Problem Solver - August 2011
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Find the Right Shelter

You can take your site from plain to perfect with simple additions, such as shelters, pavilions, gazebos, kiosks and shade structures. When you go with prefabricated options, you can add beauty to your site on a tight timeline and budget, while also providing a potential revenue source for your agency.

Q: What should we look for when we're considering our shelter and shade options?

A: It's important to find something that is aesthetically pleasing and fits well in the context of your site. Check out various offerings from manufacturers, and you'll soon see that there is a wide variety of options that will suit every site, from a desert viewpoint to a city square.

Next, you need to talk to the manufacturer about installation requirements. Also ask for references and be sure to follow up and get details on how simple the shelters were to install, as well as how they're holding up over time.

Another key factor in your selection is durability. Be sure the structure can handle the weather extremes that are typical of your site, whether those are hurricanes or blizzards. Also remember that your shelters will need to stand up to potential vandalism. Look for frames with an anti-graffiti coating if this is a problem in your area. Steel structures also are a good bet as, unlike wood-post structures, they are fire-resistant.

Q: How difficult is it to install a new shelter?

A: The number of people and the length of time required to install a pre-engineered structure will depend on the model you've chosen, as well as the size of the structure. Generally, it is relatively simple to install a smaller, less complicated structure. If you have someone on your staff with general construction experience, you'll want to enlist their help.

You'll need at least two to three people to install the structure, and it can take anywhere from a few hours for a simpler structure, to several days for something more complex.

Q: We're facing budget restrictions, but the public is clamoring for new shelters. Is there a way we can get new shelters without breaking the bank?

A: The good news is that shelters can pay for themselves over time. You can charge a rental fee for large gatherings, even renting it out for weddings and concerts, if you've selected a larger shelter. Simpler shelters can be rented for picnics and family reunions during busy times when visitors might otherwise compete for the space.


Classic Recreation Systems Inc.: