Frequently Asked Questions




Pole Tents

Frame Tents




Frequently asked questions and tent terminology



What size tent will I need? That depends on the number of people you expect to be under the tent at any given time and what they will be doing.  Guests seated at round tables require 12-15 square feet per person, while guests seated at banquet tables requires 10-12 Square feet per person.  Audience style seating requires 8 square feet per person.  Plan on 6-8 square feet per person for stand up cocktail parties.  An example would be 100 guests for a sit down banquet.  Multiply the number of guests 100 x 12 sq. ft. = 1200 square foot tent required.  If you plan on having a dance floor, DJ/Band, buffet tables, etc you will need to make additional allowances.  If you are unsure, please call us and we will be happy to suggest the appropriate tent size for you.

How much space do I need for to allow for each tent?  Pole tents require a minimum of 15 feet greater than the width and length of the tent.  For an example a 40 x 60 pole tent requires and unobstructed space of 55' x 75'.   Frame tents require minimal additional space and can be installed in an unobstructed space five feet greater than the width and length of the tent.

What is the difference between a pole tent and a frame tent?  Pole tents have support poles around the perimeter called "side poles" and support poles going down the center of the tents called "center poles".  Tents 60' and greater in width have another set of poles located halfway between the center poles and side poles called "quarter poles".  Pole tents use ropes or webbing straps that extend to stakes placed 6-8 feet out from each side pole to support the tent.  Frame tents only have the perimeter side poles and no center poles.  Due to the additional cost to purchase and the added labor to install frame tents they are more expensive to rent then pole tents.

Are sides included in the price of the tent?  Unless you order the tent with sides it will not come with them.  We have solid white walls,  mesh walls and window walls available.  Please advise us when placing your order if you require sides.  If you want us to leave the sides in case of inclement weather we would be pleased to do this as it is not difficult to hang the sides yourself.

Can a tent be installed on concrete?  Yes they can!  Pole tents require that we drill into the concrete to install small drop anchors.  These anchors leave a 1/2" hole in the concrete but we can reuse them for future installations.  Frame tents can be installed using the same drop anchors or by the use of ballast weights such as concrete weights or water barrels.  Keep in mind that drop type anchors are the safest way to install a tent on concrete. 

Are the tents water proof or weather proof?  Under normal weather conditions tents provide a dry haven for outdoor events, but they are NOT water proof.  Tents are temporary structures and are NOT to be occupied during lightning or high winds- evacuate to a permanent structure during severe weather.

Do I need a permit for my tent? Most municipalities require a tent permit.  Call your local building/permitting department to inquire.  Some permits take up to three weeks, so start early!  If would like us to pull the permit for you, we charge a fee for this service plus the actual permit cost.  In addition, local fire codes may require fire extinguishers, no smoking signs, exit signs and other life safety items.  If required, we do rent these items at an additional cost.

What do I need to do before you arrive to install my tent? 

  1. Have necessary permits and licenses (see above).
  2. Mark the location of underground utilities in and around the installation site.  To have nearby underground utilities marked call 811 two full business days before we are scheduled to install your tent.  Visit Call 811- know what's below for more information.
  3. If you have under ground sprinklers, septic, etc. you must mark the lines and point them out to our installers.  We cannot see what is underground and take no responsibility for damage to subsurface utilities/lines.
  4. Clear the area.  Please ensure the tent installation area is completely free of all obstructions prior to our arrival.


Tent Terminology: 

Center Pole The main support; solid or telescopic poles of metal used to support the center and highest part of a tent. 

End Sections The initial set of sections to form the tent roof. Middle sections may be added to increase the length.

Floor A temporary deck built of wood and covered with Astroturf or carpet that helps alleviate inclement weather (rain drainage, cold, etc.). It also makes the surface more uniform, negating trip hazards and stabilizing seating. 

Frame Tent A  tent consisting of vinyl fabric top stretched over a tubular aluminum framework and containing no interior poles, only perimeter support poles. 

Guy Ropes/Straps Ropes or straps with ratchets, that extend from the eaves of a tent at each side pole down to anchors in the ground, providing support for the roof. Straps/ratchets are commonly used on larger tents.

Liners & Leg Drapes An interior fabric used to mask the structural support of pole and frame tents, while still giving it warmth and ambiance. Usually white in color.

Marquee A long and narrow tent used for sheltering walkways, defining an entry to a tent, building, or structure.

Pitch The slope of the roof of a tent resulting from the difference in height between the side pole and the height of the highest peak.

Pole Tent A traditional style of tent containing center poles, perimeter poles, and guy ropes that support and stretch the fabric roof.  Anchoring/staking is critical to insure proper installation; because of this, a 7 foot allowance on all four sides is needed to anchor/stake the tent.

Side Pole The supporting poles placed around the perimeter of a tent.

Sidewalls Detachable vinyl walls used to enclose the sides of a tent.  Sidewalls are available in clear, mesh, window, and solid white.

Stakes Forged steel rods ranging from 30" to 42 in length and approximately 1" in diameter driven into the ground used to secure the guy ropes or straps.  Stakes can be driven into dirt, grass, gravel, or asphalt surfaces, but not concrete.  If stakes are driven into asphalt surfaces, a cold patch will be used to repair holes left in asphalt surfaces.  All underground utilities need to be clearly marked prior to driving stakes!

Clear Span Structure Tent A tent with an aluminum frame support structure that eliminates the need for center pole support.

Valance Vinyl material permanently attached to the perimeter of tent. It usually hangs down 12 and can be straight or scalloped. Gives the tent a finished look and helps seal sidewall against rain or wind.

Weights/Ballast Sometimes used in to secure frame tents where stakes are not applicable, however stakes are the safest and most desirable way to secure a tent.  Usually concrete or water barrels are used depending on access to the site.





Pole Tents

Frame Tents





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