Shade sails are perfect places for family and friends to gather outdoors in the warmer months. BBQs, music, meetings, games and lots of laughter and chatting can happen under shade structures.

And you have a ton of shade sail options to choose from including size, shade cloth, colour and the style. Alongside making these basic decisions, there are a few critical things to consider before diving in and buying a shade sail. Careful consideration means you’ll get the best shade sail for your needs that lasts years to come.

  1. Planned Time of Use

What time of day do you plan to use your shade sail the most? The position of the sun changes throughout the day, so the amount of shade your sail provides is effected by this. Position your shade sail according to your predicted usage.

  1. Where to Have Anchor Points

A new shade sail needs a strong anchor point. A steel wall, mature tree or wall is the best place to anchor a sail to. If you can’t find the right anchor points, you’ll need to install reinforced steel posts to prevent your shade sail toppling over.

  1. Type of Shade Cloth

When choosing a shade cloth, you need to consider your local weather conditions, the intended use for your sail and the look you’re going for. The main options include woven cloth, canvas and PVC. Talk to Rainbow Shade for advice on their many quality shade cloths.

  1. Level of Wind Exposure

Extreme winds can be a threat to your new shade sail and take it airborne if not anchored correctly. If you live in an area with exposure to high winds, make sure the cloth has enough tension. The increased amount of tension, minimises the movement of the shade sail, helping to keep it grounded.

  1. Size and Shape of Shade Sail

For small outdoor spaces, a single shade structure should suffice. A larger area, may require multiple shade sails to give enough coverage. Also, think about the shape of your shade sail. Triangular sails are ideal in corners and small spaces and circular or rectangular shapes are better for open spaces.

  1. Permanent or Semi-Permanent

Do you plan to leave your shade sail up all year round? Or will it get put up just for events and certain times of year? Some shade sails are easier to put up and down than others, so you need to consider this before buying a shade sail.

  1. Shade Sail Council Approval

Before investing in a shade sail, it’s important you find out if you need any council approvals or permissions. In most areas of Australia, shade sails are considered exempt or compliant development which means you do not need approval. But, there are exemptions, so it’s always best to check before putting a new shade sail up.