While the sun just may be one of the best things about our lovely state, there are also times when we want to escape its sizzling rays and have the opportunity to cool off in the shade. The fact is, most of us don’t want the sun beating down on us at every possible moment of the day. That’s why one of the best ways to get more enjoyment out of your outdoor living area is to add some shade. This will not only make your space more comfortable but also protect you from the sun’s potentially harmful rays.
So how can you best add shade to your property?
Actually, there are many different ways to incorporate shade and on various budgets.
Another great way to add shade is with landscaping. Choosing shade trees for your property can go a long way in blocking out the sun—when they are strategically planted around your property. Of course, starting with a young tree will mean waiting years until your planting pays off. However, at Taylor Anthony, we can guide you toward fast-growing varieties as well as trees that are slightly more mature.
Even so, if you’re looking for “instant shade,” then you might need to consider other options in the meantime.
Simple Shade Additions
For the smallest investment, you can incorporate umbrellas around your seating areas to add shade. Today’s umbrellas have come a long way in terms of their quality and ability to withstand difficult weather conditions—as we’re certainly known to have. Of course, you’ll want to choose an umbrella that will also protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.
Most people assume that sun protective products will automatically keep them safe. However, a recent report by the Environmental Working Group found that after a review of 1,700 Sun Protection Factor (SPF) products, including sunscreens, lip balms, and moisturizers, 80 percent provided “inferior sun protection.” When it comes to umbrellas, some are better than others.
Choose a “UV blocking umbrella” for the best protection. A step up in the budget would be investing in an awning. Nowadays you can even purchase a motorized awning that retracts when you don’t need it.
Another way to add shade to a property—but for more of an investment—is with the addition of structures such as pergolas or pavilions. A pergola can add some unique appeal to your space and can be strategically placed to cast some shade. Pergolas have even been made more effective with the addition of an awning.
A step up from a pergola would be the addition of a pavilion—or building a roof over your deck that is partially attached to your home. These permanent structures not only provide shade but also offer protection from the elements. That means that even if it’s raining, you’ll still be able to cook or even dine outside.
The addition of these structures also goes a long way in making your space feel more like an outdoor room. With the protection provided by a permanent covering, many homeowners invest in nicer outdoor furniture and even amenities such as high-quality outdoor sound systems and outdoor televisions.
Making Your Choice
While there are many options to add shade, the key is to think about what will help you to get the most use and enjoyment out of your space—as well as which options will work best on your specific property. A landscape professional at Taylor Anthony can help guide you through the process of choosing what’s best for you.