Five red flags not to ignore

Five red flags not to ignore

 Jamie Howard      In

Keep an eye out for these red flags when sourcing a domestic or commercial shade sail provider.

Does not produce the entire shade structure. A supplier who takes care of everything from the design, fabric, steelwork, manufacturing, install and support can do a much better job with overall quality control and provide a better price due to production efficiencies and the elimination of the middleman.

Working with a commercial or domestic shade structure provider who did not build the sail or frame can be risky. If something goes wrong, it is easy for the installer to avoid sorting the problem out nd pass the buck to the business that built the shade sail or structure. The installer does not have much control over how an outsourced sail or steelwork is built, or have the ability to keep an eye on the materials used and the quality of the workmanship. It’s also not good if they have been cutting corners or failing to take care of the finer details.

Lack of scale and proven commercial experience. This includes the investment in hi-tech equipment such as computerised plotter cutters and powerful radio frequency radio welders, the development of safe and efficient installation systems, and Workcover compliance. Look for a company with proven domestic and/or commercial shade structure experience and the skills and resources to deliver your job on time and within the budget.

No testimonies or website. If you only have their word and a cell phone contact, you could be setting yourself up for trouble. Look for at least a website and be wary of anyone who cannot provide written evidence of happy customers.

Making decisions purely on price. Of course, you want a good deal, but a cheaper price can also mean cheaper unproven materials, inexperienced install processes, underwhelming design, poor finishing details, and a vague warranty. Think of the real cost in terms of maximising the working life of your shade sail and enhancing the value of your property.

Not comparing apples with apples. As you can see, not all sails are created equal. You want a beautiful result that enhances the value of your property as you will be looking at it every day. Be mindful of how you compare quotes. A quote for a shade solution that uses cheap imported fabric compared to another with high-spec European or Australian fabric and fittings will vary in price, durability and cost you more in the long run.

The Versatile Structures team specialises in custom design shade solutions so send us an email or give us a call on 07 3271 4519.


  • 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.