The Best Backyard Shade Structures

 In Backyard Design, Backyard Living, Outdoor Patio

Providing shade in your backyard is essential to blocking out the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. There’s nothing better than sitting outside in the shade on your patio after a long summer day. Patio and deck shade provides protection against the sun’s intense rays. Here are a few shade structures that will give you a little relief in your backyard this summer.

Utilize Umbrellas for Ample Backyard Shade

Patio umbrellas are an easy way to provide shade in your backyard. These umbrellas are held upright by a pole at the center, and are typically placed in the center of a patio table. After purchasing one, make sure that your table has enough weight to anchor and support the umbrella.

Another umbrella option is an offset umbrella. Supported by a freestanding pole, an offset umbrella can provide all-day shade for your patio and patio furniture. You can purchase patio umbrellas and offset umbrellas at home improvement stores, like Lowe’s or Home Depot, or at stores like Walmart or Target.

Buy More Permanent Backyard Shade Structures

As backyard experts, the Shoreline Pools team believes that these options make excellent shade structures.


If your home has a large backyard and great views, a gazebo is a great shade option for you. A gazebo is an oval or octagonal structure that has unobstructed 360-degree views, allowing you to see your whole backyard while you sit in the shade.


Pergolas are a simpler permanent shade structure. They can easily blend into your backyard design and allow for some warmth to poke through. Pergolas also offer an opportunity for outside décor: add in perennial vines, roses, and other climbing plants for additional floral accents. For additional shade and rain protection, you can get a pergola cover, which you can clip in to cover the slat-roof of the pergola.

Permanent Roof Structures

Whether freestanding or an extension of your house, permanent roof structures can give you the shade you seek. While a permanent roof structure can cost you a pretty penny, they are sturdy, have great longevity, and can act as a yearlong extension of your home.

Retractable Awnings

Awnings attach to an existing structure, like a house, garage, or wall, and provide coverage for decks and patios. Available in a multitude of colors and styles, you’ll be able to find one that perfectly fits your backyard’s aesthetic. You can even buy newer, retractable awnings that can be easily adjusted and detached.

Let Plants & Shrubs Give Your Backyard Shade

If you’re not interested in formal shade structures, plants can provide you with the shade protection you’re looking for. Shade trees, like maples or oaks, are a great way to manipulate greenery in this way. When planting shade trees, be sure to plant them in the right spot. Find out how tall it will grow, and plan accordingly. Be mindful of sidewalks, patios, and power lines: no matter the location, be sure that in the future, as the tree continues to grow larger, that you will still enjoy where you put it.

As mentioned earlier, vining plants can provide floral accents; however, they can also provide you with additional shade. If you don’t want to invest in a pergola, you can utilize twine and other ropes running from your deck to your roof to plant these vining plants. Good choices for vining plants are morning glories, black-eyed Susan, or clematis.

Additional Options for Backyard Shade Structures

A shade sail, much like an umbrella, is an inexpensive and quick-to-set-up option. Shade sails resemble sails and are held in place with cables, rope, twine, or locking clips that are fastened to nearby trees, the side of the house, or poles in your backyard. With different sizing available, you can get one that will cover your entire patio or deck, or a smaller area if so desired. You can also obtain shade sails with waterproof fabrics angle them so that the rain will not disturb the structures.

Outdoor curtains, besides being decorative, can provide you with privacy and shade. While they won’t hide you from the sun when it’s high in the sky, they can shield you from the early morning and afternoon sun. You can hang outdoor curtains on porches, or decks.

By utilizing shade structures like these in your backyard, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy your afternoon out of the sun. Need help completing your ideal backyard? Contact Shoreline Pools today for help perfecting your outdoor space! Dial (203) 357-1544 to speak with the backyard specialists at Shoreline Pools. Don’t forget to subscribe to Shoreline Pools on HOUZZ for more innovative backyard shade structure ideas.

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