Buy or Rent Concrete column forms blog image of construction site

Concrete Column Forms: Pros and Cons of Ownership versus Rental

Concrete column forms are a commonly critical component in construction. These framework molds, into which concrete is poured, are, in part, responsible for the quality of columns that are able to be produced —- with an impact on aesthetics, structural integrity, and efficiency. Concrete column forms can be a vital consideration in construction projects, especially those which rely on heavy vertical support. 
It’s worth noting that there are a few different approaches to take with concrete forms. In addition to technical considerations regarding the materials, shape, configuration and style of concrete column molds to use, the question of whether to rent or buy concrete column molds can arise.   
There’s no one answer that’s most viable for every organization; renting and buying can each offer their own benefits and potential drawbacks. As such, it may be important to consider a few factors, such as your future needs, the level of upfront costs you’re amenable to, and the level of maintenance simplicity you need. 

Considering Your Concrete Column Forms Needs 

There are a number of factors you might consider when determining whether renting or buying concrete column forms  a better option for you — such as your future needs, upfront and long-term costs, and ease-of-maintenance. 


Consider the level of flexibility you might require; should you need concrete molds for a future project, will you require the same size and configuration? 


Another factor to weigh is the costs of renting and buying steel concrete forms. Depending on your needs, one may be more cost effective than the other in the long run, but this can hinge on future projects, the cost of maintenance, rental costs and more. 


Another vital consideration is formwork maintenance requirements. Buying and renting can present vastly different levels of responsibility for maintenance, storage, transportation, and cleaning. Construction equipment upkeep can be a significant factor. 

Image of concrete column form for rentImage of concrete column form for rent
Image of concrete column form for rent

Buying Concrete Column Forms 

Buying concrete column forms can offer the benefit of ownership. How beneficial ownership proves to be, however, can hinge on several important factors. While buying concrete column forms may enable you to trade steeper upfront costs for the ability to form concrete columns in the future without renting, you’ll also need to consider the lifetime costs of buying. 
Column forms will need to be maintained, stored, and transported. This may necessitate other peripheral costs such as that of storage space, vehicles, and materials. It will also likely necessitate some level of management — while with rentals, the onus of storage, transportation, and maintenance typically lies with the rental company. 
Buying concrete column forms may prove cost effective in the long run if they’re suitable in your specific circumstances. However, you’ll likely need to consider the lifetime costs of ownership against the amount of revenue you’ll be able to produce — and if you require different types of molds for future projects, you still may need to consider how you’ll acquire additional molds to use. 

Renting Concrete Column Forms

Renting concrete column forms also may be a cost effective option. Renting construction forms advantages, similarly, may hinge on a number of important factors — such as the upfront costs of rentals, how long you’ll need to rent the forms, and the specific offerings and pricing provided by the rental company in question. 
One potential advantage of renting is that this option may afford you more flexibility; should you need to use a variety of different concrete molds for different projects or different parts of one project, but without the likelihood of reusing any one kind of mold very often, rentals may be a more flexible option that buying, representing potentially lower upfront costs for molds that won’t be used many times. Conversely, however, renting may represent unnecessary long term costs in cases where the same concrete column molds are to be re-used frequently. 
Another potential benefit of renting concrete column forms is that this option may represent a lower maintenance burden. Rental companies may include transportation and maintenance as part of the rental agreement, simplifying management. In addition to reducing the logistical management requirements, this can reduce associated costs such as that of transportation, storage, and cleaning materials. 

Image of owned concrete column form Image of owned concrete column form
Image of owned concrete column form

Determining What’s Right For You 

Whether buying or renting concrete column forms is the right choice for your unique needs can depend on a range of factors. It’s often important to consider not only your short-term needs but your long-term needs and goals as well when making construction equipment decisions. 
When buying concrete forms, considerations might include how many times you’ll be able to use the forms and the estimated lifetime cost of their maintenance and upkeep, storage, and transportation costs. 
When renting concrete forms, considerations might include the offerings and pricing of rental companies, the long-term costs of using rentals frequently, if applicable, and the level of maintenance, logistics, and storage that you want to manage yourself. 
It can be helpful to perform a cost-benefit analysis and factor in not only the details of current projects but also those you expect in the future. 

Considerations Regarding Your Column Forms 

There’s a lot to consider when sourcing construction materials. When it comes to concrete column forms, some of the factors you consider might include the upfront and lifetime costs of each option, your future needs, and the level of maintenance that you want to be responsible for. 
While buying can represent a long-term cost-effective option in cases where these forms will be reused enough to outweigh their lifetime costs, renting may be a more cost-effective solution in other cases. Renting also may represent lower maintenance costs and management requirements, making it a more manageable option in some cases. Ultimately, you’ll need to consider your needs, weigh the pros and cons of each option, and determine what’s right for your organization. 
Remember, if you’re looking for concrete column form rentals or to purchase concrete column forms, at Deslauriers, we offer a wide range of forming options, including rentals and purchase, in various materials and configurations to meet a wide range of needs. To learn more or get started, visit us online and see our selection today.