4 Different Types of Outdoor Shade Structures to Enhance Your Living Space

A lot of homeowners would like to soak in some fresh air and enjoy the weather if they have a spacious backyard. Most yards nowadays have a landscaping feature that often doubles up as a cozy outdoor living space. The beauty of your backyard can be enhanced if you design and build custom outdoor structures.

Apart from pergolas and gazebos, there are different outdoor structures to extend your living space. You can use the pavilion, shade sail, patio umbrella, awnings, roller shades, arbor, pavilion, or a smart combination of all these. As per the ASLA’s 2018 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends survey, pergolas are the most popular outdoor structures. After that, we have the arbor, pavilion, and gazebo. All these outdoor structures have their own unique features along with offering sun protection and some level of privacy.

But since most people get confused with structures, choosing what’s best for the backyard can be difficult. If you are still undecided on what structure to buy, you should understand the basic features they provide. This way you can make a well-informed decision about your backyard.

Let’s get started!

1. Pergola

Pergola is a freestanding, wide-open outdoor structure typically supported by beams. It has no walls and is connected to your house. Pergolas made with a brace for pergola usually have a flat roof but screens can be added on top to provide better cover. To increase your level of privacy and shade, you have the option to add vines or curtains to the structure. The structure is also used to create an outdoor extension for your patio or home. This extra space can be used for dinners and parties. To upgrade the level of your outdoors, you can add a pergola to it.

2. Pavilion

Pavilions are mostly used to provide shelter from the heat and rain. It is a type of fully covered and pitched roof structure that has open sides. A pavilion is very similar to the pergola and it can also be used as a freestanding outdoor structure to extend your house, patio, or deck. Pavilions are bigger than the majority of the outdoor structure, so you have a lot of options to upgrade its design. If you want more cover and privacy, you can also install a wall. Adding walls to pavilions can help you set up an outdoor kitchen or a bar. You can make your pavilion more comfortable by adding picnic tables or couches.

3. Gazebo

The best way to differentiate between a gazebo and a pavilion is by its shape. With a fully closed solid roof, a gazebo is an octagonal or hexagonal structure that’s usually structured on decks, patios, concrete areas, or even gardens. Since the structure has an oval design, one of the best areas to set it up is a place with a stunning view. The sides of a gazebo are semi-open with railings. These structures can be designed with trellises, curtains, or lattices. If you want to continue enjoying your outdoors despite harsh weather conditions (especially rain), then the gazebo is the structure for you.

4. Shade sails

If you have a tight budget but still want to enjoy your backyard scenery, then you should get shade sails. They are a great way to provide shade in your backyard without taking up a lot of space. These sails can block UV rays and provide a soothing outdoor experience. A major setback to having sails is that they are not waterproof. In case you are located in a rainy region, you can have your shade sails customized so that it can protect you from a heavy downpour as well. Also, make sure to install your sails in a slanting position. This is so that the water can slide down during the rains. If the sail collects water, it would slack or tear apart.

In the end

There are so many different outdoor structures you can install to enhance your backyard. You can use patio umbrellas, rollers, canopy, multi-panel shades, and more. You also have the option to customize your structures to make them even more versatile. Get yourself a stunning outdoor structure and enjoy your extended backyard for all kinds of entertainment purposes.

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