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Answers to All Your Questions 

Which is the easiest sukkah to build?

Do you provide custom size sukkahs for special space restrictions?

Why are your kits so much cheaper than the other sukkahs sold on the web?

So how DID you get into this business?

Are you open on Shabbat?

Do you give discounts to shuls and schools?

When must my order be placed to assure delivery before Sukkot, and what is the best way to order?

Can a person put up the sukkah kit alone?

Must the sukkah be anchored to the ground?

Should pressure-treated wood be used for the sukkah?

What type of screwdriver is needed for the wood-frame kit?

Won't the screw holes loosen with repeated use?

Can the sukkah be reduced in size?

Does the Sukkah ProjectTM meet the requirements of Jewish law?

What type of roof material (s'chach)is used?

Working with tools is not my strong suit. Is help available if I have a problem?


Which is the easiest sukkah to build?

All are easy, but the Tubular Kits have the advantage over the Wood Frame. The Tubulars are like big Tinker Toy sets, and they go up in no time at all.

Do you provide custom size sukkahs for special space restrictions?

Yes, if you contact us early enough.

Why are your kits so much cheaper than the other sukkahs sold on the web?

From the start our intention has been to enable any family to build a sukkah, and this is why we try to keep the cost low. Here’s how. First, we do almost all the work ourselves, things like designing the advertising, filling screw bags, cutting wood slats, packing & shipping boxes, taking orders—everything is done by family members in our workshop.  So we’re a very efficient, low-overhead operation. Second, we deal directly with our customers rather than selling to stores or wholesalers who would resell the kits at a higher price. Everybody gets wholesale from us. Third, we use industrial grade materials that are less expensive but still do the job. We trust that there are lots of things our customers will do on their own to beautify and customize their sukkah, so we don’t have to include lots of expensive frills or fancy materials in what we sell. Finally, we maintain a reasonable profit margin across the board. We know there is room for us to get a higher price for our kits, but that is not why we got into this business.

So how DID you get into this business?

Back in the late 80’s Rabbi Steve Sager of Beth El Synagogue in Durham NC (a 100+ yr old congregation which holds both egalitarian and orthodox worship services) asked Steve Henry --being the synagogue’s only woodworker--if he would design a simple do-it-yourself sukkah kit for members of the community who wished to have a sukkah but knew nothing about building things. The kit he came up with proved extremely popular with the locals, and soon requests were also coming in from far off places. Recognizing that a widespread need existed for a good affordable sukkah kit, Steve and Judith exhibited their design at the 1996 Biennial of the USCJ in Washington DC and launched a business selling kits nationwide through mail order and eventually the Internet. What started as a sideline project with one product has evolved—ten years later—into a full time family business offering a full catalog of unique items for observance of Sukkot. It’s been a labor of love every step of the way.

Are you open on Shabbat?

No. Our workweek starts on Sunday and ends at sunset Friday.

Do you give discounts to shuls and schools?

We provide a discount on items for family Sukkot observance to any group that requests it. In return we ask those groups to help spread the word about our sukkah kits. Participating groups can choose either to pass these savings on to their members—who could order directly from us at the discounted prices—or they could set it up as a fundraiser. If this is of interest, please call and speak to Steve or Judith for more details.

When must my order be placed to assure delivery before Sukkot, and what is the best way to order?  

It's impossible for us to specify a definite deadline for ordering, but in the past we shipped most orders within a day or two of receiving them, right up to the end--and everyone was happy. We'll try our absolute best to hold to this standard again, but the unexpected could happen (like lots of folks ordering at the last minute). Quantities of some items are limited, so we recommend orders be placed as early as possible. Delivery by FedEx takes 1 to 7 business days, depending on the distance. 2nd Day or Overnight service is available for rush orders at an extra charge.  We'll let you know if we think it is necessary to use express shipping for your order to arrive in time for Sukkot.

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Can a person put up the sukkah kit alone?

There is only one point in the process where a helper is really necessary--and then only briefly--but the spirit of the project calls for total family involvement, and certainly lots of kibbitzing. It's a great parent/child activity.

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Must the sukkah be anchored to the ground?

Not necessarily. The frame is rigid and needs no extra support; no cinderblocks are needed, no holes need be dug. If you live where there are high winds, consider building a wood frame sukkah and using lattice as the wall covering, as this design is less affected by wind. We have had reports of fabric-covered sukkot being toppled over by strong winds, so it might be a good idea to stake or weight the frame to the ground if the sukkah is unprotected from the wind. We provide specific suggestions for sukkah tie-down in the assembly manual. Stakes for this purpose are now available. Click here for more information.

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Should pressure-treated wood be used for the sukkah?

No.  Pressure-treated lumber has a number of characteristics which render it unsuitable for use with the Sukkah Project Kits.  The period of exposure to the elements is brief, and does not require pressure-treated wood.   Applying an initial coat of water sealant or paint to standard lumber will increase weather resistance, but is not essential.

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What type of screwdriver is needed for the wood-frame kit?

A large (#2) Phillips-head screwdriver. While the screws are very sharp and easy to screw in, we strongly advise using a power screwdriver or an electric drill with a Phillips-head bit, especially when the sukkah is being assembled for the first time. This will greatly speed up assembly and save wear and tear on wrists.

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Won't the screw holes loosen with repeated use?

This will not be a problem: the screws penetrate almost the full thickness of the wood, and hold tight enough even in a well-used hole. If necessary, the boards can be flipped over and new holes begun.

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Can the sukkah be reduced in size?

With the wood-frame sukkah kits, if one side can remain 8ft long,the other dimension can be reduced as much as needed simply by cutting three boards down to size. If both length and width need to be reduced it will require more cutting, but can still be done. The assembly manual provides instructions for "downsizing" the sukkah. The tubular sukkah can also be reduced in size if necessary.

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Does the Sukkah ProjectTM meet the requirements of Jewish law?

Yes. Formal certification of sukkahs is not typically done. However, several rabbis knowledgeable about the applicable laws have reviewed our design, and all stated that a kosher sukkah can be built with the kit if certain principles are followed. The assembly manual explains how to construct a proper roof, and lists other requirements for a ritually-correct sukkah.  A number of Chabad organizations are among our customers.

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What type of roof material (s'chach)is used?

The sturdy roof slats permit the sukkah to be covered with tree branches, shrub prunings, palm fronds, tall reeds & grasses, or whatever greenery is locally available. Bamboo mats can also be used; we are now selling these at the best price around.

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Working with tools is not my strong suit. Is help available if I have a problem?

The Sukkah Project's designer--Steve Henry Herman--is available by phone or email stevehen@sukkot.com to answer questions or to walk you through a solution to any problem. He's a nice guy and he'll be glad to help.

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