Your Custom Design Shade Sail
With a custom made shade sail, any variety of shapes and designs are possible. There is no need to limit yourself to basic shapes like squares and triangles. Your design can be any shape to fit into your space and provide the shade you need. Shade sails are highly versatile but there are some design limitations and practicalities to keep in mind.
Shade Sails vs. Waterproof Sails
Waterproof sails must be angled in order to allow water runoff. Water pooling on a sail can significantly damage the fabric and reduce the life of your waterproof sail. There are two main types of waterproof sail, PVC fabric, and shade fabric with a waterproof coating. For waterproof shade fabric, for every four meters in length, you should have one meter in height. And for PVC fabric, for every five meters in length, you’ll need one meter in height.
Waterproof sails are not always feasible because of the amount of pitch needed. Consider the lowest amount of clearance you need under your sail and if you can make up the extra height. If 100% waterproof sails aren’t required, remember that tightly woven shade fabrics can still provide an amount of rain protection.
So how will you actually put up your new shade sail? Once you have an idea for space and the design we can think about fixing points. You don’t need to fix your shade sail to free-standing posts. There is a range of options for mounting your shade sail off your roof or suitable wall.
Depending on the size and weight of your sail the types of fixing points you use will vary. For long-life and weather-resistant components ensure they are made of marine-grade stainless steel also known as 316-grade stainless steel. This heavy-duty quality material will resist rust and wear in any weather. The bigger the sail the more fixing points are also required. Refer to the table below for the recommended number of fixing points per edge meter.
|No. of Connection Points
||5 or more
||5 or more
||6 or more
If you are not able to use the recommended number of connection points it becomes even more important that you consider the size and strength of the posts and hardware you use.
Remember that your shade sail can still catch the wind like any other sail. On most shade sails, the design, fabric and connection points prevent any serious uplift. If you are planning a larger sail or have any concerns it’s always best to seek professional engineering advice.
We also recommend you check with your local council for any requirements they have. You may need planning permission, building approval or other council documentation. This usually depends on the size and location of your sail. Contact your local council for more information on the permissions you may need. You can also read our article on council permission for more general advice.
Once you’ve planned out your shade sail, it’s time to get your measurements together for your sail-maker. Draw a simple and clear diagram and label it with your edge measurements from fixing point to point around the sail. For most shade sails this diagram doesn’t need to be professionally drafted.
For sails with four or more fixing points Commercial Shade Sails also require diagonal measurements across the area of the shade sail. These diagonal measures are key to ensure our custom sails perfectly fit your space. We can use these to cross-check measurements and ensure the sail is exactly as designed. This means we are able to guarantee the fit. If your shade sail doesn’t fit after providing us with all requested measurements, we will remake the shade sail and resend it to you at no charge.