Shady Spaces

Providing shaded areas of outdoor living space extends the useable area of your getaway, adds charm and beauty, and is a great way to enjoy the summer days without being tortured by the heat of direct sun. Of course, planting shade trees and using natural vegetation can add value and beauty to your landscaping; but while those trees are growing into canopies, it’s a good idea to have alternative shade solutions.

1. Umbrellas and Canopies
The most basic shade structures are the most flexible. Using re-moveable and moveable umbrellas and collapsible canopies will give you the flexibility to block the sun as it moves across your landscape. They are also a wonderful shade option for large gatherings, days on the beach, and sunny afternoon picnics. Giving you immediate results, they are a cost-effective way to move with the shade.

2. Shade Sails
Based on the basic technology of a ship’s sail, these shade-providing sheets of breathable fabric provide protection from sun and dangerous UV rays. They need to be attached to poles or columns, but these can be installed very easily and provide versatility as they can be placed in a variety of positions and areas. The shades themselves can be made in nearly any color to match your home. To save even more money, you can install them yourself instead of hiring a professional. Most can be removed in the winter months with easy quick-release hooks. Sails are an affordable option which allows for good airflow and sun protection, while still allowing light to flow into your yard.

3. Awnings
Motorized and stationary awnings protect decks and patios from the elements, as well as provide excellent large shaded areas for family picnics and gatherings. These kinds of shade structures have various options that range from basic to top of the line. An awning generally attaches to the side of a house and covers a window as well as a small or even large portion of the yard. Some awnings can be retracted manually, while others can be installed permanently opened. There are also electric awnings that work much like garage doors , retracting with the push of a button; and while they are more costly, they allow for much more flexibility. These come in a variety of materials and colors as well so they will match many homes.

4. Permanent Outdoor Shelters
If you want a stunning centerpiece for your front or backyard, a gazebo or pergola can instantly add style and makes the area more practical for use; and can also increase sale potential and value to your home. Permanent structures tend to be more expensive than other forms of shade structures because they must have a foundation if they are freestanding; however, gazebos and pergolas may also be attached to some preexisting structures if suitable. They are very durable and can come in a wide variety of fabrication and finishes to match your home’s architecture. If built well, they will withstand most natural hazards and spells of poor weather.

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