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Top Outdoor Covering Options to Keep Your Backyard Cool and Shaded

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With summer right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about outdoor shades and other ways to keep your backyard cool and comfortable despite the intense heat. Finding the right outdoor coverings and shade solutions can transform your yard into a relaxing oasis and enable you to enjoy the outdoors even during the warmest months of the year. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the best options for backyard cooling and UV protection, including fixed awnings, patio covers, drop shades, and cabanas.

Best Options for Backyard Cooling and UV Protection

Fixed Awnings

Fixed Awnings

One of the most classic outdoor shade solutions is a fixed awning. Permanently installed over your patio, deck, or windows, fixed awnings provide excellent UV protection and keep direct sunlight out of your outdoor living spaces. They come in various styles, colors, and materials to find ones that match your home’s aesthetic. Their permanent nature means you don’t have to fuss with setup and takedown. Just install them and enjoy years of shade.

Patio Covers

For a more substantial shaded area, patio covers are a great option. Attached to your home’s roofline and supported by columns, patio covers create a solid roof over your patio or deck. They provide complete overhead coverage and protection from both sun and rain. Patio covers allow you to utilize outdoor space despite harsh weather and create the feel of an outdoor room. You can even add features like lighting or ceiling fans for more functionality.

Retractable Awnings

Retractable awnings are a good choice if you want a shade that can be deployed or retracted based on your needs. With manual or motorized operation, the awning can be extended to provide shade precisely where and when you need it. Retractable awnings are highly adaptable and allow you to block the sun during peak hours and retract the awning to enjoy the open sky in cooler times. This flexibility makes them quite popular.

Shade Sails

Shade sails are a great option for a lightweight, playful covering that diffuses light beautifully. Made of fabric and rigged on poles or mounted to walls, shade sails create graceful, curved canopies that filter and block the sun. Their shapes and breezy nature make them ideal for creating a relaxing ambiance. They come in various solid colors or stripes to match any décor. Multiple sails can overlap for very customized shade coverage.

Pergolas & Trellises

Pergolas and trellises fused with shade fabric or climbing vines make another excellent shading solution. A pergola’s open-air, slatted structure alone cuts the sun while still allowing breezes and light. Adding sun shade fabric as a roof provides further coverage from UV rays. Training climbing vines over the top creates gorgeous, diffused light. Pergolas and trellises bring height and an architectural element to your landscape

Drop Shades

White Drop Shades | how much do drop shades cost

For targeted shade over specific areas, drop shades are a great choice. Drop shades consist of fabric panels lowered from overhead structures to provide direct shade below. They can be mounted to pergolas, patio covers, or exterior walls. You can get customizable shade precisely where you need it with adjustable drop-down panels. Drop shades are perfect for shading seating areas, play sets, or blocking late afternoon sun over gardens. Their directed shading makes them quite versatile.

Portable Options

For flexible, budget-friendly shade, umbrellas, gazebos, and cabanas are smart investments. Patio umbrellas can be moved around your yard to provide portable shade wherever needed. Pop-up cabanas and gazebos are incredibly easy to set up and take down. Use them seasonally, or move them around during the day to follow the sunlight. These portable items are excellent for creating shade exactly when and where you want them.

Material Considerations

When selecting your shade solutions, consider materials carefully. Outdoor fabric should have UV resistance and be coated to be water-repellent. Wood structures need weather-resistant stains or paint to handle outdoor conditions. Aluminum and other metals fare well outside with minimal maintenance. No matter what you choose, proper installation and occasional maintenance are key to ensuring your shade investments last.

Design for Your Needs

Look at how you use your yard and where you need shade. Observe sunlight patterns. This will inform you what shade solutions work best for your space and lifestyle. A large fixed awning by the patio provides every day dining shade, while a sail cuts the afternoon sun over the play set. Mixing and matching movable and permanent features ensures all your bases are covered.

Frequently Asked Questions about Outdoor Coverings

1. How much shade is too much for my yard?

While shade is desirable, too much can make your landscape dark and gloomy. Generally, aim to shade half to two-thirds of your primary outdoor living spaces, allowing some areas to remain sunny. This balance prevents over-shading while still providing ample relief from the sun.

Fixed awnings, retractable awnings, patio covers, and pergolas usually require professional installation for proper structural attachment and orientation. Portable options like umbrellas, cabanas, shade sails, and curtains can typically be installed DIY.

It depends on the material! Fabrics need occasional cleaning or re-treatment to maintain water repellence and UV resistance. Wood needs restaining or sealing over time. Metal and aluminum require little maintenance beyond occasional cleaning. Proper installation and care extend the life of any outdoor shade product.

Ready to Transform Your Outdoor Space?

No matter which outdoor shade solutions you choose for your backyard, the ability to better enjoy your outdoor living space comfortably makes it all worthwhile. Visit AAA Awnings to explore the many excellent options for keeping your backyard shaded and inviting all season long. Our knowledgeable team can assess your space and lifestyle to recommend the perfect mix of shade structures tailored to your needs.

With the right combination of movable and permanent shade features like awnings, sails, umbrellas, and patio covers, you can create the backyard oasis you’ve been dreaming of this summer and many more to come! Don’t endure another sweltering season without the shade solutions to maximize time spent in your outdoor haven.

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Mike Lewis

An expert in the window treatment business. I oversee every job from sale to installation, ensuring smooth execution of commercial projects with a hands-on approach.

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