Shade Sail Installation



Shade sails can be placed in different ways. You can place them horizontally for example, where every corner is placed at the same height. The problem with the horizontal placement is that it looks a little boring. Another option is to place them vertically. When placing them this way, they are mostly used as a privacy fence. The shade sail will catch a lot of wind this way, which could produce heavier loads. There is also a third option. Shade sails can be placed with some corners higher than others and some lower. An example of the last placement is the Hypar effect as can be seen on the image below. The advantage of this way of placement is that it is very appealing to the eyes. 

shade sails installation for sun shade

Before starting to install your shade sail, it is important to find the best location for it. There are multiple factors to take in account. The size of the sail, the strengths of the structure that will hold the anchor points, the direction of the sun, location of barbecues and the wind direction are all important things to consider.  Since the shade of the sail will move with the sun, it is important to look if you have enough shade in the spot where you want to place your shade sail.


Next is to look for suitable mounting points for the corners of the shade sail. A lot of the time you can use points like a pergola, a large tree or a fencepost. If there are not enough points that already exist, they will need to be installed. Allow some space between the corners of the shade sail and the mounting points. This is necessary because there is room needed for mounting hardware, tension of the sale and material stretch. A space of 10% of the shade sail lengths should be enough.


So keep in mind that some countries or cities require a permit to install a shade sail. This should be checked with the local authorities.


Fixing accessories

Shade sails can be secured with a wide range of fixing accessories. You will first need an anchor. Here you can use a pad eye, eye lag screw or an eyebolt with a nut for example. Attached to the anchor is a link. For links there are also multiple possibilities like turnbuckles or snap hooks. If needed you can also use an extension like a chain. This is not always necessary.

Attaching your shade sail to a fascia is a very recommended. A fascia is used to connect overhangs of rafters or trusses. Using this will provide for more strengths and stability.


Support Post

If you need to use additional posts, it is important to use a post that is strong enough. You can choose between a steel post or wooden post. You need to make sure that the size of the post is good enough to support the shade sail. For the length you need to consider that ½ of the length above the surface is placed in the ground.


The minimum that should be used:

  • 4 inch steel pipe with a schedule 4
  • 6x6 inch treated softwood
  • 6x6 inch hardwood of durability class 1

Footing of post

The footing for either a wooden or steel post is important. First you should place gravel on the base of the hole. When using a steel post, there is a small layer of concrete needed on top of the gravel. After these steps are completed, it is time to insert the post with bolts to hold the post down. Next you can pour in the concrete.


For the concrete you should follow the instructions of the manufacturer. Pour the concrete in and make sure that there are no empty spaces. For better water drainage it is recommended to make the concrete service sloping. Let the posts set in the concrete for at least 48 hours.



Installing the shade sail

When connecting the fixing accessories, make sure that they face the middle of the sale and are tightly secured. Next connect the corners of the sales to the fixing accessories. A good installed sale will have few to no wrinkles and has a good tension. If it is too difficult to connect the sale, you can use a rope or wire cable as a pull.


Be careful that there is not too much tension. Only do it by hand and do not use machines to set the right tension. It is possible that you will have to re-tension the sail after some time. This is because the material can stretch after some time.



Inspect regularly if everything is still in good shape. Also make sure that no chemicals get on the sale, because these can hurt the shade sail and make them break faster. It is a bad idea to barbeque under a sail. This is because of the fire danger but also to maintain the strength of the shade sail.


For the cleaning of the shade sale, it is recommended to use a solution of mild detergent and water. Do not start scrubbing with force but instead use a sponge or very soft brush. After letting the solution stand for some minutes, just rinse it thoroughly off with clean water. If you want more information about shade sails in or around Marbella, please contact us!