How to Shade Your Patio With Shade Sails

Heather Cammack
by Heather Cammack
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.

Resources for this project:
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Heather Cammack
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 8 questions
  • Jill Jill on Apr 29, 2020

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

  • Shay Shay on Oct 10, 2021

    What is the height of your 4x4s?

  • Phi53594888 Phi53594888 on Aug 01, 2022

    The shade sails in your picture looks like they have four corners but the ones linked under material are triangle shaped. Can I purchase ones with four corners? Thanks.

Join the conversation
2 of 38 comments
  • Kari kettrick Kari kettrick on Apr 12, 2021

    Thanks for the idea we live in a hot windy place. I'm going to try the sail with spring's for our hot patio thanks again

  • Mcgypsy9 Mcgypsy9 on Jan 02, 2023

    I’ve been wanting to do this for several years now. I am having a deck added this year and will use them over the deck until I get the top put on the following year. Decks are expensive and I need one 16x42 so it’s gonna be big. Can’t afford to cover the whole thing so I’ll probably still need some of the shades. I eventually want a full enclosed room on part of the deck.