Having an outdoor patio space is absolutely wonderful – most of the time. What do you do on those summer afternoons when the sun is scorching hot? Without something in place to help shade you from the sun, you will not be able to enjoy your time outdoors as often as you should over the summer.
So, what sort of contraption can you get that will help provide some much-needed shade? There are so many great options, many of which you can do for yourself without any assistance at all! Here are a few of the most attractive ways to protect your space from the heat of the day.
1. Shade Trees
Unfortunately, this is not a quick and easy solution. However, it’s one of the most enjoyable ways to get out of the heat! Natural shade from a large tree in your yard gives you a beautiful backdrop for anything you might want to do on your patio.
It also has the benefit of giving the most shade during the summer when you need it most while slowly opening up to more sunlight when things start to get a bit chillier.
If you don’t already have a large tree in your yard, you can plant one and use some other means of shading your patio in the meantime!
To find out what kind of tree would be suited to your yard, try the Best Tree Finder.
One of the simplest shading methods available is a cloth. All you really have to do is string it up overtop the patio and you’ll get to relax within just a few minutes. It can be as easy as attaching the cloth to 4 poles around the area or hooking it to a few supporting objects that happen to be nearby.
When you’re looking for a good cloth to use, make sure that you choose one meant for outdoor use. By choosing the right cloth you’ll be guaranteeing yourself a lot more use and much less hassle, as you can leave it out during rain and shine, only having to remove it when the snow and ice start to arrive.
To help improve the lifespan of your cloth, look for a water-resistant fabric and hang it such that rainwater has a place to drain away and does not collect anywhere on the cloth.
If you don't mind spending a bit more, a retractable awning could be an alternative.
Contrary to what you might think, umbrellas are not just good for a rainy day. They are the perfect companion for the sunshine as well. Some of the best advantages of using an umbrella are that they are portable and can be quite attractive.
Umbrellas can come built into a piece of furniture like a patio table or they can be freestanding and mobile. The freestanding umbrellas are a lot more versatile and allow you to adjust your shade as necessary throughout the day.
The trend this year is to go big, bold and bright, so don't be shy!
While many canopies are made of a sturdy outdoor cloth or canvas, they are a step up from hanging a plain cloth overhead. Canopies are pre-made pieces to add to your patio by either attaching them to a nearby wall and opening them up above you or by rigging them up with included poles to hold everything together.
A canopy has the advantage of being built for the purpose of blocking rain as well as sunshine. It’s not something you can only use in the summer, and if you invest in a nice enough canopy you will be able to leave it up for most of the year every year.
They come in many colors and sizes and the instant shelters or pop-up tents can come in handy for your outdoor parties.
5. Shade sails
Based on the general concept of a ship’s sail, a shade sail stretch out over an outdoor area to give it a great area of shade while remaining open and airy. Shade sails are great because they don’t need a lot of work to set up and only require a few anchoring points to work properly over your space.
Although they are quite simple, they are pretty trendy and look surprisingly stylish.
Another good option is to use retractable screens. They are handy and pretty cheap for the basic ones. Some designer screens are of course more expensive but they would also look much better and last longer.
It could be a good option for your front porch.
7. Pergola or Lattice
This option is a very attractive way to get partial shading around your outdoor space without completely blocking out the sun’s rays. It is essentially a series of criss-crossing boards with open slots between each above your deck. If you want a permanent structure that looks absolutely gorgeous while functioning to keep your cool, this is one great way to go.
Similar to a pergola, a lattice is made from a tighter grouping of boards with slots between them to let in a little bit of light. These are beautiful permanent fixtures around your patio that can add something special to the look of your home while also giving you a place to retreat when the weather gets too sunny.
A pergola is a great feature to accomodate an outdoor kitchen or a hot tub.
Building your pergola or lattice out of a higher quality wood will make sure that it lasts for many years and looks great the entire time. A wood like teak or redwood can make for a stunning effect when well treated and taken care of.
While it’s not a practical option for everyone, gazebos are an incredible fixture to have in your yard or around your house. They turn any ordinary patio into one of your favorite rooms in the house! Installing a gazebo style roof or an entire gazebo can eat away at your budget very quickly, although the end results are usually worth it by far.
Some of the above options for shading your patio might be a bit out of your price range, but that doesn’t mean you can’t manage to get the shade you want. Options like cloth, shade sails, canopies, and shade trees are all things you can do for yourself to minimize the costs and still end up with a wonderful result!
If you’re looking to make a permanent fixture like a pergola or a lattice, you can also find a design to build for yourself if you have a little basic knowledge of building. This can save you a lot of money.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure it fits in with the style you want your home to have. Your patio is a great place to be throughout the summer; don’t spoil it with bad style or ineffective shading!