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Sunlight Protection in Backyard Shade

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Sitting in the backyard on a hot summer day can sometimes be unbearable. The strong sunlight in summer can really hurt your skin and eyes. When it comes to sunlight, it is what you can’t see that hurts you. The physics at work may be complex, but the solution is age-old and simple: shade. It can be simple to make and it is easy to take care of. Most important, it works to protect you from the damaging effects of sunlight while still allowing you to enjoy the outdoors.

Rectangle Awning

Get Relaxed after a Working Day Under Rectangular Awning

Get Relaxed after a Working Day Under Rectangular Awning

A rectangle awning attached to the house is an attractive option for many people. It provides ready access to shade when you want it and retracts to let the sun shine when you are ready for it. It can also block glare into an adjoining room of the house. Rectangle awning consists of a metal framework covered with shade fabric. The framework mounts directly on the side of the house. Some models have diagonal support arms. Others eliminate that obstruction with hidden “lateral” arms.

Pros: Rectangle awnings provide instant shade or quickly roll up when you do not need them. You do not have to take them down – no storage hassles. They do not require you to build a permanent structure on the deck.

Cons: Rectangle awnings are up to 20 feet wide but only extend about 10 feet, so they will not completely shade most decks. Also, strong winds can damage the awning framework, if you leave the awning open.

Installation: The installation can be an easy DIY activity, or it can be an involved project that requires calling an awning contractor. The difficulty depends on the size of the awning, whether it is retracted with a hand crank or an electric motor, and also whether the awning is located above a door or patio/deck.

A Canopy


A Canopy is a Great Shady Mean for Gatherings

Canopy awnings are fabric-roofed structures supported by a freestanding, rigid frame that is bolted to your deck. The frame becomes a permanent part of your deck, and you can either leave the fabric up year-round or remove it seasonally.

With a rectangular or square footprint and easy setup, a pop-up canopy stretched fabric supported by vertical posts is great for good or bad weather. It provides shade or shelter from light, rain during celebrations, family events and other gatherings.

You do not need to be advanced in mechanics to put this up in your backyard, just teamwork. However, pay close attention to the manufacturer’s recommendations/instructions for securing the canopy to the ground with stakes or other tie downs.

Pros: Canopy awning is good for full shading of compact decks or partial shading of larger decks. The shade cloth is resistant to tears and will not sag. The fabric and structure can withstand rain, hail and strong winds.

Cons: Unlike retractable options, canopy awnings do not offer a convenient way to let in the sun.

Shade Sails

Do not Get Sunburnt with the Help of Shady Sail

Do Not Get Sunburnt by the Help of Shady Sail

Shaped like a sail and stretched among poles or from a house’s fascia or roof bracket to a pole, a shade sail is as much an architectural design element as it is a shade structure. Need to know: You can install it yourself, but it requires some construction skill. For instance, you need to be able to form and place concrete to erect the pole from which the sail will stretch.

Pros: Shade sails come in different shapes and sizes. You can make your choice as per your requirement. The size of the cover will be determined, depending on the place you are installing it. They protect from harsh sun rays. The materials used in these sails can block up to 98% of UV rays.

Cons: Shade sails can get dirty quickly due to environment.

Arbors and Pergolas

A Lovely Pergola in Your Backyard

A Lovely Pergola in Your Backyard

You can build or buy this shade option. Building requires carpentry skills and usually the help of at least one person. No arbor or pergola will provide much relief from the sun unless it’s covered with vines or some other greenery or material to provide shade.

Pros: You can find wood for sale locally, no matter where you live in the US. You can hire a carpenter to build it for you.

Cons: Depending on the application, you will need to consider that cedar is pretty light, but pressure-treated wood can be pretty heavy, when it comes to footers or deck attachment. To keep wood looking its best, you will typically want to paint or stain it. There is no such thing as life time treatment.

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Category: Outdoor Design & Décor

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  1. You should be kind and add one!