Pros and Cons of Different Types of Commercial Shade Structures

Commercial shade structures are a great way to protect an area from the sun and rain. But did you know that there are many different types of shade structures available nowadays?

If you’re trying to choose which type is the best option, the best way to do it is by understanding the pros and cons of each.

Shade Sails

Shade sails are one of the more popular options when it comes to commercial shade structures. They are typically made up of a flat sail made out of some type of fabric that is affixed to several posts.

The main advantages of shade sails is that they are relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and have good ventilation. However at the same time the disadvantages are that the quality of shade isn’t as good as some other shade structures, and it won’t protect against heavy rainfall. Some shade sails may also sag in the middle.

Shade Umbrellas

As you can guess from their name, shade umbrellas are essentially just large umbrellas of some kind that are affixed to a single post. Conventionally the post will be in the center of the umbrella.

In general shade umbrellas have good shade quality, and in most cases the posts are portable – which makes them a flexible option. However the coverage of shade umbrellas is normally smaller, and if the weather is windy the weighted base may not be able to support the structure.

Cantilevered Umbrellas

Cantilevered umbrellas are similar to normal shade umbrellas, except the post and base is located outside of the umbrella itself. It is normally either placed as a corner-mount or side-mount.

While cantilevered umbrellas share most of the advantages of shade umbrellas, they also benefit from having a more unobtrusive design. The downsides are the same however, and you should consider their coverage and susceptibility to wind.

Cantilevered Shade Structures

Aside from umbrellas, cantilevered systems are often used for other shade structures too. Essentially a shade of some kind can be stretched over two cantilevered posts on either side.

Just like cantilevered umbrellas, these other shade structures are unobtrusive, and on top of that they are versatile too as they are available in many different configurations. However the quality of the shade may vary, and some configurations may be susceptible to wind.

Hip Shade Structures

Hip shade structures are very common, and consist of a canopy shade affixed to several posts. The most popular type of hip shade are squares or rectangles with four posts, but there are others that may use two posts, six posts, or 8 posts.

Compared to other types of shades, hip shades are very versatile and can be found in many different sizes. The quality of the shade is relatively good, and they provide adequate protection from rain and wind. However this type of shade is definitely not portable, and its cost can vary quite a bit depending on the size and types of materials that are used.

Final Words

Before you decide which commercial shade structure you want to use, it may help to take a look at your options. Now that you’re fully aware of the pros and cons of the more common types, it should be easy enough to figure out which fits your requirements.

Make no mistake there are other types of shade structures out there too, as well as other custom-built shade structures. If you’re interested in any of them, be sure to check out the coverage, quality of shade, as well as how effective it is at shielding you from wind and rain.

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