Hiring vs Buying a Small MarqueeI want to take you through the pro’s & cons of hiring vs buying a small marquee.

This is aimed primarily more at the small garden marquee hire market who are looking to give their house some more space for a party they’re planning.  Most likely to extend their home by “attaching” the marquee over a set of doors in their garden.  If this is you great, there’s another blog post about attaching a marquee to your house here!

I’ve made a pro’s & cons chart to show you the benefits or both buying or hiring a marquee for your event.image 8

How long will a domestic marquee last?

I have lots of conversations with people in the same boat as you.  They’re sitting on the fence because they have 3 summer events lined up so it feels more commercially viable to buy one from Amazon and use it three times.  I get you.  That does make sense!

However due to the thinness of the metal poles and the plastic connecters you find on domestic structures you will be lucky to take your new tent down without breaking anything before it goes back up again.  You’ll struggle to order singular spare parts for it as well as usually they come all boxed up straight from China.  I’m telling you this first hand as this is how I got into hiring commercial marquees in the first place!

Like for like, if you wanted to hire a 3m x 6m Commercial grade marquee after paying for a trained installation team, who arrive in a taxed, fuelled and insured van then yes buying a 4m x 6m gazebo will be cheaper!   Talking by rough ballpark figures – a domestic gazebo will probably cost around £200-£250 after postage.  Hiring a commercial quality marquee of the same size after installation costs will be around £400-£450.  Bear in mind that will come with a decent floor system – your new eBay purchase will not!

But it’s the value a marquee hire company brings to the table that makes hiring so much more worthwhile. 

The value in hiring a marquee

When you hire a marquee – you’re also getting with that an experienced team (in our case award-winning too!) making sure your structure is set up completely safe and ready to use.  Remember you could be having 20-100 people that you know under this big metal thing – it’s got to be watertight and secure in case it gets windy. I don’t think your auntie would appreciate your Amazon gazebo falling apart on her!

Domestic gazebo’s are also only shower proof due to the thinness of the material.  So if you get any form of typical UK rain coming during your event you’re still going to need umbrella’s….so what’s the point?

That also mean it’s not very good at keeping the warmth in.  So the summer nights with no cloud cover, or if your birthday party happens to fall in mid-January you may night to ask your guests to bring their bobble hat.

Thinking of having the marquee attached to the house?

This is the biggie.

Chances are if you’re attaching the marquee to your house the terrain it’s going on is most likely patio.

What happens if/when it rains is the rain falls on the roof of the marquee and falls onto the patio.  All patios have a natural slightly slope built into them.  (This prevents rainwater from freezing becoming a slip hazard in winter).

So that means this water then seeps onto the patio thats actually covered by a marquee.  Making it wet.  Your brother-in-law with his new suede shoes from Aldo is now really pleased he made the decision in turning up to your party.  Plus everybody else who is walking to and from the marquee back into the house is transferring the moisture and dirt all over the house.  I’m sure you don’t enjoy cleaning floors hungover the next day ?

Most marquee companies hire flooring with the marquee as standard to ensure this doesn’t happen.


When the wind or rain gets up I call Friday afternoons…Frantic Fridays.  Why?  Most of my phone calls go something along the lines of…

“Hi Mark it’s Mrs Smith again.  We spoke about a month ago and you gave me a quote for my daughter’s 18th birthday party for this weekend, remember?”

“Hello!  Yes I remember, you said you bought your own one and was going to do it yourself?”

“Yes, yes that’s me.  Well the wind has launched our marquee into next door neighbours conservatory and the marquee has all collapsed.  Are you able to come over this afternoon and put one of your ones up please”

“Oh no that’s awful, you’re the second person thats called this afternoon.  I’m really sorry to say we’ve been fully booked for some weeks now! ? ”

“What am I going to do for my daughters birthday?!”

I get this a lot.  A lot.


Remember this on BBC news in 2015?

Is there a cheaper alternative to hiring one?

Yes.  Here they are:



It is possible to buy something for less than you can hire.  I would like to make that perfectly clear.  However they are incomparable.  What you are buying essentially from Amazon is a huge plastic bag with very thin poles.  For £150 it seems great value…why would I spend £350 on hiring one Mark?

Like I said above these plastic parachutes only need the slightest gust of wind and they’re off like one of Richard Branson’s hot air balloons.  More to the point they’re not even watertight…so what’s the point?!  Anyone got an umbrella?

Plus, you’ve got to put it up yourself (Just picture 3 men scratching their heads trying to interpret a very badly drawn diagram they’ve been staring at for 3 hour whilst its peeing down).  Your relaxing Saturday afternoon with the family has turned into carnage…

If the thing has stood up successfully for 3 days you’ve then got the task of fitting all these plastic poles and dripping wet canvass back into the half torn cardboard boxes they came in.  Take it from a chap who owns 28 Marquees…they take up a lot more room than you think!  They certainly don’t fit back in those boxes either.

There are a long list of other issues these structures have but I won’t go on, you get the picture. 

Commercial quality marquees are have a far higher maximum wind loading speed, are fully waterproof and can be installed over doors to allow you to step from your house seamlessly into your marquee.  They’re installed by trained professionals who do this everyday – so you’re going to get a product that’s perfect for your requirements – and safe to use too.

They’re also taller than most domestic marquees meaning they can comfortable fit over doors if you’re planning to attach a marquee to your house.

And…..(I know you can’t start a sentence with and but I’m doing it).  And….the cheap Amazon Prime hot air balloon doesn’t come with flooring, heating, lighting, linings etc your new commercial quality marquee has as well!  So it’s a win-win all round.

The Biggest Benefit?

You get this great new little venue in your garden and you haven’t lifted a finger.  Your friends & family will be amazed at what you’ve achieved and it can be our little secret that you had the superheroes in pink do all the hard work!

After you weigh up your time, stress and hassle it’s a false economy not to hire a marquee from a marquee hire company hiring commercial quality structures who do this every day.  I want to take as much stress away as possible for your event and I know your party can be arranged completely stress free.  That’s why I offer full catering services, DJ’s, event loo’s, chair & table hire etc so you’re not dealing with 4 people and hoping they’ll all deliver on time. 

With Abacus you have one dedicated person arranging your whole event for you so you haven’t got to do a thing!

It’s really easy to get a quote.  Your best best is to call me directly on 01462 262012 or pop your details in here as we’ll send a quote over to you