While Canada may be known for its winters, summers across the country can get quite warm. In fact, temperatures of well above 30o C are not uncommon. Kelowna, British Columbia has an average of 24 days above 30o C each summer while Windsor, Ontario has an average of 20 such days. Many cities in the southern part of the country have heat waves and unseasonably hot summers at least once in a while as well.
If you live in Abbotsford, British Columbia, for instance, you may see an average of 285 days of sunshine each year. If you live in Calgary, Alberta, you may experience 333 days of sun, on average. Residents of Halifax, Nova Scotia may see about 290 sun-filled days.
When it gets very warm, there are a few dangers. There is the risk of sun stroke or heat exhaustion, which can be caused by excessive time in the sun. Direct sun exposure can also cause sunburn and can increase the risk of skin cancer. About 90% of melanoma diagnoses are linked to UV radiation exposure — including exposure from the sun or tanning beds — according to the Canadian Cancer Society.
If you have a patio or deck, however, of course, you want to make the most of these sunny days without worrying about getting sunburned or being too hot.
A few good patio shading ideas can help you avoid the sun and its damaging rays while also transforming your garden, patio or deck into a stylish oasis where you can retreat to and relax on beautiful days. The right shade solutions can help you stay more comfortable and safe all summer long — no matter where you live.
Exploring Patio Shade Ideas for Your Yard
There are many backyard shade ideas that can help you transform your outdoor space so you can enjoy your yard, deck, or patio while also getting the shade you need to stay cool and comfortable. Some ideas include:
1) Landscaping options
A simple way to bring shade and beauty to your patio or deck is with landscaping options. You can create wonderful shade by using trees, shrubs or even a patio container garden. You can introduce shade by planting tall trees or hedges around your deck or patio, for example. For a more portable option, you can use potted plants of varying heights to provide you with colour, fragrance, and shade.
The main issue with landscaping options is that they can be expensive. An entire row of trees, for example, can add up. In addition, the trees, potted plants or shrubs will require constant maintenance and care. You will need to trim them back, water them, repot them if needed and so forth. It can also take some time for plants to be large enough to provide an effective sun block. In the meantime, you may continue to have a patio that is not very usable.
Umbrellas can be an affordable and easy way to get some shade in your yard. Just buy a large canvas or outdoor umbrella, set it up according to manufacturer’s directions and pop it open. You can even purchase umbrellas that are part of a patio set, so you can sit outdoors on your patio or deck and stay in the shade of the umbrella. The main problem with umbrellas is that they don’t give much privacy at all. While they keep you in the shade, they will not protect you from prying eyes of the neighbours.
3) Gazebos, Cabanas, and Structures
Gardening centres and home hardware centres have a number of structures you can purchase to offer shade and beauty to your yard. The major drawback with gazebos, cabanas, cabins and other structures is that you will generally need additional yard space for them. Most will not fit on your patio or deck. However, they will provide lots of sun protection and sometimes even privacy, and some can even be used year-round. The costs, though, are high when compared with other options, and you will generally need to pay extra for installation.
Standard awnings are fabric coverings which are at the top of your deck and cover the entire deck surface, providing you with plenty of shade. You can even buy motorised retractable awnings that can be pulled back when you want less shade.
Awnings provide lots of shade over your entire patio or deck surface, and they’re also very reliable. However, installing them will generally require a contractor or professional, especially if you are installing a more complicated retractable awning. In addition, awnings only provide shade and do not offer privacy.
5) Screens and panels
Some screens and panels are free-form structures and are made out of wooden slats. Others are simply large panels of fabric or canvas created with divots and rope. The idea is to simply put a physical barrier of cloth between you and the sun. You can hang the panels of fabric from posts or from nearby trees.
The attractive thing about screens and panels is that some of them can be quite appealing. For example, wooden slats on free-form structures can look modern and almost like art. These do come with a higher price tag, though. Simpler and less expensive panels and screens can be made from large bolts of fabric and can be DIY projects — if you have the time to create your own panel.
6) Privacy walls
Privacy walls are made from a variety of materials, such as wood, metal or fabric. You can also purchase living privacy walls, which are essentially wooden or metal panels that are covered in containers of plants. Privacy walls offer privacy and can also offer some shade when the sun is shining at the right angle. They can be portable or fixed, and they can create a separate space for your patio or deck.
The main disadvantage of privacy walls is that they don’t cover the top of your patio or deck, meaning the sun can still produce a lot of heat and can be a hazard if you’re outside when the sun is directly overhead. Privacy walls work best for shade earlier in the day and later in the evening.
