Let's talk shade sails

morton5July 23, 2012

Are shade sails chic or do they look cheap? I am trying to trim the cost of shading an extension to our patio that would be used for dining. The current plan calls for a pergola, but we could install a shade sail instead. There are natural anchor points from an adjacent deck to a mature white pine... we wouldn't need to install any upright supports. Are some shade sails better-looking than others? There are some inexpensive 18' triangular ones on Amazon. My husband is dubious.

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I'm guessing it depends on the quality of the sail you purchase. We installed one for a client this spring that we purchased via the actual ShadeSail website (middle price range, stock item) and it looks and functions great.

I'd recommend talking to the tech support folks where you purchase the sail (which probably rules out Amazon) about the tree attachment. Pine's a softwood and with the amount of tension the sails are under, I'd worry about a screw eye popping out spectacularly. If you read the install instructions they specifically say a 6x6 post will not withstand the forces, so you know they're pretty intense.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 8:20AM
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I really like them, although I don't see them in my area much. If I had to categorize them i would say they are contemporary in terms of style - does that suit your house style?

I completely agree with marcinde, I would go with an actual sail company as opposed to Amazon. I have wanted to get one at my house, but it is too windy here. What are the winds like on your site?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 5:05PM
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drtygrl - I wouldn't worry about winds. A friend of mine has one at his winery, which is on the side of a mountain, and it's held up for four years or so.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 9:47PM
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Brad Edwards

Personally I like the ones that you can move around under the pergola. They have a upside down U shape pattern to them. They go extremely well with outdoor beds/chaise lounges and look great if those are coupled with the pergola and outdoor curtains. Not cheap, but just imagine sleeping outdoors when the weather is nice.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 11:31AM
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One consideration - the white pine will drip pitch onto any part of the sail that is under branches and then stuff (pollen, pine needles, etc) will stick to the pitch. Is the pine situated so that the sail won't be actually under the pine?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 9:22AM
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We own property in Spain where we put a shade sail up above our pole.

If you let a specialised company do the job it will set you back a couple of grand? But we did it ourselves and the local specialist was happy to advise us.

It is on a hill and catches quit some wind gusts but sits there for a couple of years now. No problem at all..!

Local company has a website with a lot of tips and tricks.


Here is a link that might be useful: www.shadesailmarbella.com

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 10:57AM
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