Archive for the ‘marquee heaters’ Category

Marquee Heating information

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

Nearly all professional marquee hirers use diesel or gas powered heaters. When using one of these to heat a marquee personally I would always put a carbon monoxide tester in the marquee too. They’re cheap, easy to fit and give peace of mind to both you and the customer. Not only that it makes you look (even more) thorough and professional. All fumes from a diesel heater should be kept outside from the chimney but what if the wind blows it straight back towards the marquee?

L B Whites have a very useful heating app that’s worth looking at and illustrates why electric heaters are just not man enough for any serious size marquee.

Inputting a 6x12m commercial (3m apex height) marquee with a rise of 30degrees C (they do metric, I can’t!) gives a requirement for approx 100,000BTU’s or 30KW of heating. Had we designed our marquees to have a higher apex not only would they be less wind resistant they would also require far more heating – the requirement goes up to 40KW.

The maximum an electric heater can supply is 3KW of heat. If you wanted to heat one of these marquees using electric heaters you would need a whopping 10-13 of them and a very large generator to power them all!

Stick to diesel (indirect) or gas (lbwhite) and fit a carbon monoxide detector.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Marquee Heaters – how much fuel to supply

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

Even though the weather is still relatively mild any marquee hire will now be going out with heating. The question is how much fuel do you allow for and what is reasonable?

As with many things it is best to preempt any potential head ache by telling the customer in advance. We would usually specify (both on the quote and verbally when erecting the marquee) any heating comes with 12 hours of heating. This would usually be plenty for any function – if the party starts at 7 tell them to fire the heaters up at 5 to warm the marquee up and if they’re still going at 5am then the alcohol will keep them warm!

By not specifying this you run the risk of customers running out of fuel whether that be gas or diesel. As with many things I only know this from personal experience but customers will be in the marquee the evenings beforehand using the heater only to find they’ve used up all of the fuel before the function.

This doesn’t of course apply to electric heaters though as discussed elsewhere they are only really suitable for very small marquees/gazebos. Diesel heaters have the advantage over gas in that customers will often be happy topping up the fuel themselves to save you going out to do so (you can even leave a spare canister and funnel).

Save yourself the headache and risk of a callout by making it very clear in advance how much fuel for the heaters you are supplying.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

How much heating does my marquee need?

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Very simply one this, to raise a marquees temperature by 20degrees you require 1KW/3500BTU for 5 cubic metres.

Some examples:

  • 4x4m Commercial DIY Marquee (average height is 2.5m) = 4x4x2.5 = 40 cubic metres so requires 8KW/28,000BTU’s
  • 6x12m Commercial DIY Marquee (average height 2.5m) = 6x12x2.5 = 180 cubic metres so requires 36KW/126,000BTU’s
  • 9x12m Deluxe DIY Marquee (average height 3.05m) = 9x12x3.05 = 329.4 cubic metres so requires 66KW/231,000BTU’s

Some things to point out:

  • Most room thermostats are around the 20degree mark so if it’s below freezing outside allow for more heating
  • If there are going to be lots of openings to the outside (rather than another marquee/the house) then allow for more heating
  • If it’s a formal evening function (think ladies in evening dresses) then allow more heating
  • Better to have several heat sources to create a more even room temperature than one large heat source which risks creating too hot and too cold areas in the marquee.
  • If it’s an 18th birthday party where everyone will be drinking and/or dancing then you can probably allow less heating

In short, I would always treat this number as a bare minimum, much better to have more heating than required so it can be turned down than risk having a function ruined through lack of heat.

The sort of figures quoted here can only realistically be achieved using gas or diesel/oil powered heaters. Save yourself a headache and avoid using any electrically powered heaters or infra-red heaters. They’re fine for taking the chill off on a patio or outside a pub, they are inadequate (not to mention expensive to run) in a marquee of any decent size.

Thanks for reading.

Spencer.

