How To Add Shade To Backyard (Easy Fix)

If you are looking for a way to add shade to your backyard, you have come to the right place! Whether it’s for a dining area or sun room, we’ve got all sorts of ideas that will help you create the perfect shaded area in your yard.

How to Make a Temporary Sun Shade for a Patio
Tips for adding drainage to your backyard
Creative and easy solutions for adding privacy to your backyard
Different types of yard lighting and how to install them
Helpful tips and tricks for achieving better yard drainage
Additional ideas and solutions for creating a more private outdoor space
Further reading resources for creating shade in your backyard
FAQs on creating shade in a backyard

Install A Sail

A sail is a great way to add shade to your backyard. They’re simple and inexpensive, and can be made from canvas or other materials. 

You can purchase canvas sails at home improvement stores, but if you want something more unique you might want to consider using a fabric that matches your decor.

Even though sails are easy to make, it’s important that you have the right tools before beginning. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cutting mat (or flooring foam)
  • Ruler
  • Pencils/sharpies/markers (1 black and 1 whit

Are you tired of dealing with backyard drainage issues? Check out our guide on how to add backyard drainage for easy and effective solutions to common drainage problems.

Pergolas Add Shade, Too!

A pergola is a type of canopy that provides shade in the backyard. They can be attached to the house or placed in the yard, depending on how much space you have available.

Pergolas are easy to build and can be constructed from many different materials, including lumber, stone or bricks. 

Pergolas are often used as an alternative to building an actual roof because they don’t need support beams or rafters; however, some homeowners choose to attach them directly onto their houses. 

The key component of a pergola is the wood crossbeams which hold up all other components of your canopy this makes it possible for you to create beautiful arches that will add interest and character into any area around your home!

Stylish Canopy Over The Outdoor Dining Area

A canopy is an excellent choice for providing shade in your backyard, as it can be installed over a patio or deck, pool or spa, and even a fire pit. They’re also available in several different materials including wood, metal and plastic.

If you have a smaller yard, you might want to consider installing screens on the sides of your house instead of building an entire structure that covers your entire patio area. 

They provide privacy while allowing light through so you can still enjoy being outdoors in the daytime without being bombarded with sunlight.

Do you want more privacy in your backyard? Our article on how to add privacy to your backyard provides creative and easy options to create a more private outdoor space.

Stunning Metalic Framed Canopy

To make your frame, use metal poles and brackets. Metal frames are very sturdy, so you need to make sure that it’s strong enough to hold the canopy.

You can also use metal bars to create a frame for your shade. With metal bars, you can create any size or style of canopy that you want.

Shade Umbrellas

The easiest way to shade your backyard is with a shade umbrella. Shade umbrellas come in all shapes and sizes, from permanent structures to portable models that can be moved around the yard. Some are made of wood, while others are fabric or plastic. 

You can also choose between expensive and cheap models depending on how much you’re willing to spend on your new backyard accessory.

If you want a permanent structure for your backyard but don’t want something too large or heavy, opt for an aluminum frame with polyester fabric instead of canvas fabric. 

The light weight will make it easy for one person to set up this type of umbrella by themselves or even two people if they have strong arms! A

luminum frames tend not only be lighter than other materials but also more durable too so they shouldn’t rust over time like some steel ones might do (but there’s no guarantee).

Enhance the ambiance of your backyard with proper lighting! Learn about the different types of yard lighting and how to install them in our guide on how to add yard lights.

Cantilevered Umbrella

A cantilevered umbrella is a type of umbrella that has a rod-like structure attached to the base of the canopy. 

The rod extends past the canopy and holds it up, creating a large circular shadow that you can use to protect yourself from direct sunlight. 

This kind of umbrella is especially useful in larger yards where there isn’t enough space for an entire patio table or chair set.

Here are some tips on how to install a cantilevered umbrella:

Choose your location carefully—the area you choose should be level, clear of debris and have good drainage.

