Shade sail installation is one of the final steps in your decision to acquire a shade structure. Critical to setting up the sail fabric are three things: (1) possible attachment points; (2) the size and shape of the space and; (3) the position of the sun. These three aspects form the foundation upon which your chosen sail fabric will be anchored; hence they will determine the end result of your installation efforts.


For prospective buyers of sun canopies, especially the first timers, it is important to know how shade sails are installed especially when you plan to do this on your own. Technical as this effort may sound, even a general background on sail installation will help you decide in cases where you find difficulty or problems cropping up. In the succeeding paragraphs, you will know some of the basic tips that can be of great help in putting up this outdoor configuration.

What are some of the difficulties I might encounter in shade sail installation?

One of the problems in shade sail installation is that you might need more than one person to set up the structure and several tools and carpentry materials might be required in the process. Secondly, others are lucky enough to have regularly shaped spaces; however, this is not the case for all. Some enclosures have distinct and unique dimensions, hence it is difficult to measure and find fixing points where the shade sail can be attached. Moreover, sail canopies are difficult to position because you have to take into consideration the direction of the sun; otherwise the structure will not provide any shade at all.

Things to Consider before Installing Shade Sails

In this part, much attention is given to the three critical points in building the foundation for your shade structure. The following are the fundamental guidelines you might need as first time handlers and installers of shade sails.

  1. Where to Set-Up
    This first point answers the question: In what part of my home will I install the sun shade sail? We all know that this type of shade structure is the most effective substitute for permanent enclosures such as roof, awnings or gazebos. Hence, they are good for use in the garden, patio, deck, carport, or in the pool area. The venue where you will position your sun sail is important in determining where the fabric will be attached and whether additional posts are still needed to be put up (in case there are no existing structures in the vicinity). For instance, in the garden, trees are used as posts. On the other hand, shade sails installed in decks are attached using metal hooks drilled/fixed in the wall.
  2. Get the Right Measurements
    In principle the shape and size of the area you want to cover is something you should know even before purchasing the shade fabric since these dimensions will determine how large will the piece be. However for some, this is often times the most neglected part since many think shade fabrics are easily adaptable to almost any size or shape. Coming up with the accurate measurements – the perimeter of the area, the approximate shape of the enclosure, where the sun’s direction is – are all indispensable inputs to an effective installation effort.
  3. Who will do the Installation?
    Talking of setting up the sail structure, one can choose between commercial installation and domestic installation. These two options have their own pros and cons.  In commercial shade sail installation, the whole effort is done by a professional or an outside party who are experts in putting up these structures. One good thing about availing of the services of professionals is that you are sure that the sails are installed correctly and you do not need to buy or rent the necessary materials. However, you need to pay for the services of these third party installers.

On the other hand, if you have done DIY projects before, then you may settle with domestic shade sail installation. In this option, you are the boss of the whole installation effort; you can design the configuration in whatever way you want without spending for services of professional installers. However, the difficult thing with domestic installation is that you will need to provide the necessary tool. Also you need to be extra careful with the installation process itself as you may cause irreparable damages to the sail fabric.

The basics of shade sail installation, though technical as they are, prove to be one of the aspects that owners of shade sails should be knowledgeable about. Whether you plan to have the structure assembled on your own or with the help of a professional, a discerning self is one of the important contributions you can give for a successful installation of your shade configuration.

Thank you for reading Shade Sail Installation Do’s and Don’ts.

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