I have seen that many people are diligent in the building of a Succah for the holiday. I know that only a few years ago very few people would build them in their yard. The significance of performing this holy custom is very important.
We are told in the Pasuk that we are commanded to build a succah every year because we lived in Succot in the desert. Their are two different views about what this means. Some have said that when they came out of Egypt the Jews in the desert lived in Succot. Other explain that G-d made a Succah with protective clouds on top of the Jews.
- It is forbidden to build a Succah under a tree. The roof of the Succah must be made of plant materials but these must be detached. Many people have their trees trimmed special for the holiday. This has a double advantage the area is made kosher for a Succah and the branches and leaves can be used for the roof.
- The majority of the roof of the Succah must be covered with roofing material kosher for a Succah. Many people have heard that you need to see the stars through the roof of the Succah. Even if this is true (it is questionable whether you must be able to) you should still have more branches than open space. The way to tell whether the majority is covered is to look at the shadow cast through the roof, if you see more sun than shade then the roof is not kosher and you must add more branches.
- The walls of the Succah should not move with a breeze. Many people make their Succah using Cloth. Rabbi Moshe Fienstien Za”L said that if you use cloth you must make it tight so that it does not move with the breeze. It is questionable whether Sepharadim can follow this leniency. It is best to use a wood frame or other prefabs which use more bars than just the bare frame. Their is a specific design which is made for those who do not tighten their cloth.