Brands We Offer

StruXure Outdoor

StruXure offers innovative outdoor solutions like the Pergola X and Cabana X. Their products are designed for modern outdoor comfort, with patented interlocking louvers and advanced system technology. The Pergola X provides superior performance with its unique design, while the Cabana X offers a protected space to enjoy the outdoors. StruXure emphasizes redefining outdoor spaces, ensuring users can enjoy the outdoors anytime and anywhere, regardless of the elements.

STOBAG Awnings

Since 1964, STOBAG has been dedicated to enhancing living spaces with their innovative sun and weather protection solutions. From privacy screens for balconies to shading solutions for glazed façades and glass canopies for patios, STOBAG offers a diverse range of products to suit various outdoor needs. With a commitment to long-term satisfaction, they provide extensive support from planning to post-purchase services. Their rich history, spanning over 58 years, showcases their dedication to making living spaces more valuable and comfortable.



Azenco Outdoor specializes in high-quality aluminum outdoor structures, including pergolas, cabanas, pool covers, and carports. With over 25 years of experience and 30 patents, they combine European design with quality and unique expertise. Manufactured in the USA, Azenco’s products are designed to elevate outdoor living spaces, offering protection and style. Their commitment to quality is evident in their warranties and their dedication to making life better outdoors. Whether you’re looking to enhance your patio, protect your car, or cover your pool, Azenco has a solution tailored for you.

Solana Panel


Table of Content

Enjoying your outdoor patio or deck can be challenging when the sun is blazing overhead. Finding ways to add shade allows you to get more use and enjoyment from this valuable outdoor living space. The right patio shade solution can also add style and atmosphere to your backyard.

This article covers the most popular patio cover ideas to bring you relief from the sun without sacrificing aesthetics. Read on to explore options like canopies, umbrellas, pergolas, curtains, sails, and more. Discover how easy it can be to extend your enjoyment of your patio, deck, or terrace!

What Are Some Versatile Shade Options?

  • How do shade sails create a stylish look? Shade sails come in fun, creative shapes that provide an artistic accent while also providing ample overhead shade. The unique forms and bright colors of the sun canopy add style and flair to any patio area.
  • What are retractable patio awnings, and how do they work? Retractable patio covers can be extended out or rolled up to control the amount of shade coverage on your deck or patio. Retractable covers are versatile for optimizing shade throughout the day based on the sun’s movement.
  • What are canopy umbrellas, and how much shade do they provide? Canopy umbrellas come in a range of sizes, typically 6 to 10 feet wide, to cast shade over a table or seating area below. For significant shade, look for umbrella canopies 8 feet or more in diameter.
  • How can you add an awning over a patio for sun protection? Installing a fixed or retractable awning over a patio is an easy way to provide constant shade coverage throughout the day. Awnings mounted on the house exterior can shade even large patio spaces effectively.
  • What are some creative DIY deck shade ideas on a budget? For a low-cost DIY shade solution, you can hang canvas drop cloths or tapestries from overhead beams or poles to create a cover. String lights add a whimsical accent to DIY shade covers for extra flair.

How do pergolas and arbors add structure and shade?

  • What is a pergola, and what are the benefits for shade? A pergola is a garden structure featuring an open, framed roof that provides partial overhead shade while still allowing light through.
  • How does an arbor differ from a pergola for a shaded walkway? Arbors create a shaded pathway but have a solid roof surface, unlike pergola roofs, which are slatted to let in light.
  • What factors should you consider when designing and installing a pergola? Consider the size, roofing materials, placement, and anchoring supports when planning a custom pergola installation.
  • What are some ideas for covering a pergola for more shade options? For adjustable shade, pergolas can be outfitted with retractable covers, climbing vines, or hanging curtains when more coverage is needed.
  • How can you add curtains to a pergola for adjustable shade? Hanging sheer or blackout curtains from cables along a pergola’s upper open roof provides versatile shade control.

What Types of Freestanding Umbrellas Work Well for Patios?

  • How do cantilever umbrellas provide optimal shade coverage? Cantilever umbrellas offer greater flexibility in placement since they mount to a wall or post instead of requiring a base stand.
  • What size covered patio umbrella should you choose? The umbrella size should be proportional to the table or seating area you want to shade, typically 9–11 feet for large areas.
  • How do tilt and rotation features work on patio umbrellas? Tilt mechanisms allow you to angle the umbrella throughout the day, while rotation allows you to shift shade in a full 360-degree range.
  • What are the pros and cons of market vs. cantilever styles? Market umbrellas are freestanding and portable but require heavy bases, while cantilever umbrellas need mounting but offer more flexibility.
  • How can you secure a detached umbrella properly? Freestanding patio umbrellas should be anchored with weighted bases or secured to a fitted umbrella stand.

