10 Best Ideas to Get More Shade in the Backyard

Need more shade in your backyard throughout the day to enjoy summer afternoon? Check out these ideas to see if any of them can work in your yard.

Deck with umbrella in backyard

It’s hard to stay indoors on a summer afternoon, but when there’s no shade in your backyard, it can be dangerous to stay too long outside. Fortunately, it’s easy to add more shade to your backyard, even on a budget. Here are some backyard patio ideas to get more shade in your outdoor space, so you can get out of the sun this summer:

1. Extra-Large Patio Umbrella

As far as backyard ideas on a budget, patio umbrellas are a perennial favorite. Extra-large patio umbrellas add shade right where you need it. Most are pretty mobile, so you can switch up your patio design as needed. Combine multiple umbrellas or create a shady nook on one corner of your deck, patio or backyard.

2. Pergola

Pergolas are a versatile element in many backyard designs, especially in areas that get a lot of sun. Pergolas add more shade, without cutting sunlight completely, and you can hang curtains or screens to block the blinding rays of the setting (or rising) sun. Need more shelter than the open roof can provide? Drape a cotton canvas tarp over the roof, or train wisteria to grow over your pergola in a natural canopy.

3. Outdoor Curtains

If you have a porch or patio cover already, you can add more shade by hanging some outdoor curtains. Use cotton canvas to make cheap, attractive outdoor curtains on a budget.

4. Awnings

Awnings have come a long way since the days of tin monstrosities sold door-to-door. Today’s modern, colorful fabric awnings can add color and class to your patio or deck. Install a retractable model and choose whether you want to bask in the sun or cool off in the shade.

Deck surrounded by trees

5. Fast-Growing Trees

While planting a fast-growing tree or two might be budget-friendly, it also takes some patience. Of course, it also comes with all the responsibilities of tree care, including keeping roots out of your sewer pipes, leaves out of your gutters and so on. But a shade tree can lower your home energy costs, raise your home’s value, and provide a natural roof for a gorgeous outdoor room.

Not ready to commit to a whole tree? Consider planting some tall shrubs, or building a latticework screen or structure and training vines to climb it. Shrubs and vines grow much faster, and require much less maintenance, than trees.

6. Pull-Down Shades

As with curtains, outdoor shades can also provide more, well, shade. Choose self-retracting shades if you want the versatility of choosing when to let the sun in, and when to block it out. Otherwise, install rollup shades that need to be manually rolled up.

7. Fabric Canopy

A fabric canopy can be an attractive and semi-permanent choice for a patio in dire need of shelter from the sun. There are plenty of attractive options available at your local home store, or you could DIY a simple fabric canopy with some copper pipes and fittings. Google “how to build a patio cover” for ideas.

8. Gazebo

A gazebo is another more permanent structure that creates a shady sanctuary in your outdoor space. Gazebos are perfect for drinking your morning coffee, hosting a dinner party, collecting your thoughts or catching up with a friend. Hang flower boxes around the outside or train vines to grow up latticework along the sides for an extra-magical retreat.

9. Pop-Up Canopy

If you need shade sometimes, but not all the time, a pop-up canopy could be the answer. Most pop-up canopies are fairly easy to set up and take down. You can add more shade when you need it for a family gathering, dinner party, wedding celebration or other event. If you think you’ll need to use your pop-up canopy regularly, you can probably buy one for an affordable price. If you need an extra-large canopy for a single event, such as a wedding, you can rent one.

10. Permanent Roof

Installing a permanent roof over your deck or patio might be the most expensive option, but it will also raise your home value and may be cheaper in the long run, because a permanent structure will last longer than most canopies, awnings or umbrellas. Of course, a permanent roof offers the most protection from rain as well as sun, and can raise your home’s value. If you’re not sure about covering your whole patio in a roof, you could cover just a corner of it, or opt for a pergola or arbor instead.

With the right amount of shade, your backyard will be a much more comfortable place. If your backyard is too sunny, you can add more shade with quick, attractive options for just about any budget. Get creative, and create an outdoor space that’s uniquely yours. And don’t just cover your backyard with shade, look into covering your some of your major home system components and appliances with a home warranty from American Home Shield®.

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