A genius is a talented person who does his homework.
- Thomas A. Edison
You don’t need to be a genius to buy a sun shade sail, but a little homework can make sure that you buy the right one. There's a plethora of shade sail options that can quickly make selecting the right shade difficult. Your homework should work as your guide to find the best one for your needs without losing track.
Installing a shade sail in your property not only adds aesthetic value but also expands the usable area and creates a nice outdoor getaway. Let's cut to the chase and dive into the 5 essential tasks you should complete before buying a sun shade sail.
The right position
Even after you are sure about the place where you want the sail installed - in your garden, over the patio, pool, or in the backyard, deciding the right position for the sail is vital as it will determine the size and style that will best suit your needs. For deciding the exact position of the sail consider the following –
Direction of the sun –
The sun moves from the east to the west and the cast shadow will naturally move with it. So, if you want to cover a specific area, installing the shade right over it will provide shade only when the sun is in the mid sky, i.e. between 11am and 3pm at the max. To get shade during the morning hours you need to install the sail more to the east from the spot of your choice and for shade towards the afternoon you should install it more to the west.
If you want shade for extended hours during the day, installing two sun shade sails in particular angles is all you need for maximum coverage. You should also consider that the path of the sun from east to west will change from summer to winter and with the sun the shadow will move too.
One simple way to map things out is to mark the area you want to shade with chalk and then observe where the shadow is projected as the sun moves. The other option is to enlist some help from the latest technology. There are a ton of mobile apps and online tools that can help you chalk out the path of the sun clearly.
Not sure which app can help? Here’s our top pick,
No shade sail is resistant to fire or flames. So, do not install it directly above or close to the BBQ, heaters, or fire pits.
Anchor points –
While deciding the position of the sun shade sail, keeping the existing structures in mind can make anchoring simple. If there’s some existing structure that can be used for fixing one or two points of the shade sail, the installation will naturally become uncomplicated, as now you will have to think only about one or two new anchor points at most.
You can use a pad eye, a snap hook, and a metal wire rope to make anchor points on the existing structure. However, it is important to be sure that the structure is strong enough to hold the shade in place during the worst weather conditions in your area.
Trees can be an excellent anchor point. Just make sure that you tie the sail with the main trunk of the tree and not to a branch.
The poles can be installed on reinforced concrete, concrete plinth, or robust perimeter walls. In residential installations, the posts can also be directly placed deep in the ground, so that they don’t move. Check out that you are not planning to install the poles over an underground pipe, cable or concrete structure.
We don’t recommend placing the posts close to a drain or ditch where the ground has been loosened already. The posts need to have a strong base to support the sail properly and placing it close to loose or caved in ground will only increase the chance of the post moving in the ground.
Any planning permission needed
If you are installing a semi-permanent shade sail in your home, you might not need any permission but before you start installation, it is still wise to be clear about your HOA/community rules, if any. The regulation regarding semi-permanent structures may vary from state to state, county to county and even from one living community to another within the same city. So, always ensure that you're aware of any particular rules.
Most often, unless you are installing a big shade sail, making sure that you are not obstructing your neighbors’ view or sunlight is all that you need to confirm before installing the shade. But again, if there are public roads close to your property, there might be some restrictions concerning the visibility of shade in the road. So, better ask first rather than be sorry later.
In case you are planning to install a shade in a commercial area or marketplace, getting special permissions from the authority is often required.
Readymade or custom made
Both types come with their unique benefits and limitations. Readymade sun shade sails are naturally cheaper compared to the customized variety because we already have these sizes in our stock and there is no labor premium. The same reason makes it possible to ship the shade sail to you quickly. On the other hand, we make the customized sails only after you have placed the order.
The readymade sun shade sail sizes available with us include:
Our range of readymade shade sails is extensive, and it’s most likely that you have already picked the right size from the above to fit your needs. If you are not sure about the three different varieties mentioned above – Standard, Waterproof, and Super Ring, click on the respective types to learn the special features of each of these collections.
More to the point, most of these shade sail sizes are available in several color options like beige, black, green, grey, brown, turquoise, blue, yellow, orange, etc. Check our website to find the color options available in your chosen shade sail type and size.
However, if your requirements don’t fit into these size specifications, nothing to be worried about. Give us a call and we will make the perfect customized shade sail for you in our warehouse within 3-5 business days. Our custom shade sails can be made in all our product lines.
Shade sail posts for mounting
Installing a sun shade sail isn’t only about the sun shade sail. Yes, you read that right! A sun shade sail is only as good as its supporting posts.This section isn’t for all the lucky folks who don’t need to install a single additional post to support their shade sail and can manage all the fixing with robust existing structures.
For everyone else, the posts are important, because even the best quality shade sail will fail to provide proper service if it’s not mounted on strong and well-footed poles, sufficient for supporting the size of the sail. The basic post options are wood and steel. Wooden posts should be outdoor treated for best longevity. These are also cheaper than steel. You can find treated 6’ x 6’ wooden posts from The Home Depot and other stores.
Steel posts are readily available and the best quality options will also give a bunch of extra features like adjustable height, multi-sail fixing, and more. The diameter of the post should be determined according to the size of the sail to be attached. The proposed height of the shade after installation and the depth of the footing should be taken into consideration while deciding the height of the poles.
Also, keep in mind that all the posts need not be of the same height. For optimal water runoff, the hypar design or one corner tilted fixing is most efficient. If it seems confusing, opt for professional help, or contact us. Don’t forget to get the ColourTree shade sail installation Hardware kit and accessory for fixing your sail with the posts for minimum hassle and best longevity.
Quality or Budget?
Now, the final question – Quality or Budget? To get the best service and longevity, premium sun shade sails are certainly the best choice. These will last you years with minimum maintenance and will also hold the unfaded new look for longer, but these are also expensive.
If you are looking for quality in budget, our Standard Shade Sails are the best pick. Made with 190 GSM non-recycled HDPE, these shades block 95% of harmful UV rays. Heavy duty, double layered reinforced stitched seams prevent fraying. These also come with a full 3 year warranty and are available in multiple shapes, sizes, and colors.
However, if you can give ‘budget’ a miss this time, spend on ColourTree Super Ring Sun Shade Sails, the highest quality shade sails available on the market. Made with 260 GSM, permeable HDPE, the sail offers 98% shade coverage. They sport patented super heavy duty attachment corners and steel cable wire encasing the perimeter. They are resistant to drying out, fading, tearing, stains, mold, and need maintenance only once in a while. To top it off, they come with a full 5 year warranty.
Now that we've given you all your homework, it’s time for you to get started!