If you have a backyard that faces south, you enjoy the benefit of full sun almost all day long. Sometimes, even though you can plant a garden wherever you'd like and set up the sprinkler for the kids without worry, the full sun can be oppressive during the hottest months of the year. You need shade options for your home.
Planting trees will give permanent shade eventually, but you won't see the return for several years. Your budget might not allow for expensive structures like covered decks or gazebos. Here are some more affordable, stylish options to consider.
Retractable awnings are perfect for attached decks and patios. They are also good for areas that experience frequent changes in weather, such as high winds or heavy rain. The awning can be pulled out for shade, but safely rolled away to prevent any water pooling or wind damage. They are just as effective as a covered deck with a solid roof, but much more flexible to use and easy to install.
You might also like having a retractable awning if you want direct sun some of the time. For example, if you use your deck to grow plants, you can control how much sun they get using your awning to protect the during the hottest part of the day.
A permanent awning is a good choice if you live in a climate that is frequently sunny without much change in the weather, such as in southern California or Arizona. Permanent awnings can be made of lighter, breathable fabric or even out of netting for just partial shade. You also have some design flexibility with a permanent awning; they can be changed out every so often to have a different color or pattern, and they can be larger than your deck or patio since they don't necessarily need to be anchored to the structure as a fixed roof would be.
The final option for some shade is a pergola. Pergolas offer partial shade, but you could order a custom cover made of vinyl or canvas to give more coverage when needed. Pergolas make a statement in the backyard and their strong structure can be an anchor point for an adjacent awning, hanging plants, or climbing vines. To reduce installation costs, consider a smaller pergola and use premade vinyl lattice for walls and roof shade.
Contact a screen and awning company near you for more ideas.