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Some events are more fun outside! True the planning can be a little trickier, when you consider the ever changing weather. Canopies and shade sails at outdoor events or locations can provide shade cover, cover from drizzles, aesthetic appeal, or a “marketplace” or festival look to your events. I’m Melissa from NorthlineExpress here to share some tips for shading your area or event with canopies or shade sails.

I’ll start first with cover for your outdoor areas. Whether you are looking for protection from scorching sun or to be able to enjoy your patio even in the rain there is a solution with various canopies. If you are looking for a permanent shade source you could choose a garden canopy or a shade sail. Both will provide protection from up to 85% of the sun’s harmful UV rays. While there are a lot of similarities there are also a few differences that should be considered before you choose which is best for you.

If you are looking for a more permanent source of shade I recommend the shade sail. Shade sails are the most versatile because you can get different shapes and sizes to create a unique shade source specifically for your area. They are also easy to take up and down without having to deal with the canopies frame. Shade sails also are anchored better and can be left up in windy conditions where canopies tend to become kites and blow away. Shade sails will not be waterproof but they are able to be left up in rain without having to worry about the canopy top being damaged by water pooling on the cover. The innovative mesh material of shade sails allows the water to weep through rather than pool and weigh it down.

If you are looking for shade that will be temporary or portable the increasingly popular “ez-up” style canopy is recommended. They can be put up at events and be anchored without permanent anchoring systems. Shade sails can be portable shade sources as well but they will not be as convenient because they will need 3-4 anchoring points because they do not have their own frames.

Make sure that you consider the size of your event when choosing your canopy. The standard 10’ x 10’ canopies are pretty versatile and work great for festivals or providing shade or rain protection for contractors and small patio areas, but can get crowded quickly with too many guests. You can follow these size guidelines to make sure that you are allowing for enough space for your event. If you are having an even with speech style seating you want to allow for 5-6 square feet per chair. If your event is more of a sit down meal style even allow 12 square feet per person. Following these guidelines will provide a comfortable amount of room for your guests. Also remember, it is always best to purchase a bit bigger than you plan for to cover unexpected guests in addition to other unforeseen needs.

There are also large carports and garage type canopies that will allow you to have areas for extra storage. While they will not be as sturdy as a stick built garage they are able to provide excellent protection for boats, and vehicles as well are extra storage when used with side walls.

I hope that you found this information helpful for choosing your shade source for your outdoor events or patio area. If you still have questions about choosing a canopy or shade sail that will work for you give us a call at 866-667-8454. At NorthlineExpress, home of the “Buy and Try” satisfaction guarantee, we’re always happy to help!