Backyard Shade Solutions: A Comprehensive Guide

Millions of people dream about living in a big house, especially those spending their days in residential buildings packed with small apartments. They lack space, storage area, room for their children and freedom to move around their home as much as they’d like to. That’s why some of them can’t wait to move into a house – not only is it more spacious, but it also offers a number of possibilities apartments simply can’t.

Probably the most intriguing one is a big backyard that can be utilized in thousands of different ways: building a basketball court, installing a pool, setting up an outdoor cinema, arranging a seating area, hosting garden parties and barbecuing for your friends and family are just some of them.

However, whatever you choose to do, take one thing into consideration – protection against direct sunlight. Proper shading solutions are no longer reserved for paranoid people afraid of the sun, but something that will make your time in the open nicer and much more enjoyable. In order to do find the right shade solution, here’s a comprehensive guide that should help you understand why these are vital and how to make the right choice.

Why is shading so important?

First of all, you need to realize that too much exposure to direct sunlight, no matter how useful and necessary it is, can actually jeopardize your health. Being in the open every day of the week definitely is the best thing you could do for your mental and physical well-being, but too much of it can leave a few consequences. Of course, this heavily depends on where you live and how strong the sunlight in your area is, yet bear in mind that you should never spend the entire day outside without a hat or, what’s even worse, fall asleep while trying to get a tan.

Being outside has a positive effect on your skin and bones, packing them with lots of vitamin D, while it also relieves you of stress, enhances your mood, relaxes you – especially after a long and strenuous week at the office – and helps you sleep better. It can also assist you in a battle against depression and other more serious illnesses, which means it’s one of the best things you can do all year long.

Direct exposure to the sun has a few negative effects, too: it can cause damage to your eyes, lead to heat exhaustion, cause sunburn and, ultimately, result in a heat stroke or, in extreme cases, even trigger skin cancer. That’s why you should take the good and the bad sides of sunlight in consideration and ask yourself not whether you should install some sort of shading solution or not, but what kind of structure to opt for. Here are some of the ideas.

Shade sails

This is one of the most popular options out there as it’s not only highly practical and effective when it comes to sunlight protection, but also visually appealing and intriguing. Moreover, shade sails are quite cheap and very easy to install, so they won’t cost you a lot in the long run and will turn out to be surprisingly affordable. No matter how handy you are, you’ll probably be able to install them on your own – this way, you’ll avoid having to hire an expert and thus save even more money.

Despite being practical and appealing, you should know that shade sails still come with one major flaw – they’re not as durable as you’d think. Even models created from high-quality materials aren’t perfect and can easily wear out over the course of time. What this leads to are stretches and holes that are penetrable not only by the sunlight, but also the rain, so there are no guarantees your shade sails will actually provide you with any shade after a couple of years. They are also prone to wobbling and can even catch fire, so be very careful if you opt for this solution for your outdoor area.

Shade umbrellas

This idea is similar to the aforementioned shade sails and it basically does the same thing – provides you with an abundance of shade, but still lets you get some tan – but it includes a couple of enhancements and adjustments. Most importantly, shade umbrellas are made from a special material called marine grade aluminum that guarantees maximum durability and longevity. This means they won’t become wiggly over the course of time and they won’t be affected by harsh weather conditions, so rain, wind and even a storm won’t hurt them.

If you really want to take things to the next level, you might want to look into effective and attractive cantilever umbrellas that are actually better than any other because they’re based on a special cantilever technology. This means they are fully rotatable and height-adjustable, yet still easy to install and operate, so you can open and close them several times a day without breaking a sweat. In the end, these kinds of shade umbrellas will take care of all your shading needs and still bring a dose of elegance into your backyard.


Pergolas might seem more durable and sustainable than other solutions, yet they also requires precision and knowledge when it comes to building, installing and maintaining it. This project can challenge all your DIY skills and make you think outside the box, but, if you put your mind to it, the results will be extraordinary. Ultimately, this little object can instantly turn your backyard into the focal point of the entire house – especially if you decorate it with flowers, plants and lights – and make your neighbors jealous of how amazing it is.

On the other hand, the process of building a pergola is something that requires quite a lot of skills, more materials than you can imagine, as well as hours and hours of hard labor. It can easily grow into something you haven’t planned from the beginning and really take a toll on you mentally and physically. That’s why building a pergola is a project you should leave to a team of professionals, but that means you’ll have to pay quite a lot for it. Therefore, considering other options is always a good idea, as these can be more affordable and less stressful to build.

Other ideas

Some of the other ways to ensure your backyard is always protected against the sun include planting some evergreen trees and hiding under their shade, installing retractable awnings or, alternatively, building a roof over your deck or patio. All of these ideas allow you to stay in the shade during hot summer days, so check them out and find the one that suits you the most.

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