Sometimes referred to as shade sails, sunshades provide attractive and thorough protection from the powerful Australian sun for outdoor seating areas and furniture. Putting up a sunshade is a relatively straightforward endeavour for those who enjoy undertaking household repairs and projects. With a few helpful hints and the right retail options for finding sunshades and tools, any DIYer can learn to put up a sunshade and create an ideal outdoor space.
Measuring and planning for a sunshade
To begin, assess the area that requires coverage. According to home improvement show "This Old House", correctly positioned sunshades effectively block out both overhead and setting sun while preserving views, so consider these factors when placing the sail.
Look around for solid points that can serve as anchor points for the sail, such as walls and fences. Sunshades typically have either three or four anchor points, so plan accordingly. Keep in mind that the sunshade should be positioned at a slope to ensure rain runs off. In some cases, it is necessary to insert large posts into the ground to serve as anchor points. Finally, measure the space in order to select an appropriately sized sunshade. It might also be wise to consider using several sunshades to create a dynamic visual effect and cover an entire veranda or seating area.
Colours and Textures
Sunshades come in a variety of colours and textures. The majority of contemporary shade sails feature durable, weather-resistant, and sun-resistant materials that do not fade over time. They also offer a measure of protection during the occasional rain. Homeowners can choose a sunshade based on the décor and colours in an outdoor space, or the advantages offered by a particular material. It should be noted that sunshades are not designed to withstand the weight of snow, so it is best to take the sunshade down and store it during the coldest months.
Gathering the tools for the job
Sunshades often come with turnbuckles and eye bolts to anchor the corners. After selecting a particular sunshade, confirm whether or not these key accessories come with the sunshade. In addition to turnbuckles and eye bolts, putting up a sunshade requires:
- A ladder
- A tape measure
- A crowbar
- A drill with bits that match the size of the eye bolts
If a project requires posts, a supply of water, quick-set concrete, and a large shovel are also necessary. Posts should be at least 3.6 metres in length to allow for adequate burial depth.
Positioning anchor points
Lay out the sunshade and place the turnbuckles at each corner of the sail. Select anchor points on walls and fences based on a distance that is 100 mm shorter than the endpoint of each turnbuckle to allow for tension.
Setting up posts
To create a post anchor, begin by digging a hole that is 900 mm deep. Fill it halfway with water, and then place the post in the hole, adding in the quick-set concrete. Make sure the post rests at a slight 10-degree lean to put enough tension on the sunshade. Even though the concrete should set within half an hour, the posts need to rest an entire day before the sunshade goes up so that the concrete has enough time to harden fully.
Putting up the sunshade
Once the post concrete sets, the next step is inserting the anchors. Use the drill and bits to create guide holes in the walls, fences, or posts that serve as the anchor points. Screw the eye hooks into these holes, making sure they are in far enough to provide a stable hold. Hook the sunshade onto the eyehooks to get the sunshade up in the air. Once the sunshade is up, tighten each turnbuckle a bit, increasing the tension on the sail evenly all around. Keep tightening the turnbuckles one by one until there is sufficient tension on the sunshade to hold it taut.
How to buy sunshades and supplies on eBay
Sunshades are sleek, stylish, and efficient shade solutions for outdoor spaces. With just a bit of elbow grease and the right supplies and tips, you can put up one of these elegant outdoor accessories in no time at all. Best of all, the sellers on eBay offer everything you need in one convenient place. Finding a product is easy. Begin by using the search bar found on any page to run a keyword search for the item. You can then review any item that looks appealing on the resulting list by clicking on its highlighted title and visiting its details page.