How To Install a Shade Sail? (1)

Sail Structure Designs and Layout:

Depending on your space, the look you are trying to achieve and your shade needs, Shade Sails can be positioned in a number of different ways:

  • Horizontally (flat) for optimum shade cover
  • Vertically for privacy
  • Slants & Angles with overlapping sails;
  • where some corners are high and some low providing a Twist effect.
  • Billowing
  • A combination of the above.

Shade sails can be an integral part of your landscape design, positioned in an artistic way to produce light and shade effects.  For an aesthetically appealing look, tqo or more shade sails are mounted using elevation differences from corner to corner.  For example, setting a variation of 2 to 3ft height from post to post creates a stunning, flowing look. Multiple, overlapping shade sails placed strategically can create light and dark dynamics whereas horizontal mountings provide maximum coverage.

Ensure that you meet any local building regulations and investigate your property for underground utilities prior to digging mounting post holes.



Deciding on design and placement of your shade Sails depends upon a number of considerations.  It is important to have an understanding of the following factors before installing your Shade Sail.

  • The area and size you want to cover and whether that is full or partial coverage.
  • Size, shape and number of shade sails you wish to utilize;
  • The direction of the sun and typical Wind speeds
  • The availability and strength of existing anchor points such as verandas and pergolas;
  • Safe placement of mounting posts
  • The proximity of heat and fire sources such as barbecues, external ovens and hot water systems. 

Note: Shade sails are not suitable to cover cooking areas as heat sources and chemicals emitted from open flames erode the sail fabric and can be hazardous.   

Other factors such as overhanging branches may also need to be taken into consideration when deciding upon style and location. In order to maximise coverage, need to determine the direction of the sun, keeping in mind that you will have optimum shade during the middle of the day in mid-summer.  It may be important to take into consideration how to maintain optimum light and warmth over the winter months. Movement of the sun, shadow effects and light are also important when factoring in aesthetic landscaping designs.

Ensuring strength and location of existing mounting anchors to create the shade you require will determine the number and placement of mounting posts required.  Before determining anchor points you need to take into consideration the size of the tensioning hardware as well as fabric stretch. 

The tension is tighter than you may imagine so it is critical that all your anchor points and structures are solid.  The last thing you want is for a gust of wind to pull your fence down so if you are unsure, call us or ask a builder for advice.

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