Domestic custom shade sails

 Jamie Howard      In

For this award-winning project, we needed to create two custom shade sails with curved steelwork and asymmetrical elements based on a concept our client saw on an architectural website – one for the patio and the other a car park shade structure. The steelwork for the main entrance or patio structure needed to be curved to enhance the design of his home and our client was especially particular that we nailed his vision and design.

Both structures needed to be waterproof shade structures and the patio structure watertight up against the building edge, while the car park shade structure needed to provide full protection for two vehicles to be parked underneath it all year round.

To meet our client’s expectations the Versatile Structures team supplied design drawings before proceeding with the project.

This domestic project came close to a commercial shade sail job, as we had to produce the architectural drawings and designs for client’s approval, get council certification which required a full development approval, consider the engineering to pass the scrutiny of a tension membrane engineer and ensure its strong enough for the relevant wind conditions, produce draftsman design drawings to guide the fabrication of the structures as per all specifications and requirements, manage the complex steel fabrication that ensured the structure was curved and asymmetrical, navigate a PVC or waterproof membrane skin that was not square,  with curved elements to fit the first time it is installed, do a site survey and check measure with our 3D Disto equipment and integrate this into the Auto cad design, do a vacuum excavation and cages installation, as well as adding a high durability powder coat finish to the steelwork to accommodate the coastal location, manage the install the steelwork, and tension the fabric with bolt rope extrusion and high tensile stainless-steel cables to ensure the skin fitted perfectly.

What made this project challenging was that we could not meet the client face to face to discuss the project and have it ready when he returned from holiday.

Our client was speechless when he saw the structures and ecstatic with the results. He was surprised at our team’s attention to detail and that we delivered a magnificent structure that meets all his functional needs and with easy access for future maintenance.

Our Awards

Versatile Structures is an annual Specialised Textiles Association Excellence Award Winner since 2017.


  • 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.