Shade Sail - Posts & Permissions

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Old 06-28-20, 07:48 PM
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Shade Sail - Posts & Permissions

Hi all,

well, my deck suffers from extreme heat in the summer, way too hot to sit out on it most of the time. I can't remember the size, I'll check in the morning, but it's about 20 x 16. At the house side it's only a few inches off the ground, and at the outer edge, it's 3 feet up.

Adding a pergola gets me down the road of drawing plans, waiting many weeks, etc. So I thought perhaps a shade sail might help. My questions are:

1. Can I attach posts to my existing deck, or use the structure in any way? I don't have railings at the moment, so adding posts was on the cards this summer. Taller ones?

2. Does a shade sail need a permit? I would imagine it counts as a temporary item, and wouldn't need anything. Maybe there are other reasons why it would?

As always, thanks for your advice!

Hugh
 
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Old 06-29-20, 05:38 AM
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1. I would not recommend to an old deck. A shad sail in the wind can exert tremendous force especially for larger sails so the mounts need to be very secure.

2. Check with your local zoning and building inspections departments to find out.
 
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Old 06-29-20, 10:59 AM
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@Pilot Dane

The deck is around 5 years old. Here's a pic of how I constructed it, this is the front face.

The screws were for temporary holding, and large bolts were ultimately used to tai it together. (it has a permit)

Strong enough?

Hugh



 
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Old 06-29-20, 11:35 AM
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What sails are you considering?
 
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Old 06-29-20, 04:56 PM
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Pilot Dane

That's a good question!

As I am just starting to look, I'm a little unsure. I checked the deck size, it's 16.5' x 20'.
I am assuming that the sail size would be smaller, with the cabling taking up a foot or two. If so, this one might work:

https://www.amazon.com/SUNNY-GUARD-R...3474687&sr=8-6

But as I say, at the start and just trying to figure out what would work before I set sail. (yes, a deliberate pun)

Thanks!

Hugh

 
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Old 06-30-20, 05:46 AM
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A light duty sail like that would be good if your supports are not 100%. In a storm the sail will hopefully shred before damaging anything else.

When considering sails remember to account for the sag between supports. If your supports are weak or the sail inexpensive you won't be able to apply great tension to flatten the sail. You may find it better to break your area up into multiple sails. It often looks better and smaller sails are more wind resistant (individually) and can allow you to install more supports to spread out the load. One big rectangular sail with all four attach points at the same elevation will look... amateurish. It can be functional but it probably won't have a professional look.

On my porch I have three triangular sails, each a different color. The attach points vary in height from 14' down to 8' to provide visual interest and some control over where rain drains off. The multiple sails with gaps in elevation between them allows the wind to blow through and lightens the load a bit. And, smaller sails are easier to erect single handed but less expensive sails are lighter, more supple and easier to work with.
 
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Old 06-30-20, 07:46 PM
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Pilot Dane

Your setup sound cool!

How did you fix things as far as supports go? My deck depth is 20 feet, and if I was breaking it up with two or three sails, I'm assuming I would need posts somewhere within the deck area. No? Or did you fix all three sails on the outer perimeter?

I would have liked to have put fixings under the overhang on my house, visible in the posted photo, but I guess I could go through the siding higher up. There's a wooden frame to fix into.


Hugh
 
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Old 07-01-20, 04:48 AM
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My shade sail posts are anchored in the ground.
 
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Old 07-01-20, 01:34 PM
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Pilot Dane

Listen, I know I am probably bugging you by now, I'm sorry.

Let me ask one last thing if that's ok.

Local authority deem these items as temporary (I sort of hoped that would be the case) and so they don't require a permit.

Basing things on perhaps two smaller sails, would you attach them to posts out front, or do people ever put a post out front and one to the side?

I have no railings or above deck posts, so I might try with three or four posts bolted to the joists, with a consideration that I might go down into a concrete footings(s)

That would end in vertical posts - do you think they need to be angled for small sails?

Again, I'm sorry to be picking your brain so much!

Thank you.

Hugh

 
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Old 07-02-20, 05:47 AM
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There really is no one way. You can go functional and boring or you can be creative (but probably more work & money). How many sails, what shape, what color is totally up to you and the aesthetic you want.

Vertical poles can work fine. I personally don't like the look as it appears "simple" and institutional especially over a deck that already has so many straight lines and right angles. I prefer to get a little creative with a bit of Dr. Seuss... but it's more work. Again, this is all personal preference. What I like might not be what you like.

As a first step come up with a budget. That will tell you if you need to stick with off the shelf sails where you have to build to accommodate the sail's dimensions or if you will have sails made to fit your space. Custom isn't particularly expensive but they are only available in higher, more expensive quality and are much more expensive than something you can get from Amazon.

Next, do a top down drawing of your patio and start overlaying sail shapes and sizes. This will quickly tell you what sails will work and where their supports will need to go.
Coolaroo and others make a variety of stock sails. They are inexpensive but of good quality for the price and can be used many years. If you want something of higher quality I like Tenshon. They have stock sizes available and also do custom. A word of caution if you go with a higher quality of sail, in a storm a good sail will stay together. This means your attachment hardware and mounts must be strong enough to handle the load. With cheaper sails you have some protection built in as the sail will shred or come apart saving your attachment points.

