How to Shade Your Patio With Shade Sails

4 Materials
2 Hours

Warm Spring and Summer weather is just around the corner, or maybe it has already arrived depending on where you live. Last year my family was so excited to have a big patio to use and extend our outdoor living space during the warm months. The only problem was that our patio gets all day sun. A real downer, especially for my four red head family members.

With a pricey pergola out of the budget, we opted to put up shade sails, and we are so glad we did.

Be sure to check out my blog for more details, and to see how I made our patio sectional.

Before, our patio was pretty much unusable all afternoon until the cooler evening hours.

For this project, you will need something sturdy to tie your shade sails on to. We opted to use 4x4 pressure treated posts.

Our sails are tied from our house to our posts.

You may need to bring in some professional help to make sure your post holes are deep enough. They should be about 1/3 the overall height.

We used screw in eye hooks on our house and posts to tie our sails to. You will want your hooks to be further apart than the L x W of your sails so you can keep them stretched out tight.

Fish your shade sail ropes through the eye hooks. Similar shade sales to the ones I used can be found here. They come with everything you need to hang them, which is really handy.

Also, send sunglasses...

Pull the ropes tight and tie some simple knots to hold the sails in place. They should be stretched very tight.

It is helpful to have someone stretching the sail at the same time on the opposite side. I had to make a few adjustments to get them perfectly even and tight.

Since I was using two shade sails, I tied two ropes into the center eye hooks, and this worked well.

We made sure to screw our eye hooks into our fascia board where there was a truss behind it. You don't want to lose your entire fascia board on a breezy night.

Once your knots are tied, trim any excess rope, and enjoy the shade.

Shade sails are super versatile, and can be hung at an angle against the path of the sun for longer lasting shade.

We were happy to keep our morning and evening sun, so we kept ours level.

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Heather Cammack

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • Paulette
    on Jul 21, 2019

    Great idea!

    Do you shake shades down in winter?

    • Heather Cammack
      on Jul 31, 2019

      We do take them down in the winter since we are in a climate that gets snow. Snow or not, they will last longer if you put them away for the months you are less likely to be using them.

  • Ed
    on Aug 6, 2019

    When I go to your materials it shows a triangular shade yet your pictures show a rectangular. Where did you get the rectangular cloth???

    • Ellis
      on Apr 29, 2020

      I've seen shade sails at Costco for very reasonable prices, if you're near one.

  • Jill
    on Apr 29, 2020

    it looks like you have posts between the outside post and the house. what are those for ?

Join the conversation

2 of 34 comments
  • Judy Persohn
    on Apr 29, 2020

    That looks terrific!! Thank you for this great idea.

  • Juttaroos
    on Apr 30, 2020

    I love the looks much that I copied it from a eclectic restaurant that I could sit there and hang out forever! I, in fact did this last summer and had glorious days sitting on my patio then.... my area is very windy at times ...the sail grommets ripped. Tried to fix/replace them with not a lot of luck, the wind became my enemy. Do your weather homework, If you do this and have days with crazy wind gusts this is NOT for you.

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