When the sun beats down relentlessly from a blue, cloudless sky, all you want is a nice patch of shade.
No need to depend on the perfect grove of trees — you can build your own shade.
Shade structures come in several varieties, from simple to more complex.
Gazebo, pergola, arbor, pool house, etc. — let’s take a look at the options, and what makes these outdoor shade structures different from each other.
Pour yourself an icy lemonade, relax and plan your shade strategy — while it’s still hot outside.
Traditionally built in a hexagon shape, they have a roof, but are open on all sides.
Looking for a place of peaceful respite where you can get away from it all, yet still be close to home? Gazebos are a great choice.
Retreat to your shady gazebo with a cold drink and a good book. Watch the sunset from your porch with a glass of wine. String twinkling white lights around it and it becomes a festive spot for evening entertaining.
Gazebos are also popular structures for commercial properties — golf courses, resorts, hotels, parks and recreation departments. Guests love these charming structures. And they’re perfect for outdoor events, from small concerts to weddings.
One more perk: you can screen the sides of a gazebo for bug-free relaxing.
This popular garden structure is made of vertical posts or pillars that support cross-beams and sometimes sturdy open lattice. The pillars and beams offer a perfect place to train pretty vines that offer dappled shade overhead.
Whether you want a shaded walkway or a sitting area, pergolas provide a beautiful, romantic feel to your outdoor space. They offer protection from the harsh sun while still allowing a nice breeze to drift through.
A pergola is a great spot for entertaining. If you want to entertain outside but want to stay close to your kitchen, you can plan your pergola for right next to your house. Add comfy outdoor furniture underneath and — boom — you have an extra outdoor room.
Pergolas are lovely on their own, but integrate yours with other hardscape elements, and you’ll use it even more.
Consider a pergola as part of your outdoor kitchen. Construct it next to the swimming pool or use it to shelter a home spa. There’s lots of versatility here.
Light it up at night with strings of bistro lights for a festive feel and extend its use long into the night.
The main difference between a pergola and an arbor is in the structure. While pergolas use posts to create a framework for the overhanging roof, arbors use trellises or lattice to form more of a tunnel.
The lattice allows for an assortment of different designs and also provides a great place to grow climbing plants, which boosts the shade.
Arbors are a great idea for walkways, as they can be extended in a rectangular shape to offer shade from the sun.
They can also be built to sit on decks or patios as a covered dining, entertaining or relaxing area.
Arbors are popular structures for commercial properties.
They’re a great way to enclose a service bar for beverages at restaurants that serve outdoors.
The term patio cover is often used interchangeably with pergola, but unlike a pergola, which can be freestanding, patio covers are typically attached to your home.
This patio shade structure may have an open or solid roof. Choose a solid roof, and it provides shelter from a summer cloudburst, as well as the hot sun.
A pool house is a covered, enclosed structure near the swimming pool that can store your pool equipment and accessories or offer a mini retreat for lounging and entertaining.
Include a sauna, bar, lounge area, changing room, showers and more. The possibilities are endless. You could even use it as a guest house. But you may want to settle in there yourself.
Your easiest, portable shade structure option yet: pop up a patio umbrella. Available in a myriad of colors, shapes and sizes, umbrellas can fit through a hole in the middle of your patio table, or sit offset, in a stand. No muss, no fuss. Just shade.
Opt for a modern, more temporary look with shade sails, which come in a variety of abstract shapes and are stretched taut between poles or structures to provide artful shade to any outdoor space. The fabric shade structure can be attached to the wall of a house or to wooden or metal posts set in concrete in the ground.
Seek Shade With Neave’s Outdoor Shade Structures
The expert craftsmen at Neave Carpentry can design and construct a custom shade structure to fit your property and your lifestyle.
When your structure needs maintenance, we can help with that, too, including treating the wood to protect it from pest infestation and the elements.
Neave Landscaping’s team of plant experts can help you figure out the vines and plants to add the perfect finishing touch to your arbor, pergola or gazebo.
If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800. Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.
Whatever your shade structure needs, Neave Carpentry has got you covered. Literally.
Image: Shade sails