Q:

How do you create shade on a deck or patio?

A:

Quick Answer

Canopy awnings, retractable awnings, DIY shade structures and plants are great options to create shade on a deck or patio. They also enhance the ambiance of the outdoor space and provide sun protection.

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Full Answer

Canopy awnings are permanent structures with removable fabric and a rigid frame bolted to the deck. Outdoor and decorative lighting can be installed on the frame and sporting columns. The fabric is durable and resistant, allowing users to leave it installed all year long. Removing the fabric can be time consuming and requires at least two people.

Retractable awnings are a convenient way to add shade only when needed. The metal framework and shade fabric are mounted on the side of the house on diagonal or hidden lateral support arms. The awning opens and retracts with a hand crank or with a motorized system. However, retractable awnings are susceptible to strong winds. They are also built wide but not deep, often preventing them from fully shading the deck.

DIY shading structures like pergolas and timber frames are the best way to assure the house and the patio have a cohesive style. Homeowners can cover the pergola or timber frame with awning fabric or plant vines.

Canopies and screened tents are inexpensive and easy-to-assemble alternatives to add shade to a patio. Evergreen trees and plants also provide natural shade to large areas and increase the value of the property. Maple trees are particularly useful for their dense foliage and fast growth.

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