Shade Sail, Part 2

November 16th, 2010

The second shade sail now flying high above the side yard is a different type of installation from the lace-on version installed near the fire pit. This version is what I would consider to be the more traditional style of a sail, at least in terms of design and the support structure.

Check out the SketchUp model of the sail below.

Very nice if I do say so. I updated it a bit to reflect some changes to the fence and bar area. I cannot wait to landscape…

The heavy duty brackets that attach to the cement brick of the house were custom fabricated at Shade Industries. Basically, they are steel plates that have been powder-coated white with a large steel eyelet that serves as the attachment point for the turnbuckle. The brackets need to be incredibly strong in order to hold the tension on the sail and withstand our nutty desert wind.

Patrick pre-drilled holes with a hard core hammer drill outfitted with a cement drill bit and then inserted big bolts to hold the mounting plates on the wall.

Here they are mounted and ready for installation. Of course I picked white so that the brackets would blend in with the exterior paint.

We dug out two 3′ deep by about 2′ wide holes that would be used to install the steel poles on the opposite side of the yard. Look at all the luscious grass – it has really been a wet fall, creating lots of weedy problems.

Digging holes sucks, but really anyone can do it. Installing the poles turned out to be surprisingly easy as well.

Patrick has an awesome method for mixing small batches of Quikrete. Use one big blue tarp, a bucket of water and two manly dudes to mix it up.

Take the tarp and shake it back and forth. Totally works and makes perfect cement really quickly. I’m much more excited to pour cement after we did this and found it to be super effective.

Then just dump your mixed Quikrete in the pole hole. Fill it up so that thing won’t ever move.

Instead of going perfectly plumb with the poles, you want to lean the poles back slightly to counteract the tension of the shade.

Once all the brackets and poles were installed, Patrick measured out the dimensions for the shade. Measuring on site, after all the mounting hardware is up, alleviates any nagging worries and assures that the shade will be a perfect custom fit.

About a week or so later, the shade was all sewed up and ready to be installed. It only took about an hour to put up and is a fairly simple process. There are four turnbuckles that hook on to a steel ring at each corner as well as steel cable that runs around the edge of the shade.

Start installing the shade by attaching one corner and then work your way around. Easy peasy.

Sad shade. Happy shade.

Once the shade is attached at all four corners the turnbuckles get evenly tightened and the steel edge cable is pulled taught. After it is completely stretched that thing is tighter than a drum. You really need to make sure your mounting areas are rock solid!


This version is a little less laborious (in terms of installation) compared to the lace-on version, but the parts are much more custom and a tad more difficult to source. Installing four poles in the ground would be a fairly simple DIY project, just make sure they are heavy duty galvanized steel. You wouldn’t want them to collapse and bend in the middle after a big wind. I would probably source these type of heavy gauge poles at a local metal supply. We bought our hot rolled steel for the fire pit at a local industrial metal supply and found it to be a really  amazing place as well as very affordable – plus there is so much cool stuff to look at…I need to go back.

It turned out so perfectly and is a million times better than I ever hoped for. I LOVE IT. Love love love. Overflowing with love and appreciation and happiness. Patrick is the shade sail whisperer for sure.

Too bad the landscaping is less than lovely right now, but all in due time I guess. I feel like Patrick’s incredible shade sail handiwork is lessened by the ghetto grass and fence. Must amend that very soon, 2010 is coming to an end…

I’m also super embarrassed of the unfinished porch, in my defense it has been less than ideal painting weather. Really, this sail needs to be shown off from the front of the house to illustrate its super dramatic curvy sexiness. These new dark sails really take the exterior up a big notch, making me rethink the rest of the landscape design. I mean it really needs to be amazing to match how cool these turned out. The big swooping bad boy definitely causes me to stare every time I drive by. I drool and then immediately curse the fence, unfinished porch and lack of landscape.

If you have any questions about shade sails, have an idea you might like to discuss, or need a quote – go ahead and contact Patrick Howe directly via email or Shade Industries.

Thank you Patrick, you are the best!

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  1. Jason | These Roving Eyes on 11/16/2010:

    So neat. Serious business! Love.
    Wish I had something more interesting to say.

  2. alex sunday on 11/16/2010:

    super dramatic curvy sexiness – you couldn’t have said it better.

  3. carol on 11/16/2010:

    love how you always get it right.

  4. Sally on 11/16/2010:

    Oh my – it looks super awesome! Congratulations! Best post ever. Hands down.

  5. ModFruGal on 11/16/2010:

    So snazzy….Patrick is the MAN.

  6. Denise on 11/16/2010:

    Those fabulous sails take my breath away!

  7. Jaime (Design Milk) on 11/16/2010:

    It looks rockin’!

