Custom Fabric Structures

Custom Shade Sails – Invest in Durable Quality

 Jamie Howard      In ,

Custom Shade Sails are an investment that can provide long-lasting protection and comfort for various applications across sport, leisure, retail, residential, industrial, and commercial sectors. Cheaper, second-tier fabrics are proven ineffective against the harsh Australian weather conditions. However, advancements in fabric manufacturing have made it possible to custom-build high-quality fabric structures using international, European, and Australian materials that offer long-lasting durability and performance. A regular maintenance program including visual inspections, annual re-tensioning, and early repairs can add to the maximum lifespan of your investment.

Why Choose Custom Fabric Structures?

We highly recommend investing in custom fabric structures because it is a return on investment. Understanding why you need a custom shade solution is the critical first step in this process. Custom fabric structures require advanced design development, engineering, and early collaboration between the client, contractor, subcontractors, and the design team. The goal is to create a form with sufficient tension, cast cover in the right areas, and utilize substrates that withstand the harsh Australian climate. Pre-engineered generic fabric structures may offer convenience, but they provide little creative flexibility and freedom and cannot be adapted to specific situations.

Knowing what you plan to use the space for can assist in making an informed decision in terms of which custom fabric structure is best suited to your needs. Whether you are looking to create a sheltered outside space for sports or need efficient protection from harsh weather conditions for your industrial operation, all our shade solutions are custom-built and installed on-site, tailored to your specific project requirements.

Which Custom Fabric Structure is Right for You?

We offer several shade solutions to choose from, each suited for a particular application. Your requirements and a detailed site inspection will determine the best option for you. Some of our custom fabric structures include:

  • External Awnings & Blinds
  • Commercial Umbrellas
  • Shade Sails

All our shade solutions are manufactured and designed in-house using the finest quality architectural fabric materials and have highly durable steel at their core. Coatings are selected based on site-specific requirements. For example, custom fabric structures for project sites that experience high humidity and regular exposure to moisture will require a different coating than a custom fabric structure designed for shade and sun protection. Our shade solutions come with warranties ranging from ten to 20 years, ensuring long-term protection for your investment. We maintain all necessary checks and insurance policies to deliver a safe and efficient build.

Council Permission for Custom Fabric Structures

Before installing a custom fabric structure, you may need council approval or planning permission. This depends on various factors such as the design, size, and placement of your shade solution. You may need planning permission if:

  • Your shade solution is waterproof or made from any non-permeable material
  • Your building is a listed local or state heritage site
  • Your shade solution covers more than 10m2
  • Any part of your shade solution reaches within 1.8m of the building fence line in front of your home or perimeter.

Other considerations include making sure your custom fabric structure is structurally adequate, installed following agreed-upon specifications, and compliant with the Building Code of Australia (BCA). Non-compliance can result in a substantial fine and the forced removal of your shade solution. Contact your council before installing if you plan to remove or prune any existing trees or vegetation. Fortunately, Versatile Structures can acquire all necessary council permissions for you before installation.

Choosing a Reputable Custom Fabric Structure Provider

Choosing the right company that manufactures, supplies, and installs custom fabric structures is crucial for consistency and ensuring your project is delivered on time.



  • 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.