Dig holes for each post at least three feet deep so that your posts don’t blow over in strong winds or move out of place as they settle into their new positions over time due to changes in temperature/moisture levels within soil around them (you may also need reinforcement straps if using pressure treated lumber).

Umbrella From Galvanized Pipe

  • Cut galvanized pipe to length, as needed, and attach it to a pole.
  • Attach shade fabric to the pipe, making sure that the material is hanging all the way around the top of your umbrella so that it will provide complete coverage when you open it up.
  • Attach your newly constructed umbrella base to your existing deck (or wherever you’d like) using screws or nails!

Achieving better yard drainage is crucial for maintaining a beautiful and healthy lawn. Take a look at our guide on how to achieve better yard drainage for helpful tips and tricks to improve your yard’s drainage.

Set Up Tents And Canopies

Tents and canopies are a great way to create shade in your backyard. You can set up a tent on the grass, or if you have a deck or roof with enough space, hang the canopy above it.

If you’re thinking about buying a new tent for the summer months, make sure it’s got enough room for all of your guests and family members – especially when they’re all together at once!

Portable Gazebo

A portable gazebo is an easy way to add shade to your backyard. These structures are lightweight and simple to set up, so you can enjoy them in no time at all. 

They’re also available at most home stores and come in a range of styles, colors, and sizes. If you’re hosting a large party or event outdoors, look for one that offers enough space for both yourself and your guests.

Looking for even more creative ways to increase privacy in your backyard? Our article on how to add privacy to your backyard – part 2 offers additional ideas and solutions for creating a more private outdoor space.

Create An Enclosed Patio

Choose an enclosed patio design. The most popular choices are a pergola, a canopy or a gazebo. The cost of building an enclosed patio will depend on the type and size chosen as well as whether it’s made from wood or metal.

Purchase materials for your project. Your local home improvement store should have everything you need to build an enclosed patio in stock although if you prefer something specific or have special requirements like height restrictions and so on, you may need to order some custom materials in advance of your project’s start date. 

For example, if using wooden posts for support instead of metal poles would help keep costs down since these are much less expensive than steel ones but still strong enough for their purpose (and thus ideal for long-term use).

Build the structure according to plan specifications laid out by professionals such as architects who specialize in landscaping projects like these because they know what works best when attaching one material onto another without causing damage either way.”

Awning Windows For Double The Shade

Awning windows are a great way to add shade to your home, as they can be mounted on an exterior wall and hung either horizontally or vertically. Depending on the material used and the structure of your home’s exterior walls, you may be able to choose between one or two types of window awnings.

Horizontal awnings: You can mount these outside of your existing window frame by drilling holes in the siding and securing it with screws. 

If you have brick or stone siding, mounting is easy because there is already space between the bricks that allows for drilling nails into them without damaging them. 

Metal siding also works well with horizontal awning windows because of how thick it is; however, if you have thinner wood walls then vertical mounting will be more appropriate because it does not require any special tools like drilling into brick edges does (this would cause wood rot).

Vertical awnings: These are similar because they are installed through holes drilled in the wall using screws that extend from inside outwards towards an outdoor post mounted onto concrete piers (for ground-level installation) or another type of wooden surface (for roof top installations).

Types of Awning Windows for Double the Shade

Double-hung windows with awningsDouble-hung windows with awning attachments. Can be adjusted to create custom levels of shade and ventilation in the home.
Casement windows with awningsCasement windows with horizontal awnings that extend outwards from the window. Can be cranked open and closed for ventilation and shade control.
Top-hinged awning windowsSingle-pane windows with a top hinge opening that allows for ventilation and increased sunlight control. Ideal for higher wall spaces or rooms with high ceilings.
Hopper-style awning windowsSingle-pane windows that open from the top with a hinge on the bottom. Provide efficient ventilation and ideal for rooms with limited space or different shapes.
Push-out awning windowsSingle-pane windows that open outward with a simple push motion. Offer contemporary style and energy efficiency.