The Showmans Show 2012

Monday, September 24th, 2012

The Showmans Show is on 17th & 18th October this year at the Newbury Showground. I may have mentioned it once or twice, I certainly will have mentioned it if you’ve been in to see us talking about setting up a marquee hire business. It is the one show dedicated to marquee hire companies and a must-visit for anyone serious about marquees. Essentially anyone who is serious about supplying the marquee hire industry will have a stand there.

Please come and see us on stand 267 Avenue E.

For those geographically minded you come out of the main entrance marquee/hall and turn right. Take first left up avenue E and we’re the 4th stand along on the right hand side.

An alternative view is look for the fluorescent vehicles and pretty girls handing out leaflets on security services and our marquees are next door!

The site is quite large as shown by the photo below (our stand is circled):

I’d recommend visiting the Arcotherm & Climate Hire stand (nearly opposite us on avenue E) as they are introducing a new side entry floor diffuser, this will be far more practical in a marquee environment than the standard vents for that style of heater.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you at the show.

Seasonal weather

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Working outdoors as a marquee erector you become a little more conscious of the weather than most. As mentioned previously when helping to plan weddings I found it useful to take along a list of that years sunset times to help plan lighting etc.

In my experience (obviously this is purely my experience with no scientific facts to back it up) the year generally takes the following pattern:

  •  Jan & Feb – obviously cold. Allow for maximum heating at all times
  • March – can be surprising and we often have 1 or 2 very good weeks (this year was a perfect example) so heating and wet weather planning is tricky
  • April – showery albeit not usually as bad as this year
  • May – events in early May are pushing their luck a bit, generally the weather is only reliably good by the end of the month (yes I’m aware this could come back to haunt me in 3 weeks time but I’m talking in general terms!)
  • June & July – reliably (as far as British summers allow) good, heating unlikely
  • August – can get surprisingly chilly later in the evening and we would often have heaters out just to take the chill off any non-dancing area
  • September – we often get 1 or 2 weeks of really good weather mid-September but by the end the weather has usually dropped
  • October & November – cold but not reliably so. The last 3 years at The Showmans Show (mid October) have been T-shirt wearing sunshine, then crowded round heaters and last year was rain. You can get anything.
  • December – reliably cold

Why is this useful? Well if you’re doing a business plan and wondering about buying heaters you might consider getting enough heating for March/November weather but hiring in the extra heaters you need for winter. Why do it like this? Well this way your heaters could get used 6-8 months of the year but the extra ones needed to supplement these for winter would only be needed for 2-3 months (also the quietest marquee hire months). Hopefully I’ve explained what I mean but if not please let me know 🙂

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Avoid using heaters when erecting a marquee

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

If you’re out erecting marquees at the moment then it’s a bit cold but you should avoid using heaters to warm you up, at least until the flooring is down.

Putting marquees up in bad weather isn’t the greatest but we do work in an industry that means once the marquee’s up we’re effectively working indoors for the rest of the time whilst finishing off the interior of the marquee.

If you put the marquee up on frozen ground and then put the heater on you risk working in a bit of a quagmire as the ground thaws out and the mud gets spread around the marquee.

Simple solution -don’t put the heaters on until the flooring is down, that waterproof barrier under the flooring will keep the flooring sound as the ground thaws out.

Thanks for reading.

Spencer

Marquee forums

Monday, September 6th, 2010

At The showmans show in 2008 I was approached about a new marquee forum that was going to help out everyone in the industry. I thought it was a good idea but sadly didn’t get off the ground. Lisa from County Marquees kindly pointed me in the direction of the office section on the blue room forum where a few people have posted about marquee hire and the admins have said if there’s enough interest then they’ll make a ‘marquee’ section.  If that doesn’t work then maybe we’ll just have to set up our own one.

I stumbled across this post on yahoo answers and wish I’d got there sooner to offer my own answer (basically they’re asking it is possible to hold a marquee wedding in a field).  In my eyes the question is perfectly reasonable and one you come up against regularly, it just demonstrates that your job is not simply to hire out and put up marquees but to reassure people that it’s possible and can be done successfully.  Some of the answers are also quite interesting so I’ll run through them here.