  8. Ashley on 11/16/2010:

    Ingenious. Really, really great idea.

  9. HousePet on 11/16/2010:

    Wow – great to see that you’re getting exactly what you wanted – shade sails, stock pool, butterflies. It’s going to be amazing! Love it!!

  10. Jen@BloggersAbode on 11/16/2010:

    Love these! Is the fabric fade resistant? We go through umbrellas like crazy here as the summers zap all color outa everything we lay outside.

  11. Victoria on 11/16/2010:

    Costs for the project?

  12. The brick house on 11/16/2010:

    Jen- they are gauranteed for 10 years, the fabric is really made for this.

    Victoria- it’s bartered. I’m not totally sure.

  13. maya on 11/16/2010:

    oh man.
    u think it can survive a nor’easter?

  14. It must feel amazing to be making so much progress on this house. It is really going to be awesome when you guys “finish”.

  15. Tyler (plastolux) on 11/16/2010:

    Nice! Did you powder coat the poles as well, or are they just painted?

  16. THE BRICK HOUSE on 11/16/2010:

    Powder coat!

  17. Maggie @ Okay, now what? on 11/16/2010:

    I love it! Very inspirational you guys! It really is the year of the exterior.

  18. Michelle on 11/16/2010:

    wow. that looks really snazzy! Congrats!

  19. MiChelle on 11/16/2010:

    I am ever so jealous – it looks amazing! I so admire your vision and ability to plan and then… wait. It must feel so good to be able to cross this off your list. I hope you and The Boy are patting yourselves on the back and enjoying those awesome shades.

  20. Angie on 11/16/2010:

    Can’t wait to see your yard complete, I love the sails!

  21. Erin on 11/17/2010:

    Thanks for inspiring me once again. You are a boost to the creative juices…

  22. onehsancare on 11/17/2010:

    Gorgeous!! I can’t wait for you to landscape, too! You do such a good job of planning and then actually executing! You should be very proud.

  23. Brianne on 11/17/2010:

    Loving the sails – can’t wait to see them with the pool in place.

  24. Matthew Reader on 11/17/2010:

    I. LOVE. that. porch!

  25. Coletta on 11/17/2010:

    just wondering why the hook that is by the window isn’t above the window? seems odd to have it down like that running across the glass.

  26. Becky on 11/17/2010:

    Oh, nice. Looks great! I also really love the color of your porch!

  27. erin@designcrisis on 11/17/2010:

    Dude, they both look AMAZING, super custom, and just generally badass! I hope you plan to celebrate your new shady sanctuaries with some well earned cocktails.

  28. René on 11/17/2010:

    Hi from Germany,
    it´s super cool, I love it too. The lowest point of the sail is mounted to the house wall, so…does not the rain flow from the sail to the wall and make it sticky?
    In Schleswig Holstein we have a lot of rain, so i have to change this detail, but these shades are stunning beautiful!

  29. Tonia on 11/17/2010:

    I love love love, did I say love it.

  30. Amy on 11/18/2010:

    Thumbs up

  31. Amy on 11/18/2010:

    That was kind of weak “THUMBS UP”.


  32. marisa on 11/18/2010:

    looking sleek and shady, u have good taste.

  33. Patrick on 11/20/2010:

    Great idea for a hot climate. I was researching these a couple of years ago but never did it for some reason.
    Yours turned out great. Kudos.

    I have some cool stuff planned for my blog

  34. John on 11/20/2010:

    Always impressing me! Looks so good!

  35. Nick Luu on 11/23/2010:


    I have been planing to install a shade sail in my backyard. I have been concerned about to install a heavy duty brackets on the cement brick. Some one told me should install the brackets to the stud/frame not only the cement brick. My house is brick-veneer (brick facial – timber frame).
    As I know you have been done a great job. Would you please give me some advice how to secure the bracket on the brickwork? Thanks

  36. janine robinson on 12/03/2010:

    we put up one of these sun shade on our back patio and it looks great. we used a triangular one, so my husband only had to sink on of those poles (it was quite a job!), and hooked two to the house. they have held up really well the last 4 years, even when we get crazy santa ana winds (we live top of a hill in laguna beach). got a great deal on the shade over ebay, too. i like your 4-point shade a lot!

  37. Fate on 02/17/2011:

    Love your style. Which design software do you use? Thanks.

  38. Megan on 05/02/2011:

    Have to tell you – I blog stalk u a ridiculous amount. And therefor I have pinned you all over pinterest. Keep the great ideas rollin!

  39. Flynn Kendall on 08/14/2017:

    I have enjoyed reading this wonderful article about shade sails. Really, entire discussion is more helpful and all the tips are more effective too. I am very glad to go through this kind of helpful article. Thanks for sharing a nice article.

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