Build An Outdoor Canopy Yourself

How to build an outdoor canopy

Whether you’re looking for a place to relax and read on a hot summer day, or want to add some shade for your backyard party, an outdoor canopy can be the perfect addition. When you’re ready to make one yourself, just follow these simple steps:

Cut 2x4s in half so that they are 4 feet long. If you have access to a saw or other power tools, this step will be much faster.

Place two of these 4-foot pieces on top of each other so that they create an “X” shape with their ends facing outwards from one another and each piece going up at least 6 inches above where the two pieces cross over each other. 

Using nails or screws (we recommend using screws), secure them together at both ends so there’s no chance they’ll come apart when used later on as part of your finished project. This is known as making something “sturdy”.

Make A DIY Slat Wood Privacy Screen And Planter Boxes – 2x4s And 2x2s Are All You Need.

Cut 2x4s and 2x2s to the desired length with a table saw or circular saw.

Apply a coat of paint or stain to the wood, if desired.

Attach the 2x4s to the wall with screws, keeping them flush with each other and even at each end. Use two screws per board, placed 6″ apart in staggered rows (see photo). This will give you room for planter boxes behind them later on.

If applicable, attach the back of your privacy screen by overlapping it against one edge of your planter box’s frame; secure in place with nails along both edges if needed and predrill holes through each board before driving nails into place to prevent splitting (see photo).

Build A Pallet Daybed And Umbrella Stand Cover It With Fabric In A Lovely Color

This is a great idea for your backyard. You can use pallets to build a daybed and then cover it with fabric in a lovely color. 

You can also make an umbrella stand using pallets, so you have shade anytime you have guests over!

Install An Overhead Cover

An overhead cover is a great way to add shade to your backyard. You can have one installed over a table or patio, making the space more comfortable for eating, playing cards, and relaxing.

An overhead cover can be made of wood, metal or plastic. It must be sturdy enough to withstand heavy winds and rain storms in your area so if you live in an area that gets very high winds consider using metal instead of wood or plastic as it will be less likely to blow away during extreme weather conditions such as tornadoes or hurricanes.

Overhead covers are available in many styles and sizes but they all have some things in common: they protect people from sun exposure while providing ventilation through open spaces between slats on each side of the structure so air circulates freely underneath them without having any direct access into neighboring properties nearby 

Where people might get overheated while sitting out there during hot summer days without any protection from harmful UV rays coming off our star Sol directly overhead every day at noon-time (noon).

Types of Overhead Covers for Shade

PergolaA type of arbor made with horizontal beams and sturdy vertical posts. Can be freestanding or attached to a house or outdoor structure.
AwningA type of fabric cover that is attached to the wall or roof of a house. Can be extended or retracted, and comes in a variety of fabrics and colors.
GazebosA large, freestanding outdoor structure with a roof and open sides. Often used for outdoor dining or as a relaxation spot.
Shade sailsA fabric cover stretched between poles or anchors to create an open-air canopy. Comes in a range of colors and fabric types.
UmbrellasA portable shade option that can be easily moved and adjusted as needed. Comes in a variety of sizes, colors, and materials.
Retractable pergolasA freestanding or attached structure that uses a motorized system to retract or extend the canopy as needed. Offers adjustable shade and protection, as well as increased flexibility in outdoor design.


A trellis is a structure that supports climbing plants, such as vines and other plants. A trellis can be made of wood, metal or plastic and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. It provides support for vines and other plants that need to grow up instead of out horizontally.

Trellises can be permanent or temporary structures depending on their purpose: If you have an empty corner in your yard that needs some attention, consider building a permanent trellis with lattice panels or wooden slats secured together with brackets (or nails) at each end of the panel; 

This will allow you to add color by planting flowers along its length as well as produce fresh fruit from any vine planted atop it every season while providing much-needed shade during hot summer months.

Sail shade

Sail shade is a great way to add shade in your backyard. Sail shades are usually made of canvas or synthetic fabrics that block out heat and light while still allowing the view of the sky.

