When your time outdoors is being ruined by the heat and bright sunlight of the summer sun, perhaps it’s time to think of a cost-effective way to bring in some shade and cool everybody down. One very versatile method of doing this that won’t break the bank is buying a patio umbrella.
Patio umbrellas provide shade in small or large areas depending upon the size you get. They can cool an area by 10° – 15°. Umbrellas are also not overly expensive, come in different styles, and are very convenient to maneuver and care for.
Patios and well, really any outdoor living space is the prime location for portable shade. Very rarely do you find yourself standing or sitting in the shade when you’re in an outdoor living space. I know where most of our houses have been, there has always been an open space where our grill, table, and chairs wind up. And when you’re in desperate need of shade an umbrella can fit the bill.
What Kind of Patio Umbrella Should I Get?
Table umbrellas are the standard outdoor or patio umbrellas that you find in nearly every big box store and then some. They can fit through the middle of almost any patio table (these things tend to be pretty standard). For stability, you should find a weighted base for it to fit into. It’s also extremely portable, however, it’s not stable on its own.
My suggestion for a table umbrella that will provide great shade is the COBANA 11′ Patio Umbrella.
One step up from the table umbrella is the tilting umbrella, which of course has a pivot point somewhere at the top of the pole. It is usually the same size and can be used the same as a table umbrella. It’s just as portable as that table umbrella, but because the top tilts, it can help keep you from the UV rays trying to get through a bit better.
A great option for a tilting umbrella is the Sunnydaze Aluminum 9 Foot Patio Umbrella with Tilt & Crank.
An offset umbrella is also commonly referred to as a cantilever umbrella. These types of umbrellas are attached to a large base that is solid or fillable so that it is much more stable than either of the other types of patio umbrellas. The canopy of this umbrella is not directly over the base instead it hangs off of the curved pipe called the arm.
My recommendation would be the Sunnydaze Offset Outdoor Patio Umbrella with Crank.
This kind of umbrella can be used for not only tables but also can set aside a patio couch and living set. The shade can be moved around more conveniently and usually the bases have wheels for easy rolling or the base weights come apart for easy movement.
If you are in the market for a heavy-duty umbrella base then I would recommend picking up the Sunnydaze Heavy-Duty Water/Sand Cantilever Umbrella Base Plates.
How Much Does It Cost to Purchase a Patio Umbrella?
Compared to permanent structures or larger shades that you can place in your yard or patio, patio umbrellas are relatively inexpensive. These costs can be affected by the material of the post (fiberglass, metal, or wood), the material of the mechanism, and the material the shade itself is made of (acrylic, canvas, polyester, polyethylene).
Of course, metal is the strongest material, though it may be the one material that is most likely to have issues with rust and corrosion. As far as shade materials are concerned, well there are a lot of factors to consider. Perhaps I should make a table for that:
|NAME/BRAND||UV Protection||Mildew Resistant?||Water Resistant?||Pricing Range|
|Acrylic & most that are referred to as canvas||98%||YES||YES||Premium|
I didn’t include brands with Teflon because these types of materials tend to be a problem for the environment. I won’t get into that here, you can look it up for yourself. Just be aware that some brands (olefin, texsilk, etc) used in marine fabrics and umbrella fabrics are made of this material that can literally never be gotten rid of.
Patio Umbrellas can be as inexpensive as coming in at under $100 or as expensive as over $15,000. I would never spend that much on a patio umbrella, hence I feel they are a good value.
Why Are Patio Umbrellas More Convenient Than Other Patio Shade Solutions?
Patio umbrellas are not set permanently or semi-permanently in your outdoor living space. If you need to put it away, you can do so with very little effort. Most other providers of shade – even sail shades, have to be attached firmly to other structures for proper use.
If you want to add LED lights to the frame, that’s easy to do. Voila! You have a lighted area for nighttime use once the sun has left the scene. You can even purchase patio umbrellas that come with LED lights. Some of these are also solar powered – so they soak up the sun during the day and then provide light at night.
Umbrellas also come in several different shapes these days. You don’t necessarily have to settle on a circular umbrella. There are now square and rectangular umbrellas and they wind up covering larger spaces and also are great for fitting up against a house, like on a balcony or lanai.
Patio umbrellas are indispensable to my outdoor living space. And I have a pergola and other forms of shade. The reason I also have an umbrella is that I garden as well, so I like having a large, portable shade to carry with me as I garden or work on yard projects. Thanks to my medication and my light skin color, sunburning is an issue, and being in covering clothing in hot weather is just not going to work.
Also, we have all of our permanent shade in our backyard, but sometimes we have neighborhood events or we want to sit in the front and chill out with neighbors. When we do this, that portable umbrella comes in handy.
Whether it’s the only form of shade you have to keep cool in your outdoor living space or just an alternate source of shade, I believe it’s wise to consider an outdoor umbrella as a necessity for your home. If you disagree, you may want to look over another article of mine to choose what’s best for you.