A Guide to Sun Shades for Patios

Sun shades for patio around afree standing structure.

Sun shades for patios and other outdoor areas can completely transform areas of your property, making them more enjoyable and keeping the worst of the sun off. There are a number of different types of shade structures and types that you can put up to give solar protection to outside living spaces, with something out there to suit every style, purpose and budget.

If you’re interested in putting up new solar shades or replacing old ones, here we’ll give you a complete guide to everything you need to know, from the benefits of shades, the different styles and materials they come into what you need to know when picking the right ones for you.

Benefits of Sun Shades for Patios

Naturally, when you think about sun shades for patios, you think of getting the glare of the sun off your face and keeping an outdoor space cool. Those are, of course, major benefits, but that’s not all that you get out of your outdoor shades, they also provide:

  • UV Blocking: Staying out of strong sunlight for extended periods is better for your skin, and people aren’t the only ones affected by UV rays. Sun shades for patios help filter light to protect your outdoor furniture and decoration from sun-bleached throughout the year.
  • Style Expression: Sun shades for patios, porches or windows are an opportunity for you to express yourself and create the vibes that you want for your home. So long as they’re all in line with local building codes you have a vast array of possibilities for your shades, how they stay up and what materials are used, allowing your creative imagination to run free.
  • Reduced Energy Usage: It might not be the first thing you think of, but sun shades for patios and other areas can cut down your utility bills. This is because shades have been show to significantly reduce the amount of solar energy reaching your home, so lowering internal temperatures means you don’t have to run your AC as much. Even when you’re not outside, your outdoor shades are being of use.
  • Keeping Out Other Weather: The first thing that comes to mind about an outdoor shade is how it will protect you, your family and your friends from the sun’s heat. However, many sun shades for patios also equally double up to protect from other weather that could also make it uncomfortable outside. Depending on the type of shade, you can also keep off rain, wind or even snow (if that’s ever a problem).
  • Spaces for All Seasons: With the right sun shades for patios, ones that give extra protection against other types of weather, you’ll find that your outside areas can be enjoyed well outside the normal sunny windows of late spring, summer and early fall. Extending the use you get out of your whole property means you’re getting the most value out of those spaces as possible.


Different Types of Sun Shades for Patios

As mentioned, there is a huge variety in the types, styles and materials of sun shades for patios and outdoor areas. Here we’ll take a look at some of the most common ones that also come with a range of customizable options:


Awnings are among the most classic sun shades for patios due to their simplicity and effectiveness. An awning will usually extend out horizontally from your home to cover the space you want shaded. There are a number of ways the awning can be supported, making it permanent or semi-permanent, or you can even use it with roller shades to move and adjust it whenever you want. Awnings can also come in a variety of materials, with rigid ones made of aluminum or flexible ones of cloth or nylon, with many providers allowing you to pick the color or style that suits you.

Learn more about building permit requirements for awning installation.

Sail Shades

Sail shades can be a stunning stylistic feature in themselves. With a breeze rippling through them, they evoke seaside imagery. In addition, sail shades are more versatile than awnings, as they can be affixed to trees, posts or hooks extending from your home’s walls. The size of the sail shade will depend on what area you want covered, but it’s always possible to overlap them in different directions, which can give greater coverage and create a different look.

Retractable Sun Shades

Also known as roller shades, retractable sun shades for patios give you maximum control over how much sun is getting through to your outdoor spaces. These can come in vertical or horizontal forms and a variety of materials. They can even be operated manually, electronically or automatically. With roller shades, you get to decide what the weather’s like in your (very) local area.

Patio Covers

Patio covers try to use as much of your existing architecture as possible to put a shade over your head, kind of like a porch area. The patio cover will be up all year round, which makes it great for protecting your outdoor furniture or a barbecue from the elements, no matter what the season. Patio covers also come in various styles, for example, being latticed or full coverage or even insulated roof panels to allow use in colder months. Sometimes this might require extra support at the front, but it’s possible to install a patio cover without any major extra structural work.


Pergolas are one of the best sun shades for patios but can require a bit more work depending on the type you put up. A pergola shades an area from the sun by basically creating a roof space that can be permanently or temporarily covered. This roof is held up by pillars, which is where the big decisions come in. Common construction approaches can make these pillars out of wood or stone, which really creates the vibes of a secluded hideaway right there on your patio. More simply, the pillars can be metal or plastic, which can be much cheaper while still giving the same shading effect and giving your patio a space to relax in.

Explore more pergolas today!

Deciding on Sun Shades for Patios

A range of factors will go into your decision about which type of sunshade you want. The size and shape of your patio, combined with the architecture of your home, may have a big impact as it can enable or prevent certain types of shades, like awnings or patio covers. It also depends on what the sun exposure and other weather conditions are like. You might want to shade off a very large space if the sun is a big issue or maybe a more temporary solution will work as you only get a few very sunny weeks a year.

Of course, things will also come down to budget and what kind of specific style or materials you want to use. Your shaded patio will become a place for relaxing and entertaining so it’s also important to think about what situations it will be used for and how you’d like it to be looking, especially if inviting guests.

Final Thoughts on Sun Shades for Patios

Sun shades for patios and outdoor spaces give protection from the sun’s glare and heat, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor areas even in the height of summer. Not only that, but they also deliver benefits like stopping UV rays from bleaching outdoor furniture and lowering your electricity bill. The great thing about sun shades for patios is that you have a huge range of choices to pick the type, style and material that really suits you and the vibes you’re creating.

Before installing or replacing sun shades, it’s always helpful to have a chat with the experts to see what your options are and how things could work with different types. At Screenmobile, we love talking about sun shades for patios, so we’re always happy to have a chat with no obligation at all. To find out more, you can read about our outdoor shade options here or find your local Screenmobile operator here.


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