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StonehengeBNB

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We are considering how to improve our outdoor deck areas and are wondering whether to go with a very large cantilever/offset patio umbrella or whether I should build a wooden frame which can be covered with a canvas roof in Summer and left open as a trellis in Winter. Our back garden is long and narrow, so I'm not sure about the visual impact of such a large "structure" in the garden. Thoughts?
 

egoodell

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We plan to build outside big square deck areas and put out umbrellas and chairs. It's tough to comment when I'm not sure what the area you're talking about looks like or how large it is. The one thing I like about the large flat decks is that we can change what we put on them.
A larger structure would not be adjustable. But it sounds pretty, and something that you could grow vines up..I would be torn between the two. What are the difference in cost and maintenance?
RIki
 

Joey Camb

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we are looking at the possibility of (don't know what they are called) sort of large blinds that go outwards (may be sun shades.awnings) they can be wound in or out as you would like so can provide shelter or shelter from the sun whatever you need. We are doing block paving round our back door area (ie mini patio) did think about decking but due to our weather would get slimy in the winter. Depends on your climate and level of folage. Decking with nice chairs would be nice. We have a bit of patio at the front so I am going to get a chair and table set for next summer only draw back is we are in a town center location right on the street so we would have to bring them in at night.
 

Proud Texan

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Consider your weather patterns and how well any planned structure will hold up under them. Is it windy in your area? If so, are you creating a giant sail that will uproot itself during the first thunderstorm?
If your structure will be supporting vines or other growth, make sure that you are using materials that will hold up in the long term. Remember that pressure treated wood will warp and that cedar is only moisture resistant and not waterproof.
We are about to have our deck covered because we lost the tree that was shading it last spring. I will probably be using 6 x 6 cedar for the corner post with cedar for the rest of the structure. We're going to have a corrugated roof with a large beam down the middle with an outdoor ceiling fan. I'm going to use 3" recessed lights around the outer perimeter, which will provide a soft unobtrusive lighting.
 

JBloggs

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One day you little beauty *Aussie speak for right on! I was going to suggest sails, but they haven't really taken off around here.
 

egoodell

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One day you little beauty *Aussie speak for right on! I was going to suggest sails, but they haven't really taken off around here..
Those sails look cool! I could see them on my outside decks in front of the vineyard.....!
RIki
 

JBloggs

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Sails are great as there is airflow. My Dad built on a deck and it is always hotter in the shade underneath the roof he built over part of it than sitting right out in the hot sun.
 

StonehengeBNB

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We can't use retractable awnings because our deck is freestanding. :-( If it was next to the house, I'd do something like that. The one thing I am certain of is that some sort of shade needs to be provided for any outdoor seating that is used in the daylight. There are so many lovely restaurants with outdoor seating here that have to be avoided before dusk so that one does not die of sun stroke. ;-)
 

Proud Texan

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Sails are great as there is airflow. My Dad built on a deck and it is always hotter in the shade underneath the roof he built over part of it than sitting right out in the hot sun..
Joey Bloggs said:
Sails are great as there is airflow. My Dad built on a deck and it is always hotter in the shade underneath the roof he built over part of it than sitting right out in the hot sun.
How do they hold up to strong winds? We get Spring storms that can sometimes bring 70-80 mph gusts of wind. We definitely have to bring in our patio umbrellas!
 

One Day

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Sails are great as there is airflow. My Dad built on a deck and it is always hotter in the shade underneath the roof he built over part of it than sitting right out in the hot sun..
Joey Bloggs said:
Sails are great as there is airflow. My Dad built on a deck and it is always hotter in the shade underneath the roof he built over part of it than sitting right out in the hot sun.
How do they hold up to strong winds? We get Spring storms that can sometimes bring 70-80 mph gusts of wind. We definitely have to bring in our patio umbrellas!
.
Proud Texan said:
Joey Bloggs said:
Sails are great as there is airflow. My Dad built on a deck and it is always hotter in the shade underneath the roof he built over part of it than sitting right out in the hot sun.
How do they hold up to strong winds? We get Spring storms that can sometimes bring 70-80 mph gusts of wind. We definitely have to bring in our patio umbrellas!
What I would do.........for quick up and down........rig it with a pully at top of poles or what ever, and ropes.......caribener to connect sail to the rope
 

Tom

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From the perspective of some past disasters ...
Do be aware of wind. It will gust, particularly before a T-storm. We had a ($$$) retractable awning that got bent by the wind and we ended up with a wood frame and steel cables that could guide and restrain the awning when it went out. Double the effort (and $$$), but still retractable.
Rain! Awning or other cloth cover may look like it will be pitched to drain, but as the fabric ages a bit, the weight of the first rain may make it sag, collecting water, until your awning is a bulging bag of 100's of gallons. If all you want is a bit of shade, give serious consideration to using nursery shade cloth: tough mesh available in black or dark green. Lets in some light and air, and of course lets the rain through so you don't need to worry as much about how it is pitched and anchored. Can be custom fabricated with a reinforcing rope at edge and grommets. Not expensive.
Dirt. Any light colored fabric awning (e.g. sunbrella) or shade cloth show leaves, etc. that collect up above. Even a little looks bad with the sun behind it. Let it sit wet and it will glue to the fabric. If you have trees around, give thought to how you will clean it. With shade cloth, you can use a leaf blower from below, with modest success and makes an amusing show.
 

Proud Texan

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From the perspective of some past disasters ...
Do be aware of wind. It will gust, particularly before a T-storm. We had a ($$$) retractable awning that got bent by the wind and we ended up with a wood frame and steel cables that could guide and restrain the awning when it went out. Double the effort (and $$$), but still retractable.
Rain! Awning or other cloth cover may look like it will be pitched to drain, but as the fabric ages a bit, the weight of the first rain may make it sag, collecting water, until your awning is a bulging bag of 100's of gallons. If all you want is a bit of shade, give serious consideration to using nursery shade cloth: tough mesh available in black or dark green. Lets in some light and air, and of course lets the rain through so you don't need to worry as much about how it is pitched and anchored. Can be custom fabricated with a reinforcing rope at edge and grommets. Not expensive.
Dirt. Any light colored fabric awning (e.g. sunbrella) or shade cloth show leaves, etc. that collect up above. Even a little looks bad with the sun behind it. Let it sit wet and it will glue to the fabric. If you have trees around, give thought to how you will clean it. With shade cloth, you can use a leaf blower from below, with modest success and makes an amusing show..
Depending on the type of fabric used, it could also be subject to mildew.
 

Suzie Q

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Hubby was bound and determined to have umbrellas on our large and open terrace. Having known what wind can do to cloth, I was dead set against it. "I don't know what I'm talking about." We took the first one back and the salesman informed us the opening at the top of the umbrella was for the wind to sail through, so therefore the umbrella would stay intact. WRONG!!! Not on OUR hill!
So, if your conditions are anything like ours, I'd go for something else. Even now hubby is considering a trellis to give each guest privacy while they are on the loungers out there.
 
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