Pergolas

A patio pergola

The hot summer days and nights can discourage you from enjoying the patio you’ve worked to transform into an area of comfort and relaxation. Rather than give in to the heat, follow these simple, cost-effective ways of cooling off your backyard, patio, or deck. It’s your relaxation space, so don’t lose it to rising temperatures!

Increase the Shade with A Canopy

It’s hard to cool off any outdoor area when the sun beats directly upon it. Chill out and cool down your patio by installing a canopy to shelter it from the heat and light. If you’re looking for an additional dose of style, consider installing a sail shade canopy over your dining area, barbecue area, or garden. You might even get a large-sized sail shade canopy to shelter your entire patio.

The advantage of sail shade canopies – besides their sleek look – is their ease of installation. Some sail shade canopies even come complete with the hardware you need to affix it to your house’s roof, overhang, or other supporting position.

Enclose Your Patio with a Screened Porch

Screen PorchesScreened porches offer probably the ultimate in protection from the sun. They also help keep out flying insects and small animals. But their greatest strength can also be a disadvantage: screened porches separate you, at least a little, from the great outdoors. They’re the best choice for homeowners looking to enjoy fresh air and comfort more than the thrill of outdoor relaxation.

Install a Pergola

The timeless beauty of a pergola gives your patio or deck a garden ambience that’s only accentuated when you use it as a trellis for vines and other climbing plants. Pergolas are sturdy, so they’re dependable much like a screened porch, but they still allow for plenty of fresh air and even sunshine throughout their sheltered area.

For complete shade, you can also cover the top of the pergola with canopy cloth, to block the sunlight completely or almost completely. Be sure to use canopy cloth that’s  water-permeable, so that rain can’t pool atop it and cause sagging.

Install a Retractable Awning

You’ve probably seen retractable awnings demonstrated in television commercials. As advertised, they shade your backyard patio or deck when you want, and retract when you don’t. Some models of retractable awnings feature lights to help decorate your patio and increase its nighttime ambience.

Patio Cooler Serve Refreshing Drinks From An Outdoor Bar

Outdoor bars keep drinks nice and cool for you. One of the most important steps to take during the summer months is to stay hydrated. Installing an outdoor bar makes having a refreshing drink much more convenient.

Cool Off with Misters and Fan Towers

Misters deploy a light spray of cool water over a given area. (You’ve probably enjoyed them at amusement parks, zoos, or festivals.) They’re simple to install and operate, but may not be practical in residential areas that practice water conservation during the hottest parts of summer.

Tower fans, like box fans, stir air circulation in a localized area in order to cool that area down. They can be highly effective, but some homeowners may find the white noise the spinning fan blades generate to be a noisy distraction. Fan also possibly represent safety hazards for households with very small children.

Keep Cool – But Keep Insect Free, Too!

Mosquito MagnetEveryone prefers relaxing in shade to direct sunlight. However, that same shade can lure flying insects including mosquitoes and no-see-ums towards your patio or deck. Cleanse your relaxation area of annoying, potentially harmful insects by installing an insect trap in your backyard to lure them away from the patio or deck. Insect traps such as the Mosquito Magnet can drastically reduce insect populations when used regularly.

Sail CanopiesSail canopies, also interchangeably called shade sails and shade sail canopies, have become one of the best values for backyard and patio remodelers. They require less installation time than permanent awnings or overhangs and are more affordable than fixed-frame canopies. Growing more popular by the year, sail canopies still bring a modern, fashion-forward accent to their surroundings.

Many Shapes and Sizes

Sail canopies are available in a variety of colors and shapes. Traditionally the sail shade is either square or rectangular. Nevertheless, the shape of the triangle – the length of its sides, the angles of its corners – varies, sometimes depending on size. The triangular shape gives the sail shade its name, of course, as mainsails have had a triangular configuration for thousands of years. While the origin of the sail shade canopy itself is lost to history, it’s very possible that its origins are at least as old.

The square canopy, owing to the sail’s non-rigid construction, isn’t a fixed “plate” so much as a sail constructed with four equal sides. Typically, the square shade sail is rigged from its corners, though some models may vary.

Grommet Eyelets And GSM: Sail Canopy Terminology

In many cases, sail shades connect to their mounting brackets by grommet loops in their sides and corners. Grommet loops, or eyelets, are the metal or plastic rings set into fabric. (The most common example is found along the tops of shower curtains.)

GSM stands for grams per square meter, the basic unit of measurement for weighing paper. Many kinds of sail canopies are constructed from polyethylene materials, a kind of plastic polymer known for its light weight and flexibility. The greater the GSM, typically the heavier the sail shade. However, in this case “heavier” often means thicker and better at reflecting sunlight and withstanding elements. Finding the right balance of shade and weight is best left to the buyer’s individual preference.

Look for shade sails that are porous: they allow water to pass through them. This will prevent the sail canopy from sagging as precipitation accumulates across its surface. Standing water atop the canopy can stretch the fabric and, in drastic cases, weaken the mounting hardware.

Purchasing and Installing Sail Canopies

Sail CanopiesThough simple in operation, installing the sail canopy isn’t a task to take lightly. Some instruction manuals estimate setup time to take approximately one hour to complete, though some may take longer, especially if anchoring poles need to be sunk first. Also, the installation process is often a two-person affair.

Most sail shade canopies can be installed using conventional household tools. Be sure to check the canopy’s manual before making your purchase.

Buyers are also encouraged to follow the old adage, “measure twice and cut once.” Though cutting the sail shade won’t be necessary, it’s a good idea to measure the area you want covered before you begin shopping. You can then make a more accurate determination what kind of sail shade shape would best service your needs.

Remember, there is no right or wrong answers except what’s best for your patio, deck, or pool area. Once installed, your sail shade canopy will bring years of stylish, comfortable shelter to you, your guests, and your family.