Outdoor Shades

There are a variety of categories included in the broad term outdoor shades. So, for the purposes of this informative site, I’ll focus my efforts on the most common or popular. We’ll cover the basics of styles, operation and use of shades for a variety of your outdoor patio needs.

First of all, since you searched for shades of this type, you must have some need at your home. Many people are simply looking for sun shades to keep them out of the direct, intense rays of the sun, especially during the hotter summer months. This can make a patio so much more enjoyable and comfortable. Isn’t that what your patio is for in the first place?

The more I see these shade sails the more I like them.  Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/weboptimist/3000460472/
The more I see these shade sails the more I like them. Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/weboptimist/3000460472/
Here is an aqua blue colored outdoor shade sail.  Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/38613773@N02/3550691294/
Here is an aqua blue colored outdoor shade sail. Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/38613773@N02/3550691294/
Some people go for more bold stripes in the outdoor shades.  Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/nancymesaaz/3477775026/
Some people go for more bold stripes in the outdoor shades. Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/nancymesaaz/3477775026/
As you can see, this is a simple hanging outdoor shade.  Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/windowcoverings/3207387233/
As you can see, this is a simple hanging outdoor shade. Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/windowcoverings/3207387233/

What Type of Outdoor Shades Are You Looking For?

Some people would even consider an awning to be a type of shade and this is technically correct. However, in the industry, stationary or retractable awnings are an entity all themselves. They have mechanical needs that are different than a shade in some ways and similar in others. Awnings are also more notable for their appearance that tend to project away from the wall of the home or patio. You’ve seen these before with a metal spear or similar looking brace that supports them away from the wall at an angle. Then, the awnings are fitted to connect at one end to your home and the other end ‘suspended’ away from the wall, providing that shade. Awnings are very popular in bold striped patterns as well. Fabric choices and patterns abound for all types of outdoor shades, awnings are no exception to this.

An outdoor shade is typically going to be used either on the exterior of your windows to provide direct sun protection or hung from a patio structure to create a wall of shade. Then, there are other types that could be more accurately called patio canopies. These are like smaller versions of sails from a ship. They are sometimes called Australian shades as well. This style is often anchored to a wall of the home and then to two other points, usually another wall or pole that has been mounted for this specific purpose. The three points of attachment create a very tight sail-type canopy that can provide you with that outdoor shade you are looking for. These have become much more popular over the past several years.

The traditional window shade is usually made of a fine mesh fabric that is simply mounted just on the exterior of your home’s windows. This makes it more like a barrier to the sun entering your home. These can reduce energy costs as well as making your indoor space feel more comfortable. While they do come in different colors, a typical shade of this type is black or a shade of gray or brown.

Outdoor Shades Sail Pictures...

More Patio Living Resources:

Patio Cushions - Getting your patio furniture to be comfortable is key to enjoying your new shaded patio area

Build Patio Covers - Learn about what it takes to build the type of covered patio you've always dreamed of building.

Solar Garden Lights - Add a touch of warmth and light your garden or patio path with energy saving solar garden lighting.

Outdoor Patio Seating - More ideas for how to enjoy your patio with the right comfortable seating.

Seamless Gutters - Keep you and your patio dry with the best gutters for your particular style of home and patio.

Patio Covers Place - Learn more about patio covers and all the other accessories you need for good patio living.



Patios Make Great Areas For Outdoor Shades

A patio shade or shades that are hung from your patio help to create a more comfortable space to lounge in outdoors. In this type of application, your shades may be a sturdier fabric that is raised and lowered. These roller shades can be done mechanically by way of a manual switch or even automatically through the use of a light-sensing switch. These motorized shades make it much easier to enjoy the exact level of shade you prefer as you can simply raise or lower them to your desired height. These work very much the same way that those retractable awnings mentioned previously work. Sometimes people refer to these types of shades as solar shades. This is an accurate description and the solar category could really be classified under this more broad category of outdoor shades.

Outdoor shade fabric material is manufactured to resist the effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays and the elements. The motorized variety have warranties that protect them against early wear and are designed to last for years. Exceptionally windy conditions or areas with extreme heat or cold will cause your shades to wear more quickly. In these cases, it is even more important to properly care for your shades with proper washing and storage – ie. rolling them up when it is especially windy – to ensure longer lasting life.

If you consider your patio shades as an extension of your home’s interior blinds and window coverings, then you will quickly appreciate their value. With a well-fitted and handsome set of shades for the outdoor area of your home and patio, you will find that you can enjoy your space that much more. You will be able to sit in comfort, protected from intense heat and other natural elements. With the ever changing progress in roller shade design and track performance, it is a great time to think about investing the extra money in one of the automated motorized shades styles.

Here is an elegant looking patio and pool side made more usable through the retractable awnings that were installed.  Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/29936428@N02/2802374095/
Here is an elegant looking patio and pool side made more usable through the retractable awnings that were installed. Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/29936428@N02/2802374095/

Sunsetter Awning Commercial...

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Comments 9 comments

jazzuboo profile image

jazzuboo 7 years ago from Queensland, Australia

Outdoors and under shelter at the same time - the best of both worlds.


Temperance M profile image

Temperance M 7 years ago from Oregon

These outdoor sun sails look awesome! Now I just wish I had a patio to add some color too :)


patioman profile image

patioman 7 years ago from USA, Arizona Author

Jazzuboo, I couldn't agree more.

Temperance M - those outdoor shade sails you mentioned are my favorite. They provide that much needed shade for the patio but with a hip look.


Mulders Shade 7 years ago

It is great to see photos of our own shade jobs here! The aqua blue shade sails above use DIY sails. Make sure to measure from fixing point to fixing point before buying the sail!


patioman profile image

patioman 7 years ago from USA, Arizona Author

Great work Mulders Shade! I'm happy to highlight any nice looking outdoor shades for people to get some ideas. Thanks for stopping by and keep up the good work.


window blinds 6 years ago

Choosing the right window blinds is no easy task. I had to go through 5 different suppliers to find what I needed. My advice is never to settle for less. Great Hub!


patioman profile image

patioman 6 years ago from USA, Arizona Author

Great advice Window Blinds. I would hope that when people are thinking about outdoor shades that they don't just go on price alone. There are many other factors that should be considered when buying the right types of shades for your patio space.


thehis 6 years ago

Make sure you motorize if you have an outdoor shade!


patioman profile image

patioman 6 years ago from USA, Arizona Author

You're so right thehis. The more and more I see outdoor shades, screens and awnings, the more true this is. Thanks for adding your thoughts.

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