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How to Add Shade to Your Deck, Porch or Patio

There’s nothing like a sunny day that perks up your mood and invites you to get outside on your deck, porch or patio to enjoy it. But sometimes less is more, and you crave shade for relief from the hot summer sun.

When exploring how to add shade to your deck, porch or patio, there are options aplenty to create covered decks, covered porches and covered patios so you can get out of the sun and get the most out of your outdoor living area. A versatile variety of shade options can be added to existing decks, porches and patios as well as planned into all-new spaces. Options include full or partial coverage, offer a range of light control choices, and can be permanent, semi-permanent or temporary.

Here’s a list of our best shade ideas for your new or existing deck, porch or patio:

Permanent Shade Options

Built-in shade options for your deck, porch or patio are incorporated into both the design and the structure to offer one-of-a-kind looks that complement the style of your home and yard.

• Roof – Closed-roof covered decks, covered porches and covered patios offer maximum shade, while open-roof versions let you play with design and light control.
• Gazebo – Both shade and shelter, a gazebo can be built as part of your deck, porch or patio, or placed adjacent for bonus space.
• Cabana – Escape to the shade of a cool poolside retreat — even if you don’t have a pool.
• Privacy wall – A wall does double duty for shade relief. Choose from wood, brick, stone or metal, or get creative with a water wall or living wall of plants. Adjust your design to allow some light and air flow, or none at all.
• Pergola – Pergolas are a great permanent option for covered decks, covered porches and covered patios that allow light to filter through.
• Roof extension – Extend an existing roofline to give you additional shade.
• Tiki hut – A fun way to add shade for entertaining, a tiki hut’s thatched roof adds a tropical vibe to your outdoor living space.

Semi-Permanent Shade Options

Semi-permanent shade options are built or installed, and can be changed, updated or even removed without damaging the structural integrity of your deck, porch or patio.

• Awning – Roll out retractable awnings when they’re needed and put them away when they’re not. Available in a cornucopia of colors, sizes and styles, they’re easily replaced and can be removed depending where and how they’re installed.
• Pergola – Create partial shade for your deck or patio with a stylish custom pergola. Adjust the roof design for more or less sun control and plant climbing vines to fill the gaps.
• Sail shade – Add a splash of color and stretch one or more shades on ropes, hooks or posts where you need shade.
• Trellis – Plant a trellis with climbing vines to offer sun relief. Change plantings or remove the trellis altogether when seasons change.
• Trees – Mature and growing trees can strategically provide cool shade from around the perimeter or even within your deck or patio area.
• Arbor – Featuring a trellis with benches and planters, an arbor can be a permanent fixture or can be built with the option for future removal. Change its plantings to play with the amount of shade it provides.
• Shutters – Traditional, café or Bahama-style shutters are all great choices for sun control. Make sure they’re made for outdoor use.

Temporary Shade Options

These options offer shade that can be moved where and when you need it most — or even removed altogether.

• Freestanding gazebo – The ultimate DIY shade structure, freestanding gazebos come in a wide range of sizes and styles. Make sure you have a space for off-season storage if harsh weather is a concern.
• Pop-up canopy – Set it up when you need it, store it when you don’t.
• Cantilever umbrella – An offset umbrella can be adjusted to follow the sun’s path, and its base won’t get in your way.
• Planter trees – Create extra shade with small trees in decorative planters you can move to block or filter a rising or setting sun.
• Curtains – An easy DIY option in all kinds of colors, types and lengths, curtains give your deck, porch and patio shade as well as privacy. Use curtain weights or ties for better control when it’s breezy.
• Roll-up shades – Go custom or DIY with shades you can raise or lower to get the most sun relief. Many shades made for outdoor use are designed to allow airflow to keep you cooler.
• Privacy screen – Build or buy a freestanding screen to block sun as well as nosy neighbors. Choose one that will be durable outside, or store it to protect it from weather damage when not in use.

Whether you prefer the permanent shade options for covered decks, covered porches and covered patios, or you choose an option that gives you more flexibility, when you add shade to your outdoor living space you’re sure to adore your outdoors even more on the sunniest days.

At Archadeck, count on our design experts to help you customize your deck, porch or patio to your lifestyle and budget and create an outdoor living area that’s uniquely you. Our local owners use only premium products and trained, licensed contractors, and are backed by Archadeck’s exacting standards, professional code of conduct and three decades of proven experience as North America’s largest deck, porch and patio builder. Contact your local Archadeck today to get started.