How Do I Start Designing my Shade Sail Project?
HOW DO WE DESIGN YOUR SHADE SAIL?
Have you decided that Shade Sails are just what you need, but you don't know where to start? This page is for you!
Our friendly team is here to guide you through the process! The first step to getting your new shade sails installed is to call or email our offices! We ask that you email us a picture of the area you wish to cover and any initial design ideas that you have. Then, we can provide you with a rough estimate for your project and schedule an on-site visit to take measurements and gather ideas.
In these three videos, we take you through the installation process step-by-step.
Depending on how much time you have, check out the Full Video with Interviews (27min), The Short Version (7 min), or the Short, Short Version (1min)!
Full Version with Interviews
The Short Version
The Short, Short Version!
STEP 1: DESIGN
The very best thing about shade sails is that there are many design possibilities as they can be made to fit just about any shape or size!
During your initial consultation, to make sure that your shade sail fits great and meets your needs, there are some questions that your installer will ask as you begin the design process. We'll ask questions, take rough measurements and pictures, and bring fabric samples for you to look at.
Once we've gathered as much information as possible, we'll head back to the office to put together our initial shade sail design, 3D rendering, and estimate for your approval.
Some initial questions:
What do you want to shade?
Plan your sail to be 25% bigger than you think is necessary to account for the curved edges and movement of the sun.
What don't you want to shade?
Perhaps you want to make sure your garden still gets some sun. This will impact where your attachment points go.
Where can we attach the anchoring points?
Can we install posts? Can we attach to your house or other structure? The more attachment options you have, the more design options you have.
Do we need approval from your HOA?
You should also check to see if you need permits for your project before you get started.
Some initial design options:
3-Point, 4-Point, 5-Point...
A 4-point sail gives a lot more shade than two triangles. If shade is your main goal, try to get a 4-point or more sail design.
Overlapping sails can get you the shade you want and have a really nice look. Overlapping shade sails should be at least 3 feet apart so that they do not rub against each other.
If the attachment points are all at the same height, the sail will sag a bit in the middle and move more in the wind. Using different heights to create a Hypar or Twist shape will create a tight sail that doesn't move about in the wind. It also makes for a more dynamic look!
Don't forget to account for the curved edges! Cable Tensioned sails will have a natural curve along the edges. The longer the side, the deeper the curve. We can make the curve as minimal as possible, or deeper for a more dramatic look.
Avoid Long and Skinny Triangles!
The curve can also cause trouble if your sail is too long and skinny! A long and skinny triangle will be even skinnier with the curves and will not give you any shade and will not look good! (Don't worry, if we see this in your design we will let you know and work with you to fix it).
Every project comes with a 3D rendering so you "see" your design before you order.
STEP 2: INSTALL & MEASURE
Now that we've come up with an amazing design for your new shade sails, it's time to install your posts and brackets!
Before we take measurements for your shade sail, it's important for us to place all of your attachment points first. Since our sails are custom-made, the measurements need to be exact.
We use an advanced laser to precisely measure your shade sails.
Our installer will determine the best locations for a post. Before digging, we will call the local underground utility locator to make sure that there isn't anything that we could hit when we dig.
We keep powder-coated, steel, square posts in stock. Ask your installer about custom colors for your posts!
*Most people who are not familiar with shade sails can’t believe how deep the post footings need to be. One of the most common shade sail failures is one where a post tipped in during a storm, not because the post itself bent or failed, but because the footing shifted slightly in the dirt.*
ATTACHMENT POINT INSTALLATION
Many structures can support a shade sail bracket. A corner bracket or wall plate is much easier and less expensive to install than a post.
*It is critical that your attachment points are properly installed or the sail may become loose or detach completely during high winds.
When attaching a Bracket or Wall Plate, we will make sure that the area we are attaching to is strong and sturdy (i.e. no eaves or fascia boards without solid reinforcement).*