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Different Types of Outdoor Shades for Porches and Patios

The shade is crucial for enjoying the time on your porch or patio during long summer days. When we talk about shade, the majority of people immediately think about shade from the tree but even if you were to plant it today, it would take 10-15 years for it to fully mature. Therefore, here are some types of outdoor shades for porches and patios that you can purchase, install or construct in a relatively short time-frame. At least one of them should fit your porch or patio.

1. Parasol

The first type of shade you could opt for is a parasol. This is the simplest, most frugal method to provide your patio with some shade. It’s easy to install and it can be put aside once you’re no longer using it. During the winter, you can just fold it, disassemble it (because it usually comes in two or three parts) and place it somewhere in the basement, attic, garage or a shed. In other words, it’s versatile and effective. After all, if your goal is to provide the shade for the porch, a parasol will help you do this. However, it’s usually not as pretty as some other methods on this list. It doesn’t cover a large enough area and it can be somewhat less durable.

2. Shade sail

A shade sail is what some people see as a perfect compromise between aesthetics and cost. They are relatively simple to mount and, with the right effort, they can be dismounted. They provide protection from sun, rain and even hail if you buy the right type of material. The right wave shade can drastically enhance the aesthetics of your backyard. The key thing is that a shade sail needs either poles or a hook fastened to one side of the building. This means that, unlike parasol, you can’t just place it wherever you want. Also, cleaning the debris like leaves and branch chirps from its top may not be as simple. This is why some pruning and gardening, in general, is supposed to take place before the installation.

3. Retractable awning

An awning is a functional and aesthetic shade structure that can be made retractable. This way, the entire issue of covering vs. uncovering the place really comes down to your personal choice. This is the case at any given moment. The awning can be retracted or put into action with the help of a hand-operated mechanism or with remote control. This alone gives you the on-spot customized patio. Moreover, you need to keep in mind that a retractable awning has to be mounted onto something solid. This means that you have less choice regarding the location when compared to both parasols and shade sails (which can be mounted on easy-to-install poles).

4. Pergola

Pergola is an interesting concept that allows you to add some additional spice to your backyard. Now, the problem with this idea is the one of transparency. Pergola has a semi-transparent roof, which can be a problem. However, it’s a problem that’s relatively easy to amend. All you have to do is find a way to cover it, which is relatively simple because you already have the construction. One more idea that you could try out is to find a fast-growing vine and let it climb along with the construction. This will create an effect like no other. The thing is that pergola is quite expensive to construct. Also, they’re fixed, which means that once you’re done, they’re there to stay.

In conclusion

At the end of the day, it all comes down to your intentions, personal preferences and your budget. Some methods are more expensive than others and some methods are more aesthetically pleasing. Then, you have half-measures, alterations and alternatives that are considered to be a compromise between these two factors. It all comes down to choosing what’s right for you. The best way to make a decision that you won’t come to regret later on is to get familiar with all the disadvantages, as well as advantages. This way, you will know what you can actually live with.