An outdoor patio or deck won't be an enjoyable place to relax and entertain if it's under a blazing hot sun—or the watchful eyes of your neighbours! After you pour concrete, set down blocks for a patio, or have a wood deck installed, you still want to think about adding some shade and privacy to the space so it will be comfortable and relaxing. Note a few pros and cons of various ways of doing this, so you can make the best choice for your property and have an outdoor space you're sure to love for years to come.

Shade sails

Shade sails have the advantage of allowing you to tilt them in different directions by pulling and adjusting cords, just as you would actual sails on a boat. You can then adjust them as the sun moves across the sky, or if you need protection from a light rain. They can add a bit of colour and style to your outdoor space and look more natural and rustic than an aluminium awning. However, you may not be able to tilt shade sails down enough to give you some privacy from neighbours, and they may not work to insulate your space from sound.


An awning attached to the home can provide lots of shade and protection from a light rain; however, as with shade sails, an awning may not afford much privacy. A metal awning may interfere with the overall style of your home, and the frame needed for a cloth retractable awning may also seem out of place when the awning is closed.  Metal awnings can also be somewhat noisy during storms, and cloth awnings may need consistent cleaning and repair from tears and other such damage.

Outdoor blinds and shutters

A good way to add privacy and sun protection in your outdoor space is to have upright posts installed, and then add outdoor blinds and shutters. These features add the privacy that is often missing from other forms of sun protection and also allow for shade along the sides of your patio or deck, rather than just the top. Outdoor blinds or shutters give you more control over the shade and privacy they offer, as you can adjust each blind or shade individually. Noise reduction blinds can also block out sounds from nearby traffic or barking dogs and also help insulate your own noise if you tend to listen to your radio outside or entertain a number of guests.