Lattices can include trellises or networks of iron or wood panelling. They can be installed around the sides and over the top of your patio. Often designed with intricate patterns, they can be covered with vines or climbing plants coaxed to trail over the lattices for a stunning effect. If done correctly, lattices can look gorgeous and can provide both privacy and shade.
However, lattices come with two main disadvantages. First, the process of training vines over trellises and lattices can be time-consuming and can require considerable gardening know-how. In addition, during Canada’s winters, especially, vines can easily sustain damage over the colder months, meaning you have to start all over again in the summer. Secondly, what you plant on your lattices can attract pests, such as bats, bees, wasps, flies and other unwanted visitors that may affect your ability to enjoy your patio or deck in comfort.
8) Canopies or tents
A canopy or tent can be installed in your backyard or even on your patio or deck in some cases. It can be dismantled and brought inside when winter hits, making it an ideal option for some homes. Canopies and tents also give you privacy as well as robust sun protection. Made from sturdy canvas or synthetic materials, they can withstand the elements all summer long. Canopies and tents can also offer you privacy, making them a good choice.
While canopies are a more affordable option compared to other choices, they do have some drawbacks. For example, not all tents or canopies will easily fit on all decks or patios. Some are designed specifically for ground use in your yard. In addition, a canopy or tent will block your view of the outdoors. The material used is generally opaque or a thick screen which does not allow you to see through.
9) Exterior shades
If you have a sunroom or enclosed deck or patio area, exterior shades let you stay outside while enjoying maximum privacy and sun protection. When it comes to privacy patio ideas, it’s hard to beat exterior shades for the economy, simplicity, style, and effectiveness.
Shades allow you to literally transform your patio into an outdoor room. Shades designed for outdoor use are sturdy and practical, but they are less expensive than many other options. Solar shades are specifically designed to block out harmful UV rays, protecting you and your family. There are also privacy shades which prevent others from looking in but still allow you to look outdoors and enjoy the view. Additionally, sunshades for exteriors can be installed with Velcro or other secure fasteners at the bottom, essentially creating walls around your deck or patio to keep out not only the sun but also some pests. You can even buy blackout exterior shades if you want maximum privacy and complete blocking out of UV rays.
Exterior shades give you maximum control outdoors. Just as inside you can move your shades up or down to control how much sun and light you let into your home, outdoor shades allow you to do the same. You can even purchase solar shades which allow you to see the outdoors in full 360° vision while still providing you with a layer of privacy so you and your family can dine outside, relax and enjoy full privacy while still being able to see everything going on around you.
Exterior shades, unlike other options, don’t require a lot of maintenance. You can install them yourself when you buy them from ZebraBlinds.ca. In fact, ZebraBlinds.ca offers detailed installation instructions to make the process easier. Once your exterior shades are installed, you don’t have to do much to them. They are easy to clean and don’t require much fuss. You can bring them indoors if you wish for the winter.
Patio Shades Ideas: How to Use Shades to Create a Terrific Outdoor Space
Patio shades can be a great way to create a wonderful outdoor space. If you want to maximise shade and privacy, there are a few specific ways you’ll want to use patio shades:
1) Choose the right kind
Solar shades can be a great option because they are designed specifically to block UV rays and glare. They provide a comfortable space for you on your deck or patio. At the same time, they offer privacy while still allowing you to look outside. You can control how much privacy and how much sun protection you enjoy by selecting from different types of solar shades.
2) Install shades on all sides of your patio or deck
It can be tempting to install shades on just one side of the deck or patio — the one that gets the most sun. However, installing shades on all sides or all windows of your patio offers you maximum protection. It ensures you can enjoy more privacy and more control over the sun at all times. If one day you want to sit outside in the early part of the day, you can block out glare from one side of the porch. If another day you decide to sit out later in the evening, you can then use the patio shades on that side of the space.
3) Consider motorised shades
Motorised shades don’t have cords, making them safer for children. Additionally, motorised shades allow you to control the shades with the press of a button, so these systems are very convenient. When you and your family are dining on your patio or reading, you don’t have to get a ladder to close or open the shades since the motorised mechanism does all the work for you. Motorised shades can even allow you to open or close the shades when you’re not on your patio. For example, on bright sunny days, you can open and close the shades at will to protect your furniture.
