Deck Canopies: Made In the Shade

The simple fact that these canopy structures exist speaks to the popularity of an outdoor living approach.  Deck canopies are nothing more than a way to have shade in a specific area of your deck or patio space.  And, for this reason, they are often referred to as patio canopies.  They come in a variety of styles and various materials.  One of the most popular is the extending, roller style shade.  These popular ones are called roll up awnings, but without the swing arm mechanism.

The most popular brand of these types of canopies is the Shade Tree.  What this looks like is a combination of a pergola and a roller awning.  There are individual panels that can be opened or closed to allow for a specific amount of shade.  They simply pull out like you would do with a roller blind in a window.  Once opened, they just lock into place until released.

These Australian style shade sails make great canopy cover for a deck or patio.

Another type of deck canopy is the ‘one-piece’ variety.  Not necessarily better or worse, this style is used to provide a more consistent type of shade.  While they aren’t completely permanent by any means, they are a bit more tricky to move around.  For this reason, something like the more flexible Shade Tree is a great option.  However, with this one-piece canopy cover, you can attach patio lights or other types of deck lights that could give you a whole new dimension to your patio.

Because some decking designs are only several inches to a few feet off the ground, they may blend in with a garden space.  If this is the case, then the term garden canopy may be used to describe this type of shade.  Again, it really doesn’t change what it is, just the name to describe where it is being used.  Some of these can describe a slightly less substantial shade canopy though.  In other words, there are fairly inexpensive ($100-150 USD) canopies that are made of vinyl or polyester fabrics that are temporary in nature.  These are what you might find at local farmer’s markets or other outdoor fairs.  We’ve  all seen these ‘pop-up’ canopies.  While they are quite handy and durable, using them for your deck or patio as something more permanent is a bit less desirable of a look.
If you’re looking for a gazebo style, then the following options may be a perfect match for your needs. You can click the pictures or descriptions and be taken to Amazon to review further or purchase directly there.

This is more of an elegant version of a simple deck canopy. You can see how easily it can be ‘dressed up’ to create more ambiance.
The sturdy powder-coated steel frame of this 10 x 10-foot shade canopy with a 106-inch center height features easy-release buttons that don’t pinch fingers and ensure quick and easy set-up without tools. Slanted legs increase stability, and 8 mm heavy steel nail stakes anchor the canopy securely. Made of heavy-duty, 210-D polyester, the water-repellent canopy is enhanced with a special fade- and UV-resistant coating to ensure durability. Dual stabilizer arms in each corner provide added eave support, along with “batwings” and guyouts for added stability in windy conditions. For storage and transport, the canopy packs in an expandable wheeled duffel bag and weighs 36 pounds.
The Sport Series Canopies offer slanted legs for stability. The frame is constructed of tubular steel with high performance synthetic joint components and is bonded with DuPont thermoset baked on powder coating to prevent chipping, peeling, rust and corrosion. The legs are four-point adjustable for height. The polyester fabric cover is treated inside and out with fade blockers, anti-aging and anti-fungal agents. The polyurethane inside lining is double stitched and seam sealed with waterproof tape for optimal water resistance and drip-free seams. Includes: Full valance fitted cover, Temporary spike anchors, Wheeled storage bag.
The Swiss Gear Smart Shade 10- by 10-Foot Screenhouse is great for areas where insects are more of a concern. The panels also provide for more shading while still allowing for airflow.

While your neighbors are probably not going to be judging you, it will still be a better and more sustainable patio structure to go with something that is made to be more permanently placed outdoors.  The materials and fabrics that make up these durable canopies have improved over the years.  The current fabrics are resistant to damage from UV rays and weather the other elements well.  If you do decide to go with the retractable patio awning style canopy like the Shade Tree, you will also be able to benefit by having the ability to close or retract your canopy awnings for extended periods of non-use time.  In the desert southwest, this can help you avoid UV degradation of your canopy (even with the UV-resistant fabrics, the sun eventually wins the war). In other climates, where high winds and heavy snow can ruin an awning canopy, this retractable feature is very important. What ever style you choose, you’ll be happy to have your new deck canopies for your next patio season.

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