Exterior Shades For Porches

A porch enables living space to extend outdoors, enabling a wider range of activities and a greater enjoyment of lifestyle. But without shade, a porch is not practical for those days when the sun beats down and makes it uncomfortable to sit for more than a few minutes. Adding shade makes the environment much more versatile.

The various exterior shades for porches on the market today provide protection from the sun and a shady spot to enjoy a tall, cool drink. A leisurely breakfast or an early afternoon barbecue are perfect excuses to take advantage of exterior shades for porches and the more the homeowner uses the area, the more wise was his investment to add the covering. Following are four of the most popular choices currently on offer.

Shade Sails

Shade sails make excellent exterior shades for porches. They require no structural changes to the house and can be installed by the homeowner with ease. The fabrics are commercial grade and usually offer a 10 to 12-year guarantee against UV deterioration. They look exotic and casual and can be used in adjacent areas of the house such as over pools and barbecues. Offering strength and durability, shade sails will give many years of maintenance free service.

Architectural Umbrellas

If you want a high quality product that doesn't cost a fortune, an architectural umbrella could be just the solution. They feature a waterproof PVC canopy that is UV resistant, easy to clean and anti-fungal. The structure is conical in form and can have central or cantilevered columns.

Umbrellas are designed to meet specific environmental requirements such as wind loads and precipitation factors. As exterior shades for porches, architectural umbrellas can be installed permanently, yet look casual and inviting.


Colorful, durable and aesthetically pleasing, awnings make wonderful exterior shades for porches. They can be installed as fixed units or can be retractable or adjustable either manually or with a motor for power. Predominantly fabricated out of waterproof canvas, awnings add eye appeal and practicality.


Louvres are adjustable slats that enable the homeowner to manage the amount of sunshine that filters through to the porch. Sitting either vertically or horizontally, the slats can be opened, closed or positioned according to the position of the sun.

Available in plastic, timber and metal, louvres are a great choice for exterior shades for porches because they can be chosen in a material that will complement the design of the house and their adjustability makes them perfect to provide shade in hot weather and let the sun in during cooler periods.

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