Sail shades can be used to cover patios, decks, and pools. They are easy to install and easy to move around as well!

Table: Types of Sail Shades

Triangle shade sailThis shape provides a sleek and modern look with three corners and three attachment points. Can be used to cover specific areas or to create a geometric design.
Square or rectangle shade sailFour corners and four attachment points give this type of sail shade a classic look. Can be used to cover large areas, like a patio or outdoor living space.
Trapezoid shade sailProvides additional coverage on one side due to its unique shape. Can be used to cover an angled area, such as over a sloping lawn or driveway.
Custom-shaped sail shadesCan be made to fit unique or irregularly-shaped areas. Offers complete control over the shape and size of the shade.
Waterproof sail shadesMade with waterproof and weather-resistant materials to protect from rain and other elements. Ideal for use in areas with unpredictable weather patterns.
UV-blocking sail shadesProvides protection from harmful UV rays that can cause skin damage and fading of outdoor furniture.


An arbor is a structure that supports climbing plants. Arbor can be made from different materials, including wood, steel and concrete. 

An arbor can be freestanding or attached to a wall and it can also be used as a focal point in the garden.

DIY awning

You can find awnings at any home improvement store, but you’ll have to be sure they are the right size for your window or patio. They come in different styles and colors, but they all have the same basic components:

  • A frame that holds up the fabric shade
  • Fabric to block out the sun and protect your outdoor furniture from rain
  • Attachments that keep it secure to your house

Basic Components of a DIY Awning

Frame or bracketProvides the foundation for the awning and attaches it to your home’s exterior. Can be made from materials like metal, wood or PVC piping, or can be purchased pre-made.
Fabric coverProvides shade and protection from the sun and weather. Can be made from canvas, outdoor fabric or vinyl, or can be purchased pre-made.
Mounting hardwareScrews, nails, or bolts to secure the frame to your home’s exterior. Should be strong enough to withstand wind, rain and other outdoor elements.
Retractable mechanismOptional component that allows the awning to be easily retracted when not in use. Can be manual (hand-cranked) or motorized.
LightingOptional component that can be added to improve visibility and ambiance. Choose from options like string lights, wired fixtures or solar-powered lights.
AccessoriesOptional extras to enhance the functionality or aesthetics, such as valances, gutters or side panels. Decorative features like stripes or patterns can also be added to customize the look.

Canopy tents

If you’re looking for more shade in your backyard, a canopy tent is an ideal option. These tents are easy to install, as they come with a steel frame that can be assembled quickly. 

They also include a fabric cover that can be easily removed when not in use, which makes them ideal for seasonal weather changes or other times when you may not want this extra shade on your property.

Canopy tents are particularly useful for small areas of the yard where there’s not much room for large trees or bushes but you still need some shade coverage from the sun’s bright rays. 

A canopy tent provides great protection for both children and pets who spend time outdoors playing or running around during summer months when temperatures often reach high levels of heat and humidity.

Features and Benefits of Canopy Tents

Steel frameProvides a durable and sturdy foundation for the tent that can withstand harsh winds and weather.
Easy to installCan be assembled quickly and without professional assistance.
Adjustable heightCan be customized to provide more or less shade based on your specific needs.
PortableCan be easily transported to different locations or events.
VersatileCan be used for multiple purposes, such as outdoor parties, camping, or as a carport for storage.
Different sizes and shapes availableChoose from a variety of sizes and shapes to fit your specific needs and preferences.
Protection from the elementsProvides shade from the sun, shelter from the rain, and protection from other outdoor elements.

Drop cloths with channeling for poles

You can also construct a shade frame from drop cloths. You’ll need to make a frame that will hold up the poles underneath, so you can use your drop cloth as one piece on each side and staple it with a staple gun. 

Then, using channeling and another piece of drop cloth as shown in Figure 5 (or any other material you have available), attach it to the first piece and then attach that to the poles.

