What to look for in a reputable shade structure operator
Choosing the right domestic or commercial shade structure supplier is vital to ensure your installation is delivered on time, at the agreed price, and in compliance with quality standards. When doing your due diligence, take the following in consideration:
- How many years’ experience do they have?
It takes years to understand the technical properties of fabric materials and master design challenges. Avoid paying someone to learn on your job, so no less than 10 years’ commercial experience will do. Also, look for a proven track record on larger scale projects, and testimonies from happy customers.
- Do they own and control the entire process?
Direct accountability from the design, fabric, steel work fabrication, through to the installation is key, should anything go wrong down the line. Dealing with a one-stop solution also cuts out middleman margins.
- Do they offer custom builds?
When considering your area, it is important to think about the future life of the structure like day-to-day wind conditions, pollutants, contaminants, and airborne debris. Custom shade sails meet individual requirements and ensure adequate shade or rain protection.
- What fabrics do they use?
Cheaper second-tier shade sails are not proven to work in harsh Australian conditions, especially as conditions vary between states, with Brisbane being hot and sunny for most of the year, while Melbourne has a cooler climate. High spec European and Australian materials are more expensive upfront but give a far better finish and much better long-term performance.
- Do they have access to specialist manufacturing equipment and their own factory facilities?
Sophisticated tools like computerised fabric plotter cutters, high-power radio frequency welders and high productivity installation equipment make all the difference in the finished product and factory facilities also mean installation time is minimised as most of the pre-assembly and preparation work takes place in the factory, not at your property.
- What warranties do they offer?
Many warranties only cover replacement of the fabric and not the labour and repair costs. Do not be caught out with nasty surprises. Look for an iron clad warranty package over the entire system, not just the fabric skin and ask what product and back-up servicing are included?
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.