[img]<a href="https://imgur.com/8gRVg0w"><img src="https://i.imgur.com/8gRVg0w.jpg" title="source: imgur.com" /></a>[/img]
 
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Old 07-02-20, 06:20 AM
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Pilot Dane
Ha, good point, that we all have out tastes. Your setup looks good! Those are fence posts, right?

I think creative would be nice, but I am liking the simplicity of a single sail, albeit with more of a twist than the one in the link below. It's showing as pretty level and flat, not how I would fit it.

I took the actual deck size (my earlier statement was a rough estimate) and it's 18.5' wide by 22.4' deep. So the 20 x 16 seems like a good fit, with a little space for tensioning and a little more if I angle the outer posts.

Not sure if it's feasible, but I also thought that I could use Y fixings at the house, splitting off from the sail in two directions to give it a stronger connection to the building. Spreading the load basically.

I also looked at the 205gsm sail below because it was heavier that the 185gsm I was seeing, but your point about it being better that the sail fail in strong winds is a good point. I'll now also have a look at the two companies you mentioned. Thanks!

Posts seem to be an issue to source, I think I need something about 15' - 18' on the front of the deck, allowing for depth of footing - a lot of post! This will be an issue I think, unless I attach to the current deck with maybe 6x6's without a footing. Though I am not feeling like that will be as well engineered as I would like (I did over engineer the deck, for sure!)

Right, I'm off on a post quest. Thank you sooo much!!!

Hugh


 
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Old 07-02-20, 08:36 AM
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If using wood I like 6x6 for posts. They are much stronger and don't warp nearly as easily as 4x4. Their beefy look also gives it's own feel of permanence and makes it look more like you designed it in from the beginning.

For a sail that large I like your idea of splitting each attachment between two points. Often people attach to just the fascia which can be pulled off pretty easily. If you can get good bolts into the ends of the rafters that would good. I've done similar by attaching a steel plate/angle to two rafter ends then attach the sail to a hole in the middle. I've also used two points to form an anchor location by using cable which can give some extra flexibility in your mounting options.

---
The posts in the picture are 4" sch 40 steel pipe which has a 1/4" thick wall and 4 1/2" outside diameter. It is a commonly used steel at many welding/steel shops and is relatively inexpensive. About a foot underground are one cubic yard footers. The taller poles are 20' overall with 4' of it underground so there was a lot of digging and a lot of concrete. This is not normal residential construction and has more in common with commercial where there are codes for sail installations. I travel a lot (well, used to before COVID) and didn't want to worry about damage leaving the sails up while we were gone.
 
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Old 07-02-20, 11:53 AM
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Pilot Dane

Yes, splitting the fixing into two seems like a safer bet, maybe even three.

I have some siding off the house where one of the fixings would go, and it's timber around 9 inches wide. So 2x10's I guess. They should be solid enough if I go through the siding. (pic below)

Sorry you can't travel, this really is a crazy time. I'm a photographer, and someone contacted me today about photographing family after a funeral - in September. I was sure I was being scammed.

Turns out the service cannot have more than 10 people at this time, and they want to wait. I guess the deceased is being preserved for now. Strange times indeed.

But, I would NOT be getting as much done if there weren't a lockdown! It's a DIY extravaganza!!!

Thanks for everything. :-)

Hugh






 
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Old 07-02-20, 02:33 PM
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That looks like your rim joist. It would be great if you could find where the floor joists are located and use long lag bolts. Your bolts would go through the anchor bracket, rim joist and into the floor joist. That would do a lot to really lock it in solid.

---
My father in law is a retired professional photographer. A mixture of portrait and landscape. I used to be an advanced amateur, mostly telephoto animal and ship spotting. I soon tired of commercial air travel with a f4 Canon 400L, dropped back to the Canon 100-400 dust pump. Then we started traveling even more lightly, like spending a month in Asia and flying carry on. Now I mostly use a Sony RX100 and am dangerously close to taking snapshots.
 
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Old 07-02-20, 03:09 PM
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Pilot Dane

Interesting point re the joists, and since I have recently renewed the flooring in the bedroom that backs on to where the deck is, and especially since the work being done in the en suite has an exposed floor right now, I know EXACTLY where the joists are! I'm immersed in projects now that I have the time, and inside ones when the sun is too hot to go out.

Of course that would only do for one fixing, as I want height variations, but you are right, strong as heck.

Ha ha, yes, after 10 years of wedding photography, with tons of equipment, I decided that it would be healthier to cut back.

I started shooting weddings with an EOS Mk3, a 24-70L, a 135L and a bunch of 600RT flashes. (backups aside) I quickly discovered that the results were the same, but with less messing around.

Your Canon 400L, now that's a lens. I looked at it more than once, and could not justify it. (I tried REALLY hard to!)

I think I must be the only photographer left who hasn't tried a Sony. Set in my ways I guess, the older I get, the less of a "techie" I am. Maybe sometime soon I will play with their system.

Hugh
 
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