The deck, porch, and patio are comfortable places to spend time with family and friends outside. If you live in a warmer part of the country or if you spend a lot of time on the deck in the summer, you’ll enjoy these ways to add shade to your outdoor spaces.
Add Shade to Outdoor Spaces with a Patio Umbrella
A patio umbrella is a quick and easy way to provide some shelter from the sun. These umbrellas are larger than a standard-size umbrella and designed to cover more square footage. Your outdoor table may have an opening in the center for a large umbrella or look for a weighted umbrella base that allows you to install it almost anywhere. Choose a basic patio umbrella or find a style that is fitted with lights to help illuminate your outdoor space.
Trees are great for boosting property value and shading your house from the summer sun. Planted in the right location, shade trees can help manage your energy bills by keeping the sun from hitting your home on the hottest days of the year.
Consider planting trees to create a shaded area on the deck or patio. Some of the most popular, fast-growing shade trees include the Northern Red Oak, Quaking Aspen, Tulip Tree, European black alder, and the American Sweet Gum. Talk to a lawn and garden expert at your local home improvement store to learn about trees that grow well in your area.
Install an Awning or Canopy
A retractable awning offers protection from the sun’s UV rays and attaches to the side of your house. The awning fabric is UV resistant and is fixed inside a small frame that can be extended manually or with a motor. Awnings are popular choices over patios and backyard decks and a retractable awning can be stored away when not in use.
Sun sails, also called shade sails, are UV-resistant fabrics that are available in various shapes and colors. The sails block sunlight and add an interesting design feature to your property. Sun sails are attached to your home, deck, or pergola by at least three anchor points to provide shade over the patio or deck.
Build a Pergola to Add Shade to Outdoor Spaces
A pergola is an attractive structure you can build with an easy-to-assemble kit or hire a contractor to install one for you. A pergola is built on support beams and can be added to an existing deck or by digging holes for the support beams in the yard or on the patio.
The pergola is designed to be open overhead, but with larger wooden beams that block some of the sun’s rays. How much sun is blocked depends on the size of the beams and the spacing. Beneath your pergola, the temperature will be a bit cooler than in unsheltered areas of your yard. For more shade, consider adding a waterproof cover or metal roof.