For many homeowners with patios and terraces in the country, the issue of keeping them cool during the heat of the day is likely to arise every summer. Of course, nearby buildings and tall trees that happen to be in the vicinity of your property may provide some shade, depending on what time of the day it is. The trouble with this sort of shade is that it is not easily adjustable to suit your needs. Sometimes, you will want complete shade and, at others, partial sunlight. If you want to make your terrace cooler and pleasant to be in year-round, then consider one of the following options.
Install an Awning
Used widely in Europe and North America, awnings are ideal for terraces that adjoin your property. They are fitted to a suitably strong wall and extend outwards from the building to provide shelter from the sun's rays. Most come with a simple turning mechanism which allows you to retract and extend the awning to the exact level you need it to be. Therefore, they are good for north-facing gardens which see a lot of sun throughout the day. Full or partial shade can be created at will. Some are motorised, so you can sit back and relax while the awning is positioned, and you can even fit a sunlight sensor to yours so that it adjusts automatically.
Fit Shade Sails
Common in public spaces like schools and hospitals, shade sales are increasingly installed in gardens and homes. A shade sail needs a frame to be fitted properly, which will often mean digging into the ground to provide firm foundations. Fit one before you have a terrace laid, or you may need to take up slabs in order to have it put in. Shade sails need to be tough enough to withstand exposure to high winds, so if you live in an exposed area, the frame may need to be upgraded from standard materials. Highly versatile, shade sails come in many shapes and colours to suit all terrace types.
Put Up Parasols
Although parasols are highly practical and can be moved around freely to produce shade just where you want it, they are not permanent installations. You need to drop them down at night to prevent them from blowing over. Furthermore, they cannot be left out all winter, unlike shade sails and awnings. Parasols are best positioned over dining tables and chairs, where they can be anchored properly to the terrace beneath.