As summer heats up, you may find yourself spending more time indoors with the relief of the air conditioner blasting. But if you’ve invested in an outdoor living area, the last thing you want to do is be stuck inside all day. One of the best ways to get more enjoyment out of your outdoor living space is to add some shade. Shade not only makes your space more comfortable but it also makes it safer by protecting you from the sun’s harmful rays.

There are many ways to add shade that can suit any budget. For the least investment, you can add umbrellas around your seating areas. These days, outdoor umbrellas have come quite far and are available in high-quality materials that hold up in even the toughest weather conditions.

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Just be sure to seek out a quality umbrella that will also give you protection from the sun. Not all umbrellas protect you from UV rays. If you can see the sun coming through the umbrella at all, you may need to invest in something better. Specifically, seek out a “UV blocking umbrella” for the best protection. A step up in the budget would be investing in an awning. These days you can even purchase a motorized awning that retracts when you don’t need it.

However, if you’re looking for something a bit more substantial than an umbrella or awning, a pergola can make a really nice addition to your property. Pergolas not only add aesthetic appeal but they also have the functional capability of casting shade. They can be incorporated as part of a deck, patio, or even as a freestanding structure in the yard. Some homeowners like to put a couple of Adirondack chairs underneath the pergola and create a relaxation destination in the yard. You can add interest to your pergola by growing creeping vines on it, adding stringed lighting, or even adding a retractable awning to the pergola itself. There are many possibilities.

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A step up from the pergola would be a pavilion or building a roof over your deck. These permanent structures take things to the next level by not only providing shade but also providing protection from the elements. With a completely covered area you can still dine outside when it’s raining. Adding a roof is one of those features that has a huge impact in making your space feel more like an outdoor room. And there’s no question that it helps increase your enjoyment of the space and in turn, the amount of time you spend out there.

While there are many options, the key is to think about what will help you to get the most out of your space. Regardless of what option you ultimately choose, adding shade to your outdoor living space will increase your use of it by making it a much more pleasant experience.

If you’re ready to build an outdoor living space or want some advice on adding a structure that will provide shade to your existing space, give us a call at 610-275-2170 or contact us online to find out how we can help.