The Benefits of Adding a Shade Structure to Your Outdoor Living Space

During the hot summer, your backyard areas and patios can become as scorching as the Sahara Desert causing you and your family to avoid the beautiful spaces you have already created. By adding an outdoor structure, like a pergola or pavilion, you can turn this once sauna retreat into a nice shady oasis to enjoy on the warmest of days. Here are a few tips to help start your planning process:

  1. Is the timing perfect? By taking notice of how the sun moves throughout your backyard space, you will be able to identify what areas are in need of shelter during the hottest parts of the day. Remember surfaces such as concrete and stone reflect more light and get much hotter than grassy areas. The sun is usually the hottest in the middle of the day between 10am and 3pm, so you definitely want protection during that time frame. Existing trees and your home may already provide shade to your patio or pool areas during the times when you would be outside the most. But you won’t know until you watch how it moves throughout the day.
  2. Address your shade needs! Start thinking about how you are going to use your new pavilion or pergola. Is it going to be in an area by a pool? How about a nice structure to dine under with lighting and ceiling fans? Or maybe it is going to be the focal point that encompasses that outdoor living room and fireplace you have always dreamed of. Whatever it may be, thinking about the use of the structure helps determine the size, style and type of structure you will need.
  3. Now the fun begins! Once you have figured out the basic concepts of your needed structure it’s time to get inspired. Great sites like Houzz will help get those creative juices flowing. On-line sites like this will help you see all the different styles and capabilities your dream structure can provide. Develop an idea book of anything and everything that sparks your interest. This will come in handy later when you move on to the next phase.
  4. Call a professional! No since you have done all your homework, it is time to reach out to a professional landscape contractor to help with the next phase of your project. Their design team will not only do all the complex behind the scenes stuff they will also help you narrow down your idea book to get you on the right path for your perfect shade structure. A skilled designer will be able to work with you to incorporate your proposed structure into your existing landscape, patio, pool area or deck. They will also be able to determine the proper size, weight loads, permitting and other things necessary for the construction of your new shade structure. You need to keep in mind, once one of these beauties are built it will be very difficult to move them down the road so you want to make sure we get everything right the first time!

We hope these few tips will help you beat the hot summer sun this year!

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