Most quotes are made on the assumption that the marquee is going on grass, so please let us know in advance if the marquee is going on a hard surface.
Traditional marquees can't go on hard surfaces unfortunately because they rely entirely on long stakes hammered into the ground (unless the footprint of the marquee matches the size of the hard surface and there is mud/grass around the entire perimeter). Clearspan (frame) marquees can go on hard surfaces, but there are two important issues you need to consider:
Stop the marquee becoming airborne
Thankfully we've never had a marquee 'go airborne' and only two or three staff have been presented with their 'marquee wings' i.e. they've been lifted off the ground by a gust. When marquees are on grass, each leg is held down by a yard long stake, sometimes two. On hard surfaces, you can't do this. Before you read on, take a look at this clip on YouTube (a clip that is forever etched on my brain and keeps me up at night whenever I hear the wind howling).
The marquee in the clip weighs 2 tons and it takes a wooden floor with it. Scary stuff. But the clip is designed to educate, not intimidate (nice rhyme!).
There are four ways to prevent a marquee flying off:
1) Guy ropes. Assuming there is softer ground nearby that surrounds the marquee, use ratchet straps as guy ropes attached to the top of each leg and running down to stakes 1-2m away from the marquee. Cost: £0
2) Bolting it to the ground. This involves us drilling 10mm wide, 150mm deep holes for each leg (two per leg on 12m and 15m wide structures). Legs are positioned every 3m around the perimeter and the holes can easily be filled afterwards. Cost: ££s
3) Weighing the marquee down. Amazingly, in order for a marquee to withstand 80mph plus and be in line with manufacturer's guidelines, marquee legs need to have 750-1000kg of weight on EACH leg! This can be achieved with either water weights (IBC 1000 litre water containers) or concrete blocks. Cost: £££s
4) Attach the marquee to a sub-frame floor system. The marquee bolts into a made-to-measure steel frame and then wooden boards are slotted in place. The weight of the frame and boards prevents the marquee from causing a nuisance to air traffic. Cost: ££££s
Stop rain water soaking into the carpet
On grass, rain water just soaks into the soil and drains away (unless it's extremely heavy). On hard surfaces, it forms puddles and hangs around until it evaporates. This is all well and good, but puddles have a habit of growing if the rain is persistent or heavy and they can creep under marquee walls and start soaking into carpet. Once the soaking in starts, it's very hard to stop and before you know it, the whole carpet is soggy.
There are two preventative measures:
1) Have a wooden boarded floor which sits on battens meaning the carpet is elevated a couple of inches off the ground and rain water can pass freely beneath. Cost £££-££££s depending on size.
2) Have a sub-frame floor system which does the same as the wooden boarded floor above but elevates the carpet even further. Cost: ££££s
Finally, there are a few steps that hirers can take to minimise the effects of wind too:
1) Keep an eye on the forecast (I like XC Weather).
2) Don't choose very exposed locations at potentially stormy times of the year.
3) Keep all entrances/exits closed and fastened tight to prevent wind getting inside.
4) Keep an eye on stakes/guy ropes/bolts each day to make sure they haven't worked their way loose or become slack.