All that’s needed to create a shady spot in an outdoor living area is one of the many available shading options. A few of these options include patio umbrellas, awnings, shade canopies, and shade sails. Patio umbrellas are a popular choice for shading the small area occupied by a dining table or cozy seating area. Awnings are another shade option that allow homeowners to shade most or all of a patio or deck. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not prefer the look of awnings, which can appear old fashioned and clash with more contemporary decor. Shade canopies are a third shading option for outdoor spaces, but they are intended for temporary, rather than permanent, use. All of these shading options have their place, but when it comes down to it, they leave little room for creativity, and they don’t offer the right solution for spaces with non-traditional shapes and sizes. Shade sails offer homeowners a more updated and versatile means of shading outdoor living spaces. They are readily available in standard shapes and sizes, but custom shade sails can be made to meet custom needs. Rectangles, squares, and triangles in a variety of appealing colors give homeowners the creative freedom to design the look of their outdoor spaces and create as much or as little shade as desired. A unique architectural and artistic effect can be achieved with careful planning and placement of two or more shade sails. Because of their versatility, shade sails are an appealing shade solution in an endless variety of situations. Not only can they protect patios, decks, and porches, they can also provide shade for entry ways, children’s play areas, swimming pools, outdoor restaurants and cafes, and more. Shade sails are easy to install and can be attached to homes, trees, or patio columns. They can also be a completely free standing structure supported by wood posts or steel columns embedded in concrete footings. Shade sails can be left up year round or used seasonally; they are easy to take down and store. While looks are an important factor in choosing a shading option for outdoor areas, performance is just as important, if not more. The best quality shade sails are constructed from superior outdoor fabrics that can block up to 95 percent of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Shade sail fabric is most often water resistant rather than waterproof. This allows the sail to breathe more effectively, which keeps the shaded area much cooler. Shade sails should be expected to withstand extreme temperatures and resist fading and mildew. Because of the number of advantages offered by shade sails — versatility, attractive appearance, and effectiveness — homeowners are often surprised to learn that they are less expensive than many other types of shading options. But, low cost is an additional advantage that makes shade sails an increasingly appealing shade solution for homeowners and business owners. When combined, the advantages that shade sails offer set them far apart from the other shading options available. Patio umbrellas, awnings, shade canopies, and most other shading options simply can’t provide the same affordable performance and stylish appearance.