Looking to spend more time outside this season, but the blazing heat is keeping you indoors? There are plenty of ways to get some shade while enjoying the beautiful St. Louis summer weather. Don’t let the fear of sunburn stop you from enjoying your backyard.
Patio Covering Ideas: Freestanding
Freestanding structures like pergolas, pavilions, and gazebos are perfect for large outdoor gatherings. While these structures do cost more than other shade solutions, they are also built-in, permanent fixtures in your outdoor space. They will need a bit of seasonal maintenance, but they are incredibly hardy, and you’ll never have to worry about them blowing away on a windy day.
Pergolas and pavilions are similar in design and share many features, including four structural support posts and built-in foundations. But where they differ is their roof – or lack thereof. A pergola is covered by wooden cross-beams or sturdy latticework. This garden feature helps to keep the worst of the midday sun away while still letting the light peek through.
The beauty of a pergola is its ability to host plant life. Many homeowners will train climbing vines or other leafy growth through the lattice or around the supporting beams, giving it a lush natural elegance.
The greenery provides additional shade, but it also offers extra privacy and an incredible ambiance for any who shelter beneath it. Its rich canopy of oxygen helps to cultivate the soothing atmosphere of a secluded garden.
Of course, some homeowners prefer the sleek and streamlined look of a bare wooden pergola, but there’s just something beautiful about a pergola draped in leaves and flowers.
Pavilions are freestanding structures and are often made of wood. Unlike pergolas, they feature a gabled roof with full coverage. They are perfect for beating the worst of the summer heat and keeping out of the rain during the wet season. Unlike pergolas, pavilions can be enjoyed year-round, which makes them the obvious choice for some homeowners.
Gazebos are structurally very similar to pavilions, but they are often self-contained. They typically feature built-in flooring, full-coverage roofs, and are fenced in with low railings. Because they tend to be round (or round-ish), gazebos often have turreted roofs, giving them an elegant, even ornamental appearance.
Pavilions and gazebos are rooted to the ground, making them ideal for year-round enjoyment. However, many vendors offer pavilion and gazebo-type structures that can be torn down and set wherever and whenever you need them.
Many such options come with adjustable screens to protect their inhabitants from the sun. They also ring in at a far less substantial price tag than their wooden counterparts.
Supported Patio Covers
If you prefer temporary structures that can be packed away for the winter, or are looking for more affordable shade solutions, there are plenty of stylish options. You can accentuate your backyard with frame-supported structures like shade sails and lattice walls.
Shade sails are a sweet and simple solution, and appropriate for any backyard. The best thing about them is that they are extremely low maintenance and easy to set up. They are essentially a large piece of fabric stretched between supports. By installing support beams parallel to your home and a few hooks into the side of your house, you can string up a shade sail in your own backyard. They can also often be lowered or tightened to account for the time of day.
A few simple wooden frames supporting lattice boards provide a surprisingly elegant solution for shade-seekers. Lattice walls can be freestanding or incorporated into other areas of your patio, but they look just as lovely as a unique feature. For those of you on a budget, use a few wooden beams to create ground trusses, and you’ll have a simple support system for your lattice wall. Like a stripped-down version of a pergola, these frames can play host to vines and other plant life of your choosing.
While lattice walls aren’t very effective in protecting from the overhead midday sun, they’re perfect for shielding backyard dwellers from the setting sun. The rays of dusk shining through a wall of greenery make a lovely backdrop for an evening outdoors.
We Cast No Shade
No matter how you choose to accessorize your patio for sun-protection, the design team at McDermott is always happy to help you with selection and installation. We’ve got you covered! Reach out today, and let’s get started.