You may need more than one drop cloth depending on how large an area you’re covering. If so, simply repeat these steps until all layers are complete!

Materials Needed for Constructing a Shade Frame with Drop Cloths

Drop clothsHeavy-duty, canvas or fabric drop cloths for creating the shade cover. Look for drop cloths with existing channeling for poles, or create your own by folding over the fabric and sewing a channel.
PolesWooden or metal poles that will support the weight of the shade cover. Consider using metal electrical conduit, PVC piping, or bamboo poles.
ConnectorsFittings made from materials like plastic, metal or PVC piping that will join your poles into the frame.
HardwareScrews, nuts, and bolts or zip ties to attach your connectors and poles together securely.
Staple gun and staplesHeavy-duty staple gun and staples, to attach the drop cloth to the frame. You can also use grommets or hooks, but stapling is the easiest option.
Rope or cordStrong rope or cord to tie the shade cover to the frame, or to secure the frame itself to other structures like a fence or tree.

Growing Trees, Bushes And Climbers

Growing trees, bushes and climbers is one of the best ways to add shade to your backyard. Trees, bushes and climbers are great for containers as well as the ground.

  • For example, you might select a tree with a spreading canopy that doesn’t grow too tall or wide.
  • You can also choose smaller plants like azaleas that only need a small amount of space to thrive and bloom when planted in containers on patios or around decks.

Best Trees, Bushes, And Climbers for Shade

TreesMaple: Large, fast-growing shade trees that come in a variety of vibrant colorsProvides excellent shade
Dogwood: Smaller but still a good shade tree with showy flowersGreat for adding color and texture
BushesHydrangea: Large bushes with big, lacy flowers that provide shade on hot daysLow maintenance and attractive
Boxwood: Slow-growing bushes that can be easily shaped for landscapingProvides year-round greenery
ClimbersWisteria: A fast-growing vine that produces fragrant, drooping clusters of flowersAdds character and interest to structures, like pergolas or arbors
Trumpet Creeper: A hardy, fast-growing vine that produces showy, trumpet-shaped flowersGreat for attracting hummingbirds and other pollinators


The more shade you can add to your backyard, the better. While there are many different options out there for adding shade, some of them are better than others. 

If you’re looking for something that will stand the test of time and provide you with years of shade, then I would highly recommend installing an arbor or pergola. 

These structures can be customized to fit your needs, giving them a unique look unlike any other type of covering available on the market today!

Further Reading

For more information on creating shade in your backyard, check out these helpful resources:

Real Simple: How to Create Shade in Your Backyard – Learn about different options for creating shade, from umbrellas to pergolas, in this comprehensive guide.

Install It Direct: Complete Guide to Outdoor Shade – This guide covers everything you need to know about outdoor shade, from determining your shade needs to choosing the right structure for your backyard.

American Home Shield: Best Ideas for More Shade in Your Backyard – Get inspired with these creative ideas for adding more shade to your backyard, including options for both temporary and permanent shade structures.


What are some common ways to create shade in a backyard?

Common ways to create shade in a backyard include using patio umbrellas, shade sails, pergolas, and awnings.

What materials do I need to create a DIY shade structure?

The materials needed for a DIY shade structure will depend on your desired shade solution. Some common materials include wood, metal, fabric, and galvanized steel pipes.

What are some plants that can provide natural shade in a backyard?

Trees and tall bushes are great options for providing natural shade in a backyard. Some popular options include maple trees, birch trees, and arborvitae.

How can I determine the best location for a shade structure in my backyard?

When determining the best location for a shade structure, consider the path of the sun throughout the day, as well as any pre-existing structures or landscaping that may impact shade placement.

What are the pros and cons of permanent vs. temporary shade structures?

Permanent shade structures offer lasting protection from the sun and can add value to your home, but they are typically more expensive and may require permits for installation. Temporary shade structures, on the other hand, are more affordable and versatile, but may not provide the same level of protection or durability.