar – or very different?
Hiring screens on a per-project basis means always having access to the right screen for the job. For example, solid steel screens may be needed to secure a property without light or ventilation, but if another property needs regular access for viewings, inspections or on-site work such as during or after refurbishment, then hiring Sitex screens instead means that the property still benefits from the full security of steel screening, but with a design which allows light and ventilation for during works and for viewings.If you have purchased solid screens, these wouldn’t have the design features to allow light and ventilation, so hiring what you need as you need it may offer additional flexibility.However, if your requirements remain very similar across projects, for example for a series of property renovations, the purchase of Sitex steel security screens has the advantage of being much more cost-effective, particularly as the screens can be easily reused and moved from project to project without the cost of additional storage.
- What is your overall budget?
Money matters and overall budget (either for long-term business planning or on a project-by-project costing basis) can be both a relevant and deciding factor in whether to hire or buy.In terms of initial outlay, buying can considerable expense, so it’s easy to assume that hiring in the first instance will prove to be the less expensive option overall. However, if the project is very long-term, or a single project’s schedule ends up over running, for example if bad weather or planning issues mean that refurbishment or construction work cannot take place when planned, then extending the hire term on an ad-hoc or last minute basis, may prove to be surprisingly expensive.The alternative is to consider that buying is an investment in the business as a whole, particularly when used across multiple projects. After the initial outlay the overall expense of purchasing steel security screens can soon start to prove a very cost-effective way of managing the budget for securing properties on a cost-per use basis.
After all of these factors have been considered, final considerations should always be in the context of your own needs. With these in mind, have a final reality check on the possible advantages or disadvantages of hiring or buying:
Hiring can be cost-effective for short-term, infrequent projects and can spread the costs of projects, as well as reduce additional costs, such as storage and transport. However, once you’ve moved into needing the screens for more than a couple of projects, and particularly if these are long-term, hiring can work out more expensive.
- Ongoing maintenance and repairs
Whilst hiring steel security screens means you are not responsible for maintenance and ongoing repairs, you will be responsible for any damage or problems occurring during your hire period. As the galvanised steel used in all steel security screen products is highly durable, a benefit of buying them is that they offer the advantage of a long-life span. Even when they have been used for a number of years, they should still hold a resale value, which means there is the potential to sell them on and recoup some of your initial investment.
- Time is money
Hiring the screens can offer good value for money per project as each delivery, installation and removal is included in the hire costs and will be completed by the hire company, freeing up your own staff for other tasks. However hiring often means having less flexibility, for example of extending the duration – this can often be expensive or even not possible if the products on hire are scheduled to move on elsewhere.At the opposite end of the time scale, minimum contract terms for hire agreements may be longer than you actually need, so the option could be less viable if you need to secure properties frequently but only short periods.When time is money, if you have purchased your steel security screens, they are always at your disposal, when needed quickly or for longer, without additional costs.
Finally, when it comes to the choice of hire or buy, the biggest benefit is to talk to a company which can offer you cost-effective ways to manage your needs. Hiring can be a very cost-effective way to try-before-you-buy any steel screen products and it can even be possible to offset the cost of a recent hire when buying the items – just ask one of our expert team for more information on hiring or buying steel security screens from SafeSite Security Solutions.