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Selecting Garden Shades and Shelters

Outdoor shelters are often the last thing considered when building a new home. It is not until we're entertaining outside when it begins to rain, or grows exceedingly hot that we realise their importance. Despite the forever changeable weather patterns, we also often experience growing pressure on outdoor space. We often use the garden as an extra room in the house. This is why being able to manipulate shade and shelter is becoming increasingly important to home owners.

Your shade and shelters in your garden can make a great difference to how it looks and feels. Trees and vines were once used on pergolas to do this job. In our present day we have a variety of different man-made structures such as awnings and shade sails and more fashionable overhead louvers are also available. Factors that come in to play when choosing your shades or shelter are design materials as well as your budget.

Here are some options for you to consider:


Timber Pergolas

Depending on the type of timber you wish to use, the cost of these can vary significantly. Natural timber can balance out man-made materials within your garden. Well designed timber pergolas will also add a sculptural element to your home. It it also important to remember that timber is quite a heavy material therefore it requires foundations and skilled labour to look the part and may also require re-staining or repainting on a regular basis. 

Aluminium Louvers 

Louvers can be electronically controlled, hand operated or fixed, becoming quite common in many contemporary gardens. Aluminium louvers look decadent while allowing you to control sun, shade, light, ventilation and rain to suit you. Automatic systems are easily used and versatile however can be one of the more expensive shade/shelter options. Aluminium louvers are light weight therefore do not require heavy supports much like the timber pergolas. 

Electronic Blinds

Retractable blinds can control the amount of sunlight that can penetrate your glazed canopy, which will sit over your outdoor living area. These glare blinds will suit both contemporary and traditional shade structures. Electronic blinds are able to be easily changed within all weather conditions whilst reducing any UV damage. These blinds are quite expensive and require ongoing maintenance. 

Corrugated Metal

A solid corrugated metal shade is ideal for warmer climates where the heat can be quite severe for most of the year. The corrugated metals deliver a rustic simplicity and goes hand in hand with subtropical or rural gardens. The corrugated metal can be found quite cheap and easy to build with. Colder areas where light can be valuable are not the ideal areas for corrugated metal shades and shelters.


In gardens where pergolas and more solid structures are not available, awnings, shade sails and canopies are becoming increasingly popular. Their size and flexibility means they are able to protect large areas of outdoor spaces, including sandpits for the kids and patios. Awnings are able to attract mould and stains therefore they are not suitable for overly windy locations.


These are a few of the most popular shade/shelter options. It is important to consider the pros and cons and weather conditions before making your final decision. To chat more about your build or to discuss adding an outdoor area to your existing home, contact us today! 






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