mulders discuss common pitfalls to avoid when installing a shade sail at home. A DIY approach can save money by avoiding installation costs. A shade sail supported by posts is essentially a small construction project. Holes need to be measured and dug, posts sourced and concreted in. Several site visits are also needed to secure accurate measurements throughout the project which can be costly.
DIY ready made sails have the following features:
- Suitable for backyards, gardens, entry ways, children’s play areas and pools
- Stretch between trees, well grounded posts or existing structures
- Reduce up to 90% of the sun’s UV rays
- DIY enthusiasts can design their own shade areas
- Suit customers’ measurements and fixing points
Following are the common DIY pitfalls to avoid:
- Before buying a shade sail, users should measure the shade area first and identify possible fixing points.
- Properly tensioned sails have curved or concave edges and the depth of the curve is about 10% from the outer of the sail. The sail covers a smaller area when measuring this curvature and the use of fixings.
- Sails on a level plane can hold water. The users must consider the slope of the material to shed water. A solution is to have opposite corners at significantly different heights.
- If not pulled taut and twisted, sails can become unstable in wind. Sails must be tensioned properly to have some curvature and be twisted into a hypar shape.
- Poor quality weave canvas should be avoided as it can hang limp and absorb water.
- Sails manufactured with single line or poor chain stitching can come undone when under tension or stress. Too many seams in the sail can split under tension.
- Corner rings not made of galvanised steel can rust and discolour the surrounding material.
- 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.