4 Tips for Hanging a Shade Sail

A shade sail is one of those simple garden features that enhance the beauty of your landscape. It consists of some material that is attached to some fixed points on a fence or posts. You can also use trees in your garden, if they’re conveniently placed, to hold the sail in place. The sail provides a pleasant place for relaxation away from the sun’s heat. A wide variety of ready-made sails are available on the market. However, you may also choose to install one yourself. It isn’t difficult, especially with the 4 tips below.

1.   Location of Sail

Select the best position for the shade. It is easier if you have some pre-existing structure such as a wall, fence, trees or posts to be used as attachment points. Whatever structures you opt to use, be sure they’re stable and sturdy so as to sustain the sail. As you select your site, you need to factor the position of the sun. The shade changes its position in relation to the sun’s east to west movement across the sky. The only time when the sail will have shade directly underneath it is in the middle of the summer at midday. You also need to consider the direction and speed of wind. Set your shade at a site where wind motion will not cause disturbances when the shade is occupied. If you have barbecues in the yard, it is best not to hang up the shade close to the barbecues. The open flames from the barbecue could cause a fire.

2.   Erection of Posts

If the ideal spot doesn’t have any such structures, you’ll have to erect some posts to sustain the shade. Holes should be deep enough to accommodate one-third the length of each post. It is best to line patio pavers in the bottom of the hole to provide a solid base for the posts. You can then install a bolt at the bottom of the post to secure it in the ground. It is a good idea to have somebody else pour the concrete into the hole for you as you hold the post steady. It should take about 2 days for the concrete to set fully. Once this occurs, you can set up the sail.

3.   Design of Sail

Various options are available for the layout of the sail. However, for a more attractive sail you may want to use two or more different elevations. If four posts are used, you could position the two higher posts in opposite directions while the two shorter posts take opposite directions. Once the sail is attached to the top of each post, the different elevations make a smart display. This gives the sail an attractive “twist”.

4.   Attachment Points

You must leave some space between each corner of the shade and the attachment point. This space should be at least one-tenth of the length of the shade. This allowance accommodates the hardware used to secure the sail. It also allows the sail to stretch and acquire the proper tension.