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

July 29, 2022

During the hot summer, your backyard can become scorching hot, causing you and your family to avoid the beautiful spaces you have already created. Whether you have a deck or patio area that could use some shade or are looking for new ways to enjoy your outdoor spaces, adding a shade structure is a great way to cool down and relax in the summer sun.

Different Shade Structures Available to You

Here are options of different shade structures you can add to your property:

Pergolas: freestanding structures, typically made from wood, provide partial overhead coverage

Pavilion: freestanding structure, fully-covered roof

Shade sails: outdoor covers made from pieces of fabric that offer shade (and look similar to the sails of a boat), ideally installed over decks or patios

Benefits of Adding a Shade Structure

Adding an outdoor structure, like a pergola or pavilion, can turn your backyard into a lovely shady oasis to enjoy on the warmest days.

pergola over patio | adding a shade structure to your outdoor living space | Burkholder Landscape

Enjoy the Outdoors in Comfort

Pennsylvania summer heat can be serious. The sun beating down can make what is supposed to be a relaxing day feel as hot as a desert. Shade structures are an easy way to create a more relaxed environment and help protect you from the sun’s harsh rays when spending time outdoors. Shade structures can offer protection from UV rays without taking away from natural views or blocking the sun completely.

Pavilion with Lighting is one of the benefits of adding a shade structure | Burkholder Landscape

Additional Outdoor Living Space

A shade structure can provide additional living space, seating, cooking space, and lighting. For example, you can convert an open area in your backyard into an entertainment space by adding a pavilion with a table and chairs to create a seating area. What was formerly an unused space is now an area that is inviting to guests and gives you more room to host parties.

If you have an outdoor kitchen, adding a structure like a pergola can make that kitchen more usable during the summer since you are more protected from the sun. The same goes for an outdoor dining area. Adding a shade structure allows you and your family to use that dining space more often during warmer weather.

Outdoor shade structures that offer full roofs can even have lighting, fans, and other electrical features that will make your outdoor space more functional and attractive.

Tips for Adding a Shade Structure to Your Home

Here are a few tips to help start your planning process:

Observe How the Sun Moves Relative To Your Outdoor Space

By noticing how the sun moves throughout your backyard space, you will be able to identify what areas require 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 10 am and 3 pm, so you want the most 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.

Think About How You Will Use Your Shade Structure

Burkholder Landscape Paver Patio

Start thinking about how you will use your new pavilion or pergola. Will your new shade structure reside by a pool? Or include lighting and ceiling fans? Or be the focal point that encompasses an outdoor living room and fireplace? Whatever your desires may be, thinking about the use of the structure helps determine the size, style, and type of structure you will need.

Get Inspired For the Design

Once you have figured out the basic concepts of your needed structure, the next step is to get inspired. Take a look through our portfolio to find inspiration. Our portfolio will help you see all the different styles and capabilities your dream structure can provide. Finally, 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.

Call Burkholder Brothers for Outdoor Shade Structures

When you are ready to start your project for adding a shade structure, reach out to a professional landscape contractor. Burkholder Brothers’ design team will help you narrow down your idea book to get you on the right path for your perfect shade structure. Then, our skilled landscape designers will work with you to incorporate your proposed design into your existing landscape, patio, pool area, or deck. 

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