Shade Sails - The Simple Way to Add Value - and the WOW Factor - to Your Home!
Shade Sails have become a popular way for Australians to protect themselves from the harsh effects of the summer sun. Learn how you can create your own magnificent shade sail structure, add value to your home, protect your family and friends, and save money by doing it yourself. Shade sails are beautiful fabric devices, designed to provide outdoor shade. They are cost effective, and offer unparalleled design options, even for the novice.
In this article, we will explore the simple processes involved in designing and installing your very own shade sail product.
Planning Your Shade Sail
You need to consider several important factors before you move forward with your shade sail design, the most important being "what am I trying to achieve with this product?". Carefully considering the space you have available outdoors, and whether any underground services exist in areas where you might look at installing posts, will ensure that your planning phase remains relatively problem free.
You should also consider the overall size of the area that you are shading. There are many cost effective pre-made shade sail products available around the world, and accommodating your structure to a pre-made sail, rather than building a structure and ordering a custom made sail (which is made exactly to fit), will ensure you save thousands of dollars in the long run.
Also, you should check with your local authorities as to whether permits are required for your shade sail structure. If you are considering fixing to existing structures, then consult a builder or engineer about the suitability of it's strength.
Designing Your Shade Sail
The beauty of a shade sail is that you are virtually unlimited in your design options. The most visually exciting shade sails have vast differences in the heights of their fixing points.
Importantly however, remember that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so the shade sail should be designed to maximise shade during the hottest, afternoon hours of a summer's day.
Installing Your Fixing Points
Once you have planned and designed your shade sail structure, you can move forward and install the fixings necessary to support the shade sail. These will comprise of steel or timber columns, brackets, eyebolts, wall plates, or a combination of all of these things. For a pre made shade sail, remember to install the fixing points a reasonable distance from where the sail ends, to ensure it can be tensioned using turnbuckles or pulleys.
If you have decided to have a custom sized sail installed, then you can simply install your fixings where you want, measure the area up, and order the shade sail online to be manufactured to suit your exact requirements.
If you are using steel columns, do not underestimate the depths of your footing requirements. These need to be significant, as the post will be pulled in only one direction and be exposed to significant cantilever loads.
Installing Your Shade Sail
Now it's time to fit your tensioning devices to the sail, and connect them to the fixings that you have installed. Note that heavy duty custom shade sails are made from fabric that stretches, and so the manufacturer should have made allowance for that stretch. The sail can be very difficult to install for the first time.
There are a number of simple pulley methods that can be applied to make this process simpler.
Once the fittings are connected, simply turn each of the tensioning devices until the sail is nice and tight.
Relax and Enjoy!
The best bit! Set yourself up under your brand new shade sail, sit back, relax, and enjoy the wonderful outdoors in style!