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Five top tips to identify a quality shade structure

Five top tips to identify a quality shade structure

 Jamie Howard      In

Like so many things, the quality of a shade structure lies in the details. Here are our top five quality indicators:

CRAFTMANSHIP – A domestic or commercial shade sail consists of 3 elements: the shade cloth, the edging and the corners. You will identify a quality shade by its high-quality fabric that usually has a life span of up to 15 years, the double locking stitching using robust thread that does not deteriorate from exposure to elements and UV radiation and good quality craftmanship.

DESIGN AND EXPERTISE – An expert shade supplier offers a complete end to end design, construct, management, and installation service that cover all areas of the project, from functionality consideration, initial design concepts, site specific requirements and shading efficiencies, wind regions, engineering, building approvals, structurally sound installations, as well as the commissioning of electrical aspects. The shade sail will not, sag, droop, flap about or wear out quickly and it will provide shade or rain protection to the right area (yep, the lack of that happens). Also, all structural designs must meet AS/NZS1170.0, AS/NZ1170.1, AS/NZ1170.2, AS4100, AS3600 and AS1170.4 standards.

DURABILITY – Australian weather conditions are very tough on fabric. Material quality differs hugely across suppliers and not all fabric can handle the searing heat and high wind loads. The initial investment in quality fabric and workmanship means higher durability and huge cost savings in the long run. Quality PVC sails combined with some sensible maintenance can last over 15 years and ensure the shade sail work well for a long time.

FINISHES – Smart features like powder coated poles in the colour of your choice, strong corner detailing for added strength, sails designed with 3D software and cut with accurate computerised equipment have a distinctive streamlined appearance, hidden stainless-steel cables around the edge of the sail for tensioning and ongoing adjustment and Marine grade stainless steel chain and fittings will never rust or wear out, corrode or work lose all add to the design quality and workmanship expertise.

INSTALL – Strong deep foundations, with lots of steel reinforcement in the concrete and engineered poles, you can be sure the poles will be there for the long run. Because the sail has been carefully designed and installed, it will not vibrate excessively under wind load. This gives you two benefits. It will not work lose and it will not fatigue prematurely.



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    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.