Answer 1: a different event was ruined by poor heating and a muddy field all down to the weather. Except it wasn’t the weathers fault, it was the hirers. There was insufficient heating (several small heaters are better than one large one) and ideally (certainly in a field) you should run a small path of matting or carpet across to the toilets and also as an entrance path. This avoids getting muddy and ladies losing high heels. As long as any long grass is cut short well in advance of the event and it’s relatively level then fields make excellent venues for marquees.

Answer 2: It’s more expensive than a regular venue. Possibly true, possibly untrue. There are always cheap ways of doing things -instead of caterers get a cold buffet from Waitrose or get a local take away to do the food for example.

Answer 3: Tents can be very expensive. They can also be very reasonable.

Answer 4: You don’t get married in a marquee, you get married in a church/registry office and hold the reception in a marquee. We did several marquees where the couple were married in a quiet registry service the day before but then held a blessing with all of their guests in one marquee before coming across to another marquee for the reception. Guests think the couple are getting married there but they’re not actually.

Answer 5: DIY Marquees aren’t expensive :). You only need a licence for a bar if it’s selling alcohol, if it’s free then you don’t need one.  A field generally has plenty of space for parking (lighting the parking area is an often forgotten item). Marquee hirers have public liability insurance as standard, we can give details of bespoke insurers if required but exactly what part of the property is going to get damaged? It’s a field.

What this person really needed was for someone to go on there and say yes this is a good idea and happens all the time. What you need is a few smaller marquees connected together to create a courtyard (a field is a large place, you want to keep everyone together in one area). Put some outside seating in the courtyard (or hay bails for that country feel) with a spitroast in one corner. It’s informal, you remove all the marquee walls facing the courtyard so people drift in and out of them. It won’t cost a fortune and you can do all of the decorating yourself.

Thanks for reading.

Spencer

Marquee Heaters

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

If there’s one thing that you want to get right it’s heating, if people are cold it’ll ruin their night no matter what the marquee looks like.

So here are things to bear in mind with marquee heaters:

  • Always always use ones with a fan in, you need to be able to throw the heat around the marquee. Halogen heaters*, patio heaters, cabinet heaters, table heaters are all useless in a marquee. Indirect heaters and space heaters are the best.
  • Think about the layout of your marquee, heaters should be positioned near seating areas and pointing towards doors or anywhere heat will escape from. Don’t have them pointing towards a dance floor.
  • In April/May and September/October you will just need heaters to heat the marquee up before people arrive and at the end of the evening when the temperature drops
  • In Dec/Jan/Feb you need at least twice as many heaters to make sure it’s toasty all night. I always made sure there were enough heaters to make the marquee uncomfortably hot, that way you always know your customer is in complete control (assuming they’re all adjustable).
  • If there’s snow forecast make sure your customer knows to have the heaters on regularly to melt it off the roof. If it builds up that’s a lot of weight to be on top of your marquee. Even if it means you have to go out with more fuel it’s worth making sure no snow settles on your marquee.

It’s got to be said the ideal heaters are indirect ones, they’re large units that sit outside the marquee and are controlled by a thermostat so the customer has complete control. They can be powered by gas or diesel, we preferred gas as it’s easier but lots of people prefer diesel. The only problem is indirect heaters are very expensive.

Indirect heaters typically cost £1500 and hire out for £150-£200.
Space heaters cost £100-£200 and hire out for £50-£90 but they’re quite noisy, not incredibly child friendly (a grate stops anyone touching the flame) and give off water vapour when burning gas.
* Knowing we’d be busy with the showmans show I wrote this 3 weeks ago, since then I’ve been to Paris (on business -which sounds good but really it was just an excuse to see my brother in law) and eaten outside under a halogen heater. I’ll concede that maybe in small (3m/4m) draughtless marquees they may be useful to take the chill off. In winter I’d still go with a fan heater.
Thanks for reading
Spencer