As their companies expand a lot of our customers simply expand their stock of DIY Marquees and take on more jobs of similar size. A lot of expanding customers wish to offer larger marquees than ours and venture in to aluminium frame marquees to run along side their existing DIY Marquees. There are merits to either path and we’re very happy to see people we’ve helped along the way succeed. We also get asked (and are happy to supply) advice on aluminium framework despite not supplying them, it seems there are a lot of suppliers who give you a brief diagram, a pat on the back and send you on your way!
So assuming you can follow the brief diagram for assembly these are some tips to save learning along the way:
- Buy some hard hats. Do it now. I’ve never seen anyone hit on the head with one of our DIY Marquees. I have seen many people hit on the head using aluminium frame marquees (generally putting purlins in), the likeliest candidates are those new to it. It’s also useful to have whoever’s in charge in a different colour hat.
- Leave the footplates and eave knuckles bolted on to the legs
- Have two bolts in each leg so any leg can be used for scissors/cross-braces
- Have spare bolts for putting the framework together, you will lose some especially if transported in trailers where it bounces around a bit
- Don’t slide the legs or roof beams on metalwork (especially something like a roof-rack) it scratches the metalwork and ages it rapidly
- The supplier should have given you a purlin lifter (long pole with a ‘U’ or ‘G’ at the top), one person hooks the purlin in and the other uses the purlin lifter to slot in the other end. When the purlin is in the lifter twisting it slightly will grip the purlin tightly
- Start at one end of the marquee doing a bay at a time and have the hooks of the purlins facing the bays you haven’t done. This way the person hooking the purlins in can lean the frame back or forth if required (this makes sense when you’re doing it!)
- Make sure the marquee framework and roofs are completely square, if not your marquee will leak! Trust me I know this from experience (with a lot of head scratching), this is also the reason that all of our DIY Marquee roofs are in one piece (if you’re under it, you’re waterproof). This is probably the trickiest part of erecting aluminium frames to learn, it takes experience to get it right but you must must do it. A leaking marquee is no good to anyone
- The roofs are pulled on with ropes, your supplier should have given you some but if not just make them out of 8mm rope (spend some money and get nice soft rope rather than polyprop) and tie a clip on the end. You need at least 2 ropes each a bit wider than your marquee
- Take it easy lifting the frames, especially the larger 12m+ ones so you don’t end up with a back injury like mine. It’s a very very heavy bit of kit and can be tricky to lift without bending your back but persevere.
- On a similar note invest in a stake puller, our J shape ones can be knocked side to side a bit to take out but the straight ones in aluminium frames are a lot trickier so a stake puller is money well spent (you’re spending a fortune on the marquee just spend a little more!)
That’s all the main points I can remember about the shells of the marquees, no doubt there are a lot more tips to learn when doing it. There are more to do with the linings and once you’re familiar then there’s a few more advanced options – you can put up an aluminium frame (with all linings, flooring & lighting) without any steps for example.
Apologies if this doesn’t make any sense to most of our customers but it’s worth bookmarking for the future in case you’re considering expanding in the future.
Thanks for reading (sorry no blog last week due to family holiday)