Sunny days are perfect for outside fun. However, too much sun can damage your skin, and too much heat can ruin your outdoor plans. Learn how to shade a deck or patio to help protect people and pets. Covering your deck can prevent outdoor furnishings from fading or degrading in the sunlight as well.
Shade solutions for decks and patios are more than just useful. They make attractive and enjoyable additions to your outdoor living spaces. Get cool shady spots around pools, gardens and children’s play areas.
This guide will give you a variety of deck shade ideas. It will outline patio covering ideas and deck shading options, including manual, motorized and removable options. Find the ideal way to relax in a shady spot in your yard.
Install Outdoor Shades
Consider outdoor shades when you’re looking for shade solutions. Like indoor shades or blinds, they can attach to your home. They'll also fasten to a pergola or other structure to block or filter sunlight. Many are designed to let the air flow through them. Outdoor shades make the temperature feel cooler by keeping out the sun.
Look for a variety of colors, textures and designs. Customized sizes, manual roller shades and motorized shades are available. Many outdoor shades are designed to block UV rays. For maximum relaxation, stay in your deck chair while adjusting motorized outdoor shades. Control them with a remote control or smartphone.
Use a Cantilever Umbrella
Need portable deck shade ideas? Don’t overlook outdoor umbrellas. If the weighted stand is light, they’re easy to move around the yard. You can bring the shade with you as the sun arcs across the sky.
Cantilever umbrellas are supported by an offset, freestanding pole. That means you can suspend them in the air wherever the sun is too intense. The pole isn't in the center of the umbrella, which gives you extra room. You'll have plenty of space for tables and chairs under the canopy.
These umbrellas are also adjustable. You can tilt them for maximum shade coverage. Look for cantilever umbrellas in colors that match or complement your deck or patio furniture.
Pop Up a Market Umbrella
Another shade solution for decks and patios is a market umbrella. Although sometimes they’re called patio umbrellas, those are different.
Market umbrellas usually have a center pole made of wood. They often have vented caps on top to let breezes blow through and gusts escape. This makes them a great choice for seaside homes.
Large outdoor market umbrellas provide both shade and shelter from light rain. These expansive coverings work well for deck covering ideas that include a sizable seating area. You and your guests can enjoy an outdoor meal whether there’s a misty rain or blazing sun.
Add a Patio Umbrella to a Table
Patio umbrellas are usually designed to fit through a hole in an outdoor table. They’re one of the classic patio covering ideas. Sometimes they have a weighted base for stability and support. Look for patio umbrellas in a variety of styles and colors. Solar-powered LED lights are available on some models, so you can keep enjoying the outdoors after the sun goes down.
To stay in the shade, make sure the umbrella extends at least 2 feet past the table all around. If you’re not sure if a patio umbrella is big enough, grab a tape measure:
- Measure the diameter of your table. If you have a square or rectangular table, measure the widest part.
- Add 4 feet to that measurement when searching for an umbrella to fit the table.
Enjoy a Pergola
Pergolas are free-standing structures with lattice roofs. If you want filtered light or partial shade, they’re a great choice. They don’t completely block the sun. Pergolas allow air to circulate to keep you cooler. They also make an attractive, low-maintenance addition to yards and patios.
Some pergolas have slats on one or more walls for additional sun protection. You can add covers to provide even more shade. Some covers drape over only the top of pergolas, while others cover the top and parts of two sides. Retractable and convertible pergola covers are also available. Look for covers made from fabrics that withstand rain, heat and sunlight.
Attach an Awning
Awnings are also a versatile shade solution for decks and patios. Leave them up permanently, or install manual or motorized retractable awnings.
These coverings can be customized to fit any of your deck covering ideas. Some awnings attach to your home. Others are self-supported, freestanding shade structures. Choose whatever type of awning best suits your outdoor setup.
Put Up Sun Sails and Canopies
Sun shades, canopies and shade cloths are some of the best temporary deck shade ideas for outdoor areas. Shade sails, also known as sun shades or sun sails, don't usually require much hardware. They’re easy to move or re-position as the angle of the sun changes.
Firmly anchor them to a post or nearby tree to keep them from blowing away. Make sure to hang them so they stay taut and don’t flutter in the wind. A large shade sail on posts can help shade a swimming pool, sandbox or kids' playset. The whole family can appreciate a day of safe outdoor fun without baking in the sun.
Hang Outdoor Curtains
Curtains and drapes aren’t just for windows inside your home. Outdoor curtains can be hung to shade any space that gets a lot of sun. This includes cabanas, decks and pool houses. Look for fabrics marked sun-resistant, UV-blocking and water- and mildew-resistant. They’ll last longer and stand up to the elements better than other fabrics.
Outdoor curtains also give privacy to create a quiet nook outside. If you need a calm corner to enjoy a summertime read, pull some curtains for cover and shade. Choose from rust-proof grommet or tab-top styles. This unconventional shade option also comes in a variety of colors and fabrics.
Plant Trees as a Deck Shade Solution
If you want to naturally shield your patio or deck from the hot summer sun, plant a deciduous tree. They give plenty of shade in the summer and shed their leaves in the fall.
Research the shade trees that are recommended for your region. Find out how tall and wide they’ll grow. You need to make sure they’ll fit in your available space. Consider both the canopy of leaves and the root system width when choosing a tree.
Trees are valuable, living shade solutions, but they require planning. Avoid planting trees near your home’s foundation and utility lines. They’re excellent at seeking water. Trees will often find your underground water lines if they’re within reach of their roots.
Grow Vines for Shade
Beautiful fast-growing vines are another shade solution for decks, patios and other outdoor areas. They provide cool and leafy shade. Some even have attractive blooms.
Try morning glories, ivy, hops, or clematis. Honeysuckle, Virginia creeper, jasmine, edible grapes or trumpet vines work too. Wisteria is a great choice, if you have a strong structure for its heavy, woody stems. Depending on your gardening plans, plant an annual or a perennial vine for shade. Annuals will die at the end of the growing season, but perennials will come back.
Now that you know how to shade a deck, it’s time to choose your shade covering. The Home Depot delivers online orders when and where you need them. Find the pergola, market umbrellas or outdoor shades you need to get started today.