Shade sails look spectacular when designed properly. The designer must spend time planning the entire structure before the project commences.

Height differences are an important factor when designing a shade sail – alternating high and low points will keep your sail tight for longer and boost the visual impact.

Overlap sails to get full shade coverage – all shade sails must have curved edges to provide tension. Remember to allow for turnbuckles. As a general rule of thumb, allow 250mm to 300mm on a corner with a turnbuckle.

Doors/windows/bi-folds still need to open and shut – make sure that your shade sail can sit well above the top of any opening. Also consider things like downpipes and lighting.

Quality of installation

The depth of post footings, depth or curves, strength of fittings, how fixings are fixed to walls are all things to look at when installing your shade sail. Installation quality of your shade sail is not an area to try to save money in. It will result in a loose or saggy shade sail or worse, a shade sail that could come loose and tear or break away. It is well worth spending a little more time and money to ensure your sail is installed correctly the first time round – then you can sleep easy knowing that no harm will come to it.