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FAQ

What size tent do I need?

Determine how many people you want to accommodate at any one time for your event, is it a standing or sitting event (remember the extra staff you should provide dinner for). Then refer to our chart for an easy guideline. Remember to consider space for caterers table, buffet table, gift table, bar area, stage and dance floor, note our package promo’s take many of these items into consideration . After you’ve added all those numbers up you’ll have the total size you need. Then see which tent has close to or slightly larger of the same square footage and that’s the one you want.

How do you anchor tents?

We use steel stakes that are 20” to 46” long driven into the ground , that’s also the reason why we require utility locators. The actual number of stakes and the size of them will vary depending on the size and style of tent, how much wind load they may be subjected to and the length of time they will be set up. There are other things that we can do depending on the situation but the end result has to be within the manufacturer’s anchorage guidelines and above all, safety and security if a storm does arise. The average distance from the tent is 6’, for example a 40’x60’ pole tent requires a minimum of 52’x72’ + work area to allow room for straps and tents.

Do stakes damage my asphalt parking lot?

The stakes will make a hole about the size of a Loonie which can be repaired if needed with asphalt plugs. There are some locations that we have been installing the same size tents for different events and we reuse the same holes over and over again with no problem or concerns.

When do you install and remove a tent for my party?

If your party is on a Saturday for example, we usually install the tent on Thursday or Friday depending on when your function starts. We sometimes set up earlier depending on the situation and how many projects might be scheduled for that week and where they are located. Pickup is most often scheduled for Monday but we will ask you for the event start and end time to determine exactly when the best time for pickup would be. Another example would be for a Friday night dinner party that starts at 6pm. In that case we might deliver everything on Friday morning and pickup on Saturday.

For most events, there is no cut and dried time for installation and take down because of many different factors. We always strive to be flexible and accommodate the needs of our customers balanced with what is possible for our tent crews to do in a day. For commercial projects we usually try to install everything one day or several days prior to your event and then take it down the day after. The actual timing can vary widely and will depend on what other services you have to coordinate inside such as stages, flooring, electrical, decorating, table settings, audio visual etc. All these activities take time so please plan accordingly. After hours and weekend installations may be accommodated for a fee to be determined by the specifics of your event (such as timing and manpower requirements to fulfill your request).

Do you allow customers to BBQ under your tents?

No, barbequing can possibly damage our tents. Also, the International Fire Code states, “no open or exposed flame devices emitting flame, fire or heat shall be permitted inside or located within 20ft of the tent.

Do you ever let the customer set up tents on their own?

No, professional trained installers install all of the tents we rent. We do however carry light weight EZ ups for do-it-yourself installations on lawns.

What about security of tents from vandalism or other damage?

Keep in mind while a tent is installed on your property:

  • You are responsible for any damages caused by vandalism or unruly guests to any of the rental equipment. This is a very rare occurrence because most events are either in a secured locale or have overnight security service. A little common sense is all that is usually needed to avoid any potential problems.
  • After considering the location of the tent, the type of function and the time it will be on site, we can suggest what will work best.
  • We are affiliated with Response Safety and Security and can provide quotes if safety and security are a concern. This most commonly applies to commercial applications.

When do you do the site inspection?

The simple answer is, when time and weather permits or if we have been advised of a special situation or work area conflict that we need to know about. Usually, it’s pretty simple. If you measure your own property and keep in mind the guidelines above of a 7-8 foot work perimeter around the tent it’s usually fine. Remember to look up for tree branches and wires and mention any underground septic field or irrigation systems that we should know about since the utility companies will not mark those two things because they are your responsibility.

What about truck access to the site?

Please remember that most tent installations require us to be able to drive right up to where we need to work because of the size and weight of the tents that we may be setting up for you. If we do need to transport materials more than a minimal distance from the truck, it may also require an additional fee.

When should I have my lawn cut before my event?

Make sure you DO NOT cut your grass the day of your tent install. The green sap that is left on the surface of your lawn will stain our equipment as we have to lay most of it on the ground during our install. Another reason would be is that we wouldn’t want your landscaper or yourself to interfere with the installation of your party. It is always best to leave your grass a little long. Grass wears better when it is longer. If your party were on a Saturday you would want your lawn to be mowed no later than Wednesday. Cutting your lawn after the tent has been installed can be extremely difficult with all the poles and stakes in the way.

Can you set up a tent in the winter?

Yes we can. Please call us to discuss because there are problems that arise in winter that sometimes make putting up the tent impossible. Extreme weather and frozen ground are two areas of concern.

What about heating tents in the winter?

Yes, we can heat tents as well without any problem but there are a few extra things we have to do regarding winter rentals. The best thing to do is call our office and speak to us about some specific details so that we can advise you. A few other important things to consider when planning to rent a tent for your event. Allow a minimum of 6-7 feet around the perimeter of the tent for setup. That means if you order a 20’x40’ size tent, the area you want to have for proper installation should be about 32’x52’ in size. Underground and overhead utilities are always important to watch out for when erecting a tent. It is the customer’s responsibility to check with the City or Township for location of underground utilities.

Do you need a deposit?

Yes, we require a 50% deposit to confirm any quote.

How do you accept payment?

We require a credit card to secure your order; however, you may pay by cash, check or credit card. Final payment is due upon delivery. If payment is not made upon delivery, the balance will be applied to your credit card.

Can you bill me?

Business accounts may be established upon credit approval. Contact our office and we will forward a credit application for you to complete. Once we receive your completed credit application, please allow up to 30 days for credit approval.

Do you offer complete Wedding Planning?

We work with professional wedding planners, and will certainly connect you with them. You can then choose which planner can best execute your event. They are passionate about weddings, parties and all celebrations, as this is what they do for a living. The most common things to keep in mind are:

  • Is the tent being used for dinner or ceremony, or both.
  • How many guests have you or are you inviting?
  • How many will be seated at the head table?
  • Are you planning on having a dance area and or DJ or band?
  • Are you having the people serve themselves via a buffet line or is it being served at the table?

Big Top Tents carries three different types of tents:

E Z up, Frame Tents & Pole Tents.

E Z up tents are also know as pop up tents, a free standing structure that can be put up by the renter. They require stakes, or weights to ensure safety and security

Frame Tents are free standing structures which may be installed on a variety of surfaces, and in close proximity to buildings or other structures. Frame Tents have no centre poles, so you have the maximum amount of space available under the tent. Frame Tents may be outfitted with optional lighting and sidewalls. Although Frame Tents are essentially free standing, they must either be staked, or weighted to ensure safety and security.

Pole Tents are dramatic, high peaked tents which allow for the largest capacity. Pole tents are beautiful, yet heavy duty tension structures, which have a centre pole(s), and require staking. Pole Tents may be outfitted with optional lighting and sidewalls. Please allow 10’ around the perimeter of the Pole Tent for proper installation.

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