How to add shade to your backyard

backyard shade

Backyard shading is crucial to hosting amazing barbecues and pool parties. After all, the last thing you want is for your guests to go back home with a sunburn! So extend your time outside during the warm summer months with these 5 great ways of adding shade to your backyard. 

1. Stationary Awning

When thinking of solutions for adding shade to your backyard, awnings are usually the first things that come to mind. Stationary awnings are the most popular type of awning because they’ve been around for a long time. For those of you that don’t know, an awning is a structure you can place above your windows or doors for protection against the elements. Homeowners usually place them above their patio doors in order to have a shaded patio area.

There are many benefits that come with owning a stationary awning. They are extremely durable and can withstand inclement weather, such as rainstorms and even snowstorms. This means that no matter how windy or rainy it gets, your stationary awning will be able to hold up against the elements. Moreover, a stationary awning will offer you a permanent shaded backyard area — consider it like an extension of your home! Choosing the right colour can really add a lot of charm to your outdoor area.

However, a lot of people nowadays would prefer a bit more control in terms shading. Because they’ve been on the market for so long, many believe they’re a little outdated. That’s why you’ll see a lot of homeowners opting for retractable awnings instead.

2. Retractable Awning

Similar to stationary awnings, retractable awnings are structures that are placed above your home’s windows or doors. They provide a shaded backyard area that it attached to your home. Like its counterpart, these are not standalone structures, meaning they can’t be place anywhere in your backyard. You have to attach them to an existing structure.

The great thing about retractable awnings that stationary awnings doesn’t offer is the ability to control when the awning is retracted or extended. This is great for those of you that want to have a nice tanning session in the afternoon, but would prefer to have shade in their backyard during the hours in which the sun’s rays are harshest. Retractable awnings can either be motorized or retracted with a crank. Like their stationary counterparts, they are also extremely durable and can last you decades if properly maintained.

Although retractable awnings offer you incredible convenience and ease of use, they do come with a bit of a heftier price tag than stationary awnings. This is especially true if you find yourself one day having to replace the electric sensor on your motorized awning.

3. Accordion Canvas Pergola

Unlike awnings, pergolas can be standalone structures, but they can also be attached to an already existing one. That way, you’re free to put them wherever you want. A pergola consists of vertical columns or pillars that hold up an open lattice. Some pergolas, like the accordion canvas pergola, are made of aluminum and have an entirely open structure with the possibility of extending or retracting a canvas on request. These are available in both manual or motorized modes.

Because accordion canvas pergolas are made with aluminum, they can withstand any kind of weather condition. In fact, they’re a perfect mixture of stationary and retractable awnings. Like stationary awnings, you can spend time outdoors no matter the weather — though there’s no need for dismantling it at the end of the season. Like retractable awnings, you benefit from alternating between sunlight and shade in your backyard whenever you choose. Another great feature is that accordion canvas pergolas are customizable. Whenever you’re in the mood for a change, or want to redesign your backyard, all you need to do is change the canvas for a brand-new look.

4. Bioclimatic Pergola

A bioclimatic pergola is a pergola with adjustable aluminum slats. These slats can tilt to allow some light in or they can close to provide homeowners with shade in their backyard area. Bioclimatic pergolas fully protect you from rain and the sun’s harmful UV rays. Touted for their sleek and elegant looks, bioclimatic pergolas are becoming more and more popular and can be offered with a manual or motorized system. Like accordion canvas pergolas, they can be stand-alone structures or mounted to an existing one.

There are many benefits to bioclimatic pergolas. Not only do they give off an extremely modern and sleek look, but they’re also fully adjustable. You only need to press a button in order to orient the blades of your pergola. If open, they will allow a ton of sunlight. When closed, they will fully protect you from the rain and debris. Bioclimatic pergolas don’t require much maintenance. Because of their robustness of the aluminum frame and slats, they are very easy to take care of. All you need is  bit of soap and water whenever you notice it getting dirty. The aluminum posts directly conduct the rainwater, so the rain will never collect on top of the structure.

Because these are newer structures that are on the market, they do tend to be a bit pricier than your standard awnings or pergolas. However, bioclimatic pergolas will increase the value of your home — so they’re great investment.

5. Gazebo

Unlike awnings and pergolas, you cannot mount a gazebo to the existing structure of you home. They are purely freestanding structures. Typically, gazebos are usually in the shape of a hexagon or octagon and will have beautiful domed roofs. These are usually great for those who have a backyard that is on the smaller side, since they typically hold between 8-10 guests. However, it is possible to invest in a larger custom-made gazebo.

Gazebos are always very eye-catching. That’s why many photographers take pictures within or outside of a gazebo — especially wedding pictures! Because of this, they are an attractive quality to add to your home, so if you have a quality gazebo in your backyard, you can be sure to attract many potential buyers. They allow homeowners to enjoy more of their yard in comfort and style since they provide an outside area where they can relax and be shielded from inclement weather.

However, because gazebos are more complex structures, it can be a little bit more difficult to maintain properly. But once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll know exactly what to do and when to do it. Gazebos are definitely a structure worth your consideration.

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