Mulders suggest steps on how customers can save money on shade sail installations. A smart Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach can save customers money by avoiding specialist installation costs.
A shade sail supported by posts is a small construction project. Holes need to be measured and dug, posts sourced and concreted in. Multiple site visits are also needed to secure accurate measurements throughout the project.
Customers installing themselves tend to buy a shade sail only as they have already worked out which posts or other strong fixing points they are going to use. This approach can offer savings on third party installation costs.
Mulder’s principal shade designer suggests four main points for the success of the initial DIY plan. Firstly, customers must decide the area where shade is required and measure the sides and diagonals of the whole area. A common error by customers is to buy a ready made shade sail, which may not match up with the available fixing points. Mulders recommend that customers first work out their fixing points and measure from these to design the final size of the shade sail.
Secondly, customers must consider the fact that the sail covers a smaller area after allowing for fixings and tension curvature. To ensure the shade sail is stable in winds, it must have some curvature and not be on a one level plane. The most common method is to have each pair of diagonally opposite corners at significantly different heights. Sails that are not properly tensioned end up holding water, hanging limp and becoming unstable in heavy winds. Sails work efficiently when they are under enough tension to give curvature, are not on a level plane and are 'twisted' for stability.
Finally, customers must ensure that any proposed fixing points are strong enough to bear the stresses of a sail under strong wind conditions. Proposed fixing points like walls or roofs are sometimes too weak to withstand the load of a sail under wind pressure. Customers can also consult a local engineer if they are unsure about the process. Once the overall dimensions are finalised, the sail cloth area and the number of fixing devices needed to pull the sail into tension can be costed.
Mulders can help on shade sail design and manufacture all sails on site in their Melbourne factory. Every shade sail is made from premium grade extra heavy duty cloth, which offers UV protection. Sails are interlock seamed with twin lock stitching. All sail shade edges are hemmed with heavy duty UV stabilised webbing. Corners on sails larger than 25m2 are reinforced. The shade sails are available in a range of colours and can be water proof if needed.