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Beat the Heat: Six Great Options for Shading Your Outdoor Space

Posted by Jeff Bates on August 25, 2015 at 12:22 PM

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Shading-outdoor-spaceDog days of Summer are winding down! That means that it’s time to make the most of those outdoor spaces, which are probably what sold you on buying your home in the first place.

But as much as we love the summer weather, spending too much time under the hot sun can take all the fun right out of your outdoor space.

One thing that can really help make your deck or patio more functional when the sun is shining would be the right amount of shade in the right places.

What’s that? You don’t have any shade out back?

Well don’t worry, because we’ve got six great options for adding a little relief from the sun to your outdoor space.

Outdoor Umbrellas

When you talked about buying patio furniture years ago, it was just assumed that you would be buying a table, some chairs, and a large outdoor umbrella that went through the center of the table.

Those setups are still popular options, but many people are also exploring more unique furniture choices that are closer to living room furniture than dining room furniture. Unfortunately, that outdoor couch and coffee table you love won’t have a hole for an umbrella.

Luckily, there are now outdoor umbrellas that don’t require a table to hold them up. They are supported by large sand-filled weights and won’t force you to deal with a pole in the middle of your line of sight.

Retractable Awnings

home-awningWhen it comes to outdoor spaces, retractable awnings are the Cadillac of shade options. They are there when you need them, gone when you don’t, and most are fully motorized and even remote controlled.

Of course, they also cost a lot. But if you have the budget, adding a retractable awning to the back of your house is a fantastic option to add as much shade as you want whenever you want it.

Pergolas

Pergolas are like the more permanent version of a retractable awning. These are the large structures, usually made of wood, that provide you with something overhead to break up the sun.

Many people who go with the pergola option like to dress them up with canvas sheets to ensure that they create plenty of shade. Bonus points if you have a green thumb and can get vines to grow through your pergola.

Tents & Canopies

We’re not talking about camping tents here.

In case you haven’t been to your local home improvement store in a while, one of the most popular trends is to put a large outdoor tent over your living room style patio furniture. This will provide consistent shade, as well as protection from rain.

One thing to consider here is how well your tent will hold up to any wind gusts. Make sure that you have it properly anchored!

Curtains & Shades

When we talk about creating shade in our outdoor spaces, the natural tendency is to focus on overhead structures.

However, if you are trying to enjoy your outdoor space in the early mornings or late evenings, you will also want to think about adding some curtains or shades to the side of your outdoor space.

This can be a big help in reducing the amount of sun in your eyes while you are trying to have a conversation with your guests.

Planting Trees

If you are expecting to stay in your current home for the long haul, another great option to create shade is to strategically plant trees that will grow into large sun blockers.

Just one fully-grown tree in the right location can make a world of difference in how you experience your outdoor space.

Whether you go with just a standard umbrella, something more elaborate like an awning or pergola, or actually plant some trees, there are many different ways to create enough shade to make your outdoor space enjoyable throughout the entire day.

The outdoor space is likely one of the features that sold you on buying your house, so make sure that you can enjoy it as much as much as possible!

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