Tips for creating outdoor shade
Shade structures invite you and your family to spend more time outdoors under the cool comfort of an umbrella, gazebo, awning, or other protective items. Different structures may work better on your patio, lawn, garden, or deck, so use these tips to choose the best shade maker for your outdoor space.
Large umbrellas for your yard, patio, and deck are portable, so you can move them around when desired. You can also protect umbrellas from weathering by folding them up and storing them inside during snow season or bringing them in during a heavy storm. For maximum shade and comfort on hot summer days, choose an umbrella that's at least 4 to 5 feet wider than the area you want to shade. Umbrellas can be placed inside of patio tables that have a hole in the middle or on weighted stands, so they stay in place. Shade umbrellas are an inexpensive choice, but they fit well in smaller spaces. They're ideal for renters who can't create a permanent shade structure.
Portable gazebos can also be put up and taken down when needed, or they can be a permanent structure in your yard or garden. Pop-up gazebos are especially convenient for taking to children's outdoor sporting events, family picnics, and community events. Hard- and soft-top gazebos with netting provide some shelter from bugs and add privacy to your outdoor conversation or relaxation time. Hard-top gazebos are more resilient to rain, snow, and sun damage, but soft-top gazebos are generally less expensive. Prolong the life and beauty of your outdoor cooking equipment with a grill gazebo.
One of the nicest things about a pergola is that you can add a cover to the roof for shade in the hot, sunny months, but remove it when you'd rather have more light. You can also form your overhead shade on a permanent pergola with climbing ivy, wisteria, or grapevine for a living shade source that adds beauty to your outdoor space. It's also easy to hang string lights, curtains, or an outdoor movie screen on a pergola. Because the roof and sides are more open-air, you can also place a pergola over your firepit. Uncovered pergolas provide minimal shade and will not protect you from the rain, but retractable canopy shades can solve that.
Awnings provide shade from sun and shelter from rain. Place them over your windows, doors, or patio of your house. Retractable awnings allow you to let more light in during the darker winter months and protect your awnings from damage during storms. Motorized retractable awnings roll up with a push of a button. You'll insert a removable handle and crank it to roll up a manual retractable awning. Awnings that don't require poles can be more convenient and safer for homes with kids, who might tend to run into them. Choose an awning fabric to match your patio furniture for a cohesive look.
Outdoor blinds and privacy screens provide shade and seclusion to your deck, patio, gazebo, or pergola. They line the walls of your structure and mount to the ceiling or top of it, so they're not for patios without a roof overhead. You can raise or lower blinds to accommodate the path of the sun during the day. Mesh blinds allow you to look outside while still providing shade and protection from wind and rain. Canvas blinds provide greater UV protection.
Shade sails are an economical choice for providing shade for your outdoor space. They attach to other structures, so you'll need to rely on trees, posts, the side of your home, or other outdoor structures. Or you can purchase a kit that comes with poles. Get creative by arranging multiple shade sails to provide coverage over a variety of areas or add an artistic touch to your outdoor space. Shade sails work well over pools, hammocks, sandboxes, play areas, and outdoor dining spaces. Since they're temporary structures, they're a nice option for renters and can be brought indoors during the colder months. Shade sails don't provide much protection from rain, and those that are triangular shaped may leave gaps where the sun peeks through.
Worried about damage to your investment? Consider adding a Payless Daily Protection Plan to your larger purchases for added peace of mind. During your warranty period, we'll cover the cost of materials and labor to repair or replace your shade structure due to failures from normal wear and tear, mechanical and electrical failures, and motor failures.