Shade Options

A shaded walkway in a park

When You Need a Break From Your Fun in the Sun

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There are few things in life more enjoyable than soaking up the sun with friends and family. Whether in your own backyard, at the local beach or on your lunch break at work, most people feel rejuvenated after just a little time in the sunshine. But even the most ardent of sun lovers agree, sometimes you need a little shade.

What Are Shade Structures?

Shade structures are exactly what they sound like, a structure that provides shade. They can take many forms in both permanent and movable varieties. Even nature provides shade structures in the form of trees, bushes and plants. Often a shade structure is included over patios or decks in a residential setting, and over public seating areas in a commercial setting. Many businesses strive to provide a nice shady area outside for their employees to enjoy during break times.

Why Are Shade Structures Important?

Including a shade structure in your outdoor space will accomplish several different things, the most obvious being that it provides protection from the sun for both people and property. UV rays from the sun not only damage skin, but prolonged exposure also damages the surface of your patio or deck. Even the family car needs a break from the sun! Using a shade structure to cover a regular parking space will not only save you from a sweltering car interior, but also helps prolong the life of your car’s exterior and interior surfaces. Shade structures are also an easy way to help visually break up an outdoor space. Using shade structures to define the different areas of your yard will give the space a more complete feel, and it’s a functional way to add beauty to the landscape. A well-designed structure can be a work of art when executed properly.

What Are the Options?

When planning your outdoor living space, there are a variety of things you could do to incorporate shade. Trees, shrubbery and plants are a natural and beautiful way to give your space areas of respite from the sun. However, these options may take some time to fully develop and provide adequate shade, so you may want to incorporate a shade structure as well. Permanent structures could include pergolas, gazebos or cabanas, and our proprietary designs at Modern Shade. Or you may want to do something simpler such as an oversized umbrella or a sunshade that utilizes outdoor fabric. There are also options for portable shade structures that range from a simple umbrella to a large portable shelter. These options can also work in a permanent space, such as your own yard, deck or patio, and they are really useful options when you are enjoying an outing at your local park or beach.

So get out there and enjoy the beauty and refreshment that comes from being in the great outdoors, whether it’s fun in the sun or a day made in the shade!

Keeping Your Patio & Pool Area Cool This Summer

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At Modern Shade, we know the importance of keeping cool as the weather heats up outdoors. Hot weather is great when you want to enjoy some time outside, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer the sun’s wrath. We’ve put together some tips to make your home patio and/or pool area cooler and more hospitable for family and friends–no matter how hot it gets!

Relaxing In Your Pool

There’s nothing more relaxing than diving into the cool, refreshing water of a swimming pool on a hot summer’s day. However, without the proper shade, even your own backyard pool might not offer that much relief. Instead of cool and relaxing, it could easily become swelteringly uncomfortable before you even get into the water. With the sun beating down and the temperatures soaring on hot summer days it’s easy to see how this can happen, but fortunately it’s easily corrected.

Make Your Pool Area More Inviting

First let’s start with a solution to keep you and your guests’ feet cool when you’re walking around barefoot. A great way to keep your pool deck cool and inviting is to apply Keystone Kool Deck. Kool Deck is a spray applied cement-polymer overlay manufactured by Mortex Mfg. and available in a variety of light heat reflecting colors. In addition, it also has an orange peel texture that when the product drys provides surface air pockets that help keep the surface of your pool deck significantly cooler. Kool Deck was invented in 1962 and once applied it automatically generates a colored, textured cement surface that will significantly lower the surface temperature of the concrete, and will withstand thermal contraction and expansion better than concrete. It’s also environmentally safe and can be easily and safely cleaned with soap and water.

Shade Trees

Whether or not you want to deal with sprays, a shady back yard is a big plus. Some people are fortunate enough to have lots of shade provided by large trees. If you don’t you may want to consider planting some. If you do decide to plant trees, be sure to factor in how much the tree is likely to spread out as it goes, and lean toward the conservative side on how close to the pool you plant them. This will help prevent any problems down the road (tree root systems can become quite expansive, and the last thing you want is roots damaging your pool). Another perk to adding trees is that they will also provide you with extra privacy.

Pool Umbrellas

Planting trees in your back yard can be a big project, especially if you want to skip waiting for them to grow from saplings and opt for bigger trees. An extremely simple alternate solution is pool umbrellas, a common sight in and around pool areas and backyard patios. Free standing umbrellas are the most common choice, though offset umbrellas are wildly popular as well. The offset umbrella has the ability to be positioned anywhere you need shade, especially as the sun moves overhead. You can even get umbrellas that anchor themselves in the pool.

Shade Sails & Custom Shade Structures

If you’re looking for a more stylish and durable option to create some shade in your back yard, a shade sail or custom shade structure may be just what you’re looking for. Shade sails can be anchored into either your yard or patio, and they can be stretched across any area that needs protection from the sun. The sails come in a variety of colors to fit any need, and with their unique sharp-angled look they instantly add a touch of glamour to any pool area. High quality shade structures also offer powerful UV inhibitors that can offer more protection from the effects of too much sun than you might expect.

