patio shade

Shady Options: External Shading Features to Keep Your Home Cool

Shades are important, and not just during the summer. Sunlight is good for natural lighting as well as for getting our daily dose of vitamin D, but too much sunlight won’t only affect your furniture through UV damage but can cause sunburn, skin damage, and even skin cancer. Additionally, adding shades to your home extends your comfortable living space, and also helps reduce the cost of keeping your house cool during the summer by preventing sunlight to bring heat into your home. Luckily, you have many options to add shade to your home, so, let’s take a look at your choices to help you determine the best one for your home:


Awnings or overhangs are secondary coverings that are attached to a building’s wall, normally made of canvas, acrylic, cotton, or vinyl. Awnings are generally fixed, but you also have the option to install retractable awnings, which is perfect especially for areas that experience snow in winter (as awnings can collect snow, and can even collapse from the weight of snow), and would also make clean-up earlier during fall when it starts collecting falling leaves. These shades can be attached to your windows, porches, and even your home’s entryways. Contact your local awning companies to determine the best design for your home, and to have it professionally installed.

Sail Shade

These are outdoor shades that mimic the look of a ship’s sale and works by having flexible material stretched and attached against poles. Sail shades can be attached to your home or can work like a stand-alone canopy for BBQ areas, or even for your yard’s sandboxes or playgrounds. These can either be permanent features, or you can opt to have temporary ones. Regardless, shade sails are generally cheap and very easy to install.

Patio Umbrellas

As the name suggests, Patio umbrellas are huge and sturdy umbrellas that can be deployed to protect you and your patio furniture from the sun and elements. High-quality patio umbrellas can be moderately pricey, but they can be easily installed and are quite portable.



Pergolas are normally garden features made up of vertical posts that support cross-beams. Although they won’t provide much protection against rain unless you affix some waterproof material or textile, they can still provide shade. You can also plant vines to grow on them in order to create some form of natural shading.

Adjustable Louver Roof Covers

Louver roof covers are permanent shading options, they look like blinds that can be adjusted open and shut so you can fine-tune the level of light coming in, as well as to completely close them in case of snow or rain. However, these can be a bit expensive and require skilled and professional installation.

Shade Trees

Shade trees can be a good natural shade option for you. However, if you have to grow one, it will take a long time for it to create a canopy, luckily, you have the option to have grown shade trees installed professionally in your home.


There’s no question that shade is important to not only keep our home cool and comfortable but to add to our living space as well as to protect our furniture from sun damage, and our skin from potential skin damage and skin cancer. So, the next time you’re free, take a look around your home and see which parts can benefit from a little extra shade, and pick the shading option in this list that suits your home.

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