4) Take a look at styles and options
Exterior shades provide lots of advantages. They can:
- Protect you from UV rays
- Offer you privacy
- Create a separate space off your outdoor patio area
- Help you stay cooler on hot days
- Protect your patio furniture and other possessions from sun damage
- Protect you from glare and eye strain caused by direct sun exposure
- Look terrific and provide a whole new style for your patio
If you decide to install exterior shades, you may want to take a look at these advantages and consider which ones are most important to you. For example, if you have a young family and are mostly concerned about protecting your children from UV-ray exposure, you may want to look for solar shades providing the highest level of sun protection. If you live in Toronto or another urban area and privacy are key, look for solar shades that provide a high degree of privacy while still letting you look outside. Or, consider blackout solar shades if you want to completely block out the ability of others to see onto your patio.
Browse the selection at ZebraBlinds.ca to find a range of solar shades and options — including motorised options — that can be great for your patio. We have shades of different styles and colours, so you can choose something that will make your outdoor space look terrific. You can even match your exterior shades with your interior shades to create a beautiful and seamless look — both indoors and out.
Interior vs Exterior Solar Shades
Many people think exterior and interior solar shades are the same. While it’s true that you can buy solar shades both for your interiors and for your patio, the two are significantly different in a few ways:
- Exterior shades are made out of sturdier materials, meaning they can withstand the elements.
- Exterior shades are waterproof.
- Interior shades are made to be used exclusively indoors, and their motorised functions may fail outdoors.
If you need shades for your patio or outdoor area, make sure you’re buying exterior shades intended for outdoor use. This will ensure many years of reliable sun protection and privacy.
If you’re interested in exterior shades, keep in mind that they can provide an excellent advantage for your interiors, too. By blocking the sun from entering your home, exterior shades can protect sensitive décor from sun damage. If you have electronics, furniture or other valuables near a sunny window, exterior shades on the outside of that window can help protect those possessions from damage. In addition, exterior shades can also help improve energy efficiency in your home by blocking out the sun’s rays and ambient heat, helping you keep your home cooler on hot days. Exterior shades, like interior shades, can also make your home more private by blocking out any prying eyes that might be outside.
Exterior Shades Installation Tips
One of the advantages of exterior shades compared to other shade options for your home is that they can be installed easily — often without the need for contractors or extra help. Many homeowners can install exterior shades themselves. If you purchase from ZebraBlinds.ca, for example, we are proud to include full installation instructions so you can save money by installing your purchase yourself.
When installing your shades, make sure you:
1) Buy the right shades
Ensure the shades you are buying are intended for exterior use and will fit your specific requirements. You don’t want to realise after the fact that you’ve installed the wrong shades. With a robust selection and free shipping, ZebraBlinds.ca makes it easy for you to find the right fit for your patio or outdoor space.
2) Measure carefully
Before buying, measure your patio carefully and double-check the measurements. You want to ensure the shades are the right width and height for your needs.
3) Set aside enough time for installation
Depending on the type of solar shades are shades you buy, the installation process can take twenty minutes or a few hours. You want to ensure you give yourself lots of time. Ideally, try to install your shades on a day that is overcast or not too hot, so you aren’t exhausted or sunburned.
4) Check your patio to see where you can install shades
Exterior shades generally need to be installed so the screws that come with the shades are mounted into wood. If you have vinyl siding or don’t have any wood exposed, you may need to work with a contractor to find a way to install your shades without harming your exterior. Before installing, you’ll also need to decide whether you want to install the shades with a cassette or without a cassette, which can affect the overall look of the shades.
5) Gather your materials
To install exterior shades, you will generally need a level, a pencil, a tape measure, a drill and any additional tools necessary for your specific shades.
6) Start by reading the manual and focusing on the brackets
Carefully read the manual for your shades and be prepared to follow all instructions. If you have any questions, contact the manufacturer or ZebraBlinds.ca for assistance. You will generally first begin by measuring out where the brackets will go, marking the bracket locations and installing the brackets for the mounts. However, the specific instructions will depend on the specific shades and the type of installation you are completing.
Bringing Outdoor Shade Home
If you’re exploring deck shade ideas, check out ZebraBlinds.ca and our incredible selection of outdoor shades. We’re proud to offer the highest quality outdoor products, such as those from Graber and Crown Exterior. We even have blackout exterior solar shades if you want to completely block out all traces of the sun. We’re proud to offer free samples, exceptional customer service and free shipping within Canada on most of our products.
Since we specialise in shades for both indoors and outdoors, we make it easy for you to buy exterior or interior shades quickly and effortlessly online. As an online retailer with considerable purchasing power, we’re able to negotiate with manufacturers to get the best deals. It’s why were able to offer exceptional savings to our customers.
Browse our selection of exterior solar shades today. We think you’ll be amazed by our selection, price and customer service support. This summer, you can really enjoy the months of Canadian sun with the right exterior solar shades to let you make full use of your patio or outdoor space.