If you’re looking for shade sails or custom shade structures for your pool area or back yard, be sure to contact us to discuss your needs and get a free quote! We’ll help you decide on the perfect choice for your needs.

Commercial Area Shade Sails: A Great Way to Provide Shade and More

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As you start to research shade sails and their many uses, you are bound to see that they are used in many locations to provide shade. The thing that is often overlooked is how great they really look and how safe they are. These sails can be used in commercial structures as well as patios and gardens. You can use these shade sails any where you need to provide shade. Unlike sun umbrellas and other forms of shades these shade sails are designed and engineered to provide the most shade in the safest way. They also look great in the over all landscape. 

You can often get ready made shade sails or you can have them custom designed for your location. It really depends on your needs and their use. When you have an area that has so much heat that it has become an area that can not be used, a simple shade sail can decrease that heat and make the space useable once again. It is amazing what a simple shade used correctly can do. They space also becomes more attractive and fun. The shade sails can be used to throw a splash of color into any area and provide protection for the heat on the harshest days. If you have a pool and need to provide shade, these sail shades can provide the cover you need to stay out of the sun and still provide the pool enough sun to stay warm. With a sail shade in place you can read a book and not have to worry about sun burn or sun damaged pages for the matter. 

Most of the shades can provide some protection if it rains too. The water will get through the sails but, it will act as an umbrella and keep you dry for the most part. These shades will also stand up to windy conditions. Keep in mind that a lot of what they will withstand depends on their age, the material they are made from and several other factors. If you have questions you can always ask the manufacturer or person who is going to do your install. 

Some people want to know where the best place is to use a shade sail. Well, there are several answers. You can use a sail in an amphitheater. As an outdoor gathering place, an amphitheater is a great place to provide protection form the sun with a shade sail. You can use them in enter-ways and exit-ways. Anywhere where someone is going to walk is a great place to put a few up. They have been using them in playgrounds and mall walkways to provide shade and add beauty too. You can never have too many of these sail shades. People love to look at they and walk and sit under them. Often they are placed in places where people are going to eat.

Another place that is often over looked is the parking area. People often get sun burn loading and unloading their cars. By using a few simple sun shades in the parking areas sunburn can be prevented and people can be protected. A sun sail makes people feel welcomed, so use as many as you need to.

Cantilever Shades

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There are many advantages to using a cantilever shade structure for your home or business. Cantilever shade structures are attractive, versatile, durable and affordable, and can be constructed quickly. Only one of the sides of the structure needs support posts, that saves time and money. Plus the frames of the cantilever shade structures are designed to contain their own loads so there’s no tension placed on other structures. They can be placed in between buildings to provide shelter from the elements. Cantilever shades are specially engineered to work with wind loads and their rafters are curved so water runs right off of it.


Many people like cantilever shade structures because they can provide shade and protection while offering an unobstructed view. The wide range of sizes, colors and patterns on the fabric, and the color options on the steel posts holding them in place also make them a favorite of home and business owners. Whether you need an additional shady area for your home to serve as a place for outdoor parties, a carport, to cover an outdoor furniture grouping, or simply kick back and relax, cantilever shade structures are a great choice. Cantilever structures can also be used with restaurants, hotels, or any other type of business.

Available In A Variety Of Styles

Cantilevers can in a wide variety of styles as well. They include cantilevers with one post, single or double triangular trusses, a single or double flat truss, double or single center bows, and many other designs and configurations. Some people even construct cantilever shade structures that are back-to-back or side-by-side. This allows the structures to cover a larger area and provide shade no matter from which angle the sunshine is coming. The unique appearance of cantilever shade structures is another reason people love them. They often become marketing tools for commercial enterprises.

Unique, Attractive, And Aesthetically Pleasing

The complexity and artistic aesthetically pleasing look of the cantilever shade structure also adds to its popularity. Their unique construction make them natural conversation pieces and can be customized to include brand names, commercial or other types of messages, or outlandish colors, designs, and patterns. People put designs on the canopy of their cantilever shade structure themselves or have it done at the factory. The result is a structure with an unparalleled appearance that provides blessed shade and respited from precipitation while providing added beauty and uniqueness to your home or business.

Environmentally Friendly And Cost-Effective

Custom-made cantilever shade structures not only provide shelter from sun and rain, it also keeps the area around your home or business cooler. This causes the ambient air temperature to be cooler around your entryways, outdoor patios, and parking areas. This can save you money by reducing the cost of cooling the inside of your property. Plus it helps to provide protection from the sun’s UV rays. They are ideal for areas near pools, tennis courts, or other outdoor recreational activity. The cantilever shade structures are the perfect place to have refreshments or simply a place to relax. Plus its safe, durable, and costs a lot less than many other types of structures.