commercial umbrella structure installed by Versatile Structures Author: Jamie Howard

Custom Shade Structures: Business Value & Trends


In the bustling world of commerce, every detail counts. From the aesthetic appeal of storefronts to the comfort of outdoor seating areas, businesses are constantly seeking ways to enhance their spaces to attract and retain customers. One often overlooked yet crucial aspect is the implementation of shade structures. These not only provide relief from the harsh sun but also contribute to the overall ambiance and functionality of commercial spaces. In this article, we delve into the customization trends and value of commercial shade structures, focusing on how businesses can tailor these solutions to their specific needs.

The Importance of Customization in Commercial Shade Structures

When it comes to commercial spaces, one size does not fit all. Each business has unique requirements and aesthetics that demand tailor-made solutions. This is where customization plays a pivotal role in the design and installation of shade structures. From size and shape to material and colour, every aspect can be customized to align with the brand identity and functional needs of the business.

Which Side of the Shade Cloth Faces the Sun?

Understanding the dynamics of shade cloth orientation is essential for maximizing its effectiveness. In commercial applications, where durability and performance are paramount, ensuring proper installation is crucial. Typically, the smooth, shiny side of the shade cloth faces upwards to reflect sunlight, while the textured, dull side faces downwards to absorb heat and facilitate airflow. This configuration not only provides optimal shade but also minimizes heat buildup, creating a comfortable environment for customers and employees alike.

How to Block the Western Sun?

In many regions, the afternoon sun can be particularly harsh, posing a challenge for businesses with west-facing entrances or outdoor seating areas. Customized shade structures offer an effective solution to mitigate this issue. By strategically positioning shade sails, awnings, or pergolas, businesses can block the western sun without compromising on aesthetics. Adjustable features such as retractable canopies or tilt mechanisms further enhance flexibility, allowing for precise sun control throughout the day.

The Value of Having a Network of Suppliers

Behind every successful shade structure project lies a network of reliable suppliers and partners. For businesses, establishing strong relationships with reputable suppliers is invaluable. From high-quality materials to expert craftsmanship, a trusted supplier network ensures consistency and reliability in every aspect of the project. Moreover, working closely with suppliers enables businesses to stay informed about the latest innovations and trends in shade structure design and technology, empowering them to make informed decisions that align with their goals and budget.


In the competitive landscape of commercial spaces, attention to detail can make all the difference. Customized shade structures not only provide practical benefits such as sun protection and enhanced comfort but also serve as a powerful tool for branding and differentiation. By harnessing the flexibility and expertise of experienced shade structure manufacturers and installers, businesses can create inviting and functional environments that leave a lasting impression on customers while optimizing operational efficiency. In today’s dynamic business world, investing in tailored shade solutions is not just a choice but a strategic imperative for success.


  • Versatile Structures Headshots

    Jamie Howard - Director

    Co-founder and Director Jamie has been hands-on in the shade and steel industry since leaving school. With over 15 years’ experience in shade, membrane and steel projects, Jamie is excited about the design opportunities shade structures offer in the commercial and industrial sectors. Jamie’s extensive design skills give him a competitive edge in situations with technical design complexity. He has won two personal industry awards for his designs, alongside many company-won awards.