Spring is finally here, which means we can spend more time outdoors. Sail shades provide the perfect place to relax and entertain without worrying about the sun, rain, or other elements. But how do you install sail shades? Read on for tips on how to hang your new shade sail, along with more information on these beautiful structures.
What Is a Shade Sail?
Shade sails, or sail shades, as they’re popularly called, are triangular weatherproof shelters designed to resemble the sails of boats. These increasingly popular structures are placed outside of homes, hotels, and restaurants to provide protection from the sun and other elements. Most shade sails consist of a fabric or canvas sail which is attached at several points along a wall or series of poles. This creates an umbrella-like structure that can be opened and closed as needed. Unlike traditional umbrellas, sail shades are larger and can provide much more coverage.
What Are the Benefits of Sail Shades?
Higher quality sail shades are made from durable, weather-resistant materials such as polyethylene.
Not only do these shades protect against the rain, but they also offer shelter from the bright sun while keeping out harmful UV rays. Because of the shade and air circulation they provide, they can reduce temperatures by up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit in direct sunlight. As a bonus, the aesthetic appeal of a sail shade makes it a great addition to any outdoor living space.
Residential sail shades can be used in a variety of areas, such as decks, patios, backyards, pools, and gardens. Commercial sail shades are ideal for hotels, restaurants, cafes, beaches, and community pools.
These versatile structures are also available in many options, so you can customize your shade to your outdoor space. At Shelter Outdoor, we offer our sail shades in a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes to best accommodate your property. Both our wall-mounted Velart sail shade or free-standing Velora sail shade are beautiful, durable, and easy to install.
How to Install a Sail Shade with Ease
Installing a sail shade is relatively easy and doesn’t require any specialized tools or skills. With just a few simple steps, you can have your new outdoor shelter up and running in no time.
- Pressure-treated posts
- Sail shade
- Concrete mix
- Pea gravel
- Power drill
- Measuring tape
- Screws (for wall mounting)
- Tie-down straps
- Stainless steel eye hooks
- Stainless steel spring snaps
1. Choose a location
When selecting the location for your sail shade, consider how much clearance you will need and if the shade will obstruct any doors or paths when opened. Additionally, try to position the shade sail in an area that gets a lot of sunlight so you can get the most use out of it. To make sure your posts are securely in place and aligned properly, use a carpenter’s level.
2. Measure and mark
Measure and mark where the posts will be placed on your chosen location. If you’re anchoring your sail shade, make sure to drill holes before installing the posts; this will prevent damage to the surface. Make sure to add approximately one foot of give at each corner to account for the stretching of the sail.
3. Install posts
Install either wall-mounted or free-standing/ballasted posts according to your desired configuration.
If using wall-mounted posts, use screws that match up with the material of your wall. Also make sure that the screws are deeply inserted for better stability.
Shelter Outdoor’s Velart sail shade features a frame that can be easily anchored to the ground without the need for foundations. This model utilizes galvanized steel plates with brackets, a granite aggregate, and a tensioning system attached to the wall. In addition, it features a spring-assisted rewinding system for easy manual opening and closing.
For ballasting, many units require that you dig at least 18 inches deep into the ground for each post, then fill with a concrete/cement mix for maximum stability. You’ll likely need a couple of bags per post. When digging, it helps to soak the dirt to make the deeper parts easier to remove from the ground.
Shelter Outdoors’s Velora sail shade makes installation easy, providing support without the need to dig. Like the Velart shade, this unit uses galvanized steel plates and a granite aggregate for anchoring. It also utilizes the same spring-assisted rewinding system for opening and closing the sail.
4. Attach fittings
Attach snap eyes or D-rings onto each post to connect to the sail. These should be placed so they can easily align with each other when hanging the sail shade later. Drill a pilot hole first, then screw each hook securely into place. Use galvanized metal or another sturdy, weatherproof material.
5. Hang sail shade
With an additional helping hand from a friend or family member, hang your sail shade: Pass one side of the sail through each fitting, one at a time until both sides are securely fastened together. To simplify the process, use tie-down straps to attach the hooks to the corner grommets. Make sure all connections are secure before letting go of any part of the sail; this will prevent it from collapsing.
Where to Buy a Sail Shade
Shelter Outdoor offers high quality sail shades that are not only easy to install, but also competitively priced. Our sail shade canopies are hypoallergenic, mildew-resistant, and non-absorbent. Plus, they’re easy to install and clean. Whether you choose our wall-mounted Velart or free-standing Velora model, you’ll get a highly durable sail shade with aluminum and Dacron posts, a PVC sail, and stainless steel feet. Each shade also comes equipped with a spring-assisted rewinding system for easy manual opening and closing.
Now that you know how to install a sail shade quickly and hassle-free, head over to our Sail Shades page and pick out the one that works best for your property. Before you know it, you’ll be out there enjoying the sun and fresh air in comfort and style!