How Do Retractable Deck and Patio Awnings Work?

  • What are the benefits of motorized folding awnings? Motorized awnings allow for easy extension and retraction at the touch of a button, without the effort of manual operation.
  • How do manual awnings allow you to control shade? Manual folding awnings use a crank or pulley system to open and close the awning whenever adjustable shade is needed.
  • What factors affect the installation of folding covers? Consider the mounting location, size, projection distance from the house, and pitch for optimal shade when installing.
  • How much shade coverage do different folding cover sizes provide? The projection size ranges from a few feet up to 13 feet, with larger covers providing enough shade to cover full patios.
  • What awning fabric types work best for sun protection and durability? Acrylic canvas or polyester fabric are ideal choices, offering UV resistance, water repellency, and long-lasting durability.

What Creative Shade Options Work for Small Patios?

  • How can you use patio umbrellas strategically for focused shade? Position patio umbrellas carefully to target specific furniture pieces or seating areas rather than trying to shade the whole patio.
  • What are some DIY shade canopy ideas on a budget? Simple DIY shade canopies can be created cheaply using materials like PVC pipe, lightweight fabric, rope, and eye screws for customized coverage.
  • How do shade sails install easily for creative overhead coverage? Shade sails can be secured with just a few mounting points while still providing airy, adaptable coverage across a small patio.
  • What are some ways to hang curtains for temporary shade? Hanging rod kits allow you to securely install curtain rods anywhere, while clip-on rods attach temporarily to provide draped shade.
  • How can container plants and vines provide natural shaded spots? Strategic use of taller potted plants, trees, and vining plants creates pockets of lighter, living shade that filters the sun naturally.

Key Takeaways for Keeping Your Patio Shady and Comfortable

  • Evaluate sun patterns and decide when you need coverage. Consider when sunlight hits different areas of your patio throughout the day to determine optimal shade solution placement.
  • Select permanent or adjustable shade options to suit your needs. Choose fixed, folding, or portable shades based on your desired level of versatility and permanence.
  • Check dimensions to ensure adequate coverage area for furniture. Measure furniture and activity zones on your patio to pick shade elements that will sufficiently cover those spaces.
  • Install and secure detached elements properly to prevent issues. Follow manufacturer instructions for properly anchoring or weighting freestanding umbrellas and other portable shade items.
  • Consider style and aesthetics in addition to shade functionality. Pick shades that match your patio’s design scheme in addition to providing sun protection to complement the space.

With the right shade solution, you can enjoy your patio or deck safely during peak sun hours. Extend your enjoyment of outdoor living areas with shade!


What are some patio shade ideas?

Some popular shade ideas include pergolas, shade sails, canopies, curtains, outdoor curtains, cabanas, sun sails, sun shades, sun shade sails, outdoor shades, shade trees, and privacy screens.

What is a pergola?

A pergola is a type of outdoor structure that consists of vertical posts or pillars that support crossbeams and an open lattice roof. It provides partial shade and can be used to create a cozy outdoor living space.

How do shade sails work?

Shade sails are large pieces of fabric that are stretched between anchor points to create a shaded area. They work by blocking the sun and providing protection from harmful UV rays.

What is a canopy?

A canopy is a fabric cover that is suspended above a patio or deck to provide shadow. It can be retractable or fixed and comes in various designs and materials.

How do curtains make shade?

Outdoor curtains are made of weather-resistant fabric and are hung on rods or hooks to create a shaded area. They can be closed or opened, allowing you to control the amount of shade and privacy.

What is a cabana?

A cabana is a small, covered structure that usually has open sides. It provides shade and can be used as a relaxation area or for dining purposes.

What are sun sails?

Sun sails, also known as sun shade sails, are large pieces of fabric that are attached to anchor points to create a shaded area. They are versatile and can be easily adjusted to provide shade where needed.

How do sun shades work?

Sun shades, also called sun shade sails, work by blocking the sun and providing shade. They are made of UV-resistant material and are commonly used in outdoor areas to protect against harmful UV rays.

What are shade trees?

Shade trees are large trees that provide natural shade in outdoor spaces. They can be planted strategically to block the sun and create a cooler environment.

What is a privacy screen?

A privacy screen is a structure or panel that is used to create privacy in outdoor areas. It can be made of various materials and can also provide shade.
Looking to get started on deck design & build packages, but not sure where to begin? Contact us.

Visit our website to find a location closest to you, or to contact a deck designer today!
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more deck design ideas.