Home » Shades of Summer – Shade Structures vs. Patio Umbrellas – 558 Words

Shades of Summer – Shade Structures vs. Patio Umbrellas – 558 Words

Most people are not fortunate enough to have a magnificent old shade tree over their patio to provide some respite from the hot summer sun. Neither is it practical to wait until the trees they have planted grow big enough to start providing some shade. So some type of artificial shade structure is necessary to make patio living enjoyable at all times of the day. Whether a patio umbrella will keep you cool or whether you need more patio cover with a shade structure will depend on your shade requirements.

The Sun is Warm but Dangerous

Whichever type of shade provider you choose, bear in mind that it’s crucial to shield your skin from the sun’s rays to prevent skin cancer. An alarming statistic – during the past thirty years, more people have been diagnosed with skin cancer than with all other cancers combined.

Patio Umbrellas

Grouped with your stylish furniture, a freestanding umbrella provides shade and can add a splash of color and zest to an outdoor space. An umbrella can be coordinated with outdoor pillows, cushions, and rugs to create the look of a stylish outdoor resort. Plus, a mobile umbrella provides you with shade wherever it’s needed as the sun moves across the sky.

Freestanding umbrellas come in two types. Either attached to a straight pole rising from a base or offset or cantilevered. If the umbrella is offset, the umbrella arm can easily be raised, lowered, and angled to get shade exactly where you need it.

When an Umbrella is Not Enough

When deciding between shade structures vs. patio umbrellas, sometimes an umbrella will not provide enough shade. A shade structure will shade a wider area than an umbrella and can enhance any outdoor space. It can create a focal point, offer a sense of height and provide massive relief from the sun. When considering any type of shade structure, it’s important to consider existing elements like trees and your house, which may already be providing quite a bit of shade at certain times of the day.

Retractable Awnings

Motorized retractable awnings are a practical addition to any patio, allowing you to make the most of your space and turning your patio into the perfect place to eat breakfast or hold an evening soiree.

An awning can be customized and tailored to fit your exact space. An extended awning can not only provide welcome shade on your patio but also prevent sun damage to furniture, drapes and flooring inside your home. And, by lowering temperatures inside your home, it can save you money on energy bills.

Power Screens

For a sleek look, consider power screens. They can provide a semi or complete enclosure, privacy, sun protection, and a barrier against pesky insects.


Fabrics for umbrellas and awnings need to offer UV protection and be durable. They also need to resist fading, mold, mildew and water and be easy to clean. Sunbrella fabrics provide unparalleled performance and are available in a variety of styles and colors.


………………………………………………. can help you make your patio livable during the hot days of summer with either an umbrella or a shade structure. Please download our buying guide which will answer many of your questions about patio furniture and then talk to us about shade structures vs. patio umbrellas so that we can provide you with your perfect shade solution.

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