A few smart ways to shade your home will not only help you beat the heat, they’ll also give it a great new look.
Blocking the sun from entering your home is the best way to help keep it cool. Awnings over your windows cast shade directly where it is needed. Fixed awnings can be made to uniquely suit the style of your home. Retractable awnings allow you to adjust the amount of light getting into your home. Keep them down during the heat of the day and pull them up to allow full access for those cooling night breezes.
Shade sails not only keep your outdoor areas shaded but also work to cool the house. Hard surfaces like concrete and paving retain heat and radiate it back out at night, keeping the heat on when the sun goes down. Shading these areas can help to keep your house cool.
Shade sails can be freestanding, using poles concreted into the ground or attached to the house. If you’re doing this, you may have to reinforce the roof structure, as a sail can create quite a bit of force when the wind gets under it. A sail can add an interesting feature to your house and using two sails set at different heights creates a look that is even more stunning.
When it comes to shade on a pergola there are plenty of options. Timber battens spaced across the top is a contemporary look while reed screening can add a tropical feel. Shade cloth stretched over the top provides up to 90% shade factor without blocking the light completely.
A great natural option is to train a flowering plant over the pergola. A Bougainvillea provides shade all year round, whilst a Wisteria drops its leaves, letting the light into your home in winter when it’s needed.
Polycarbonate roofing is another popular pergola shad option. An opaque or tinted polycarbonate still allows some light through, but not too much heat. Check the product specifications before you decide which one to use.