Outdoor Sun Shade Sails – Installation
The Learning Process
The process of installing large sun shade sails was quite the learning experience. Once we purchased our sun shade sails, upon inspection we realized that these sails were going to require some additional hardware other than what was provided in the package. We wanted to make sure we could get them up and keep them up with a lot of tension. If the sails were hung too loose, they could flap around in the wind, which meant ripping and tearing.
I was very pleased with the sun shade sails we purchased. We ended up choosing Phoenix Sun Shade Sails. They are made of a heavy-duty, commercial-grade material, but after reading the installation instructions provided, common sense told us we needed to beef-up the installation. You see, we live in a part of our country where summer thunderstorms and tornado threats occur often, so we just wanted to make sure we could get these sails down quickly in case of a storm threat.
Outdoor Sun Shade Sails – Do It Yourself?
Once we committed to the project, we knew we needed help. So we hired a local contractor to help with the installation. They had the tools and resources to install the 6×6 cedar posts we wanted, and they were able to complete the project in a matter of days. It probably would have taken us a few weeks if we had attempted to do it ourselves!
Outdoor Sun Shade Sails – Pole Installation Photos
Special Materials We Used In Our Project
Here is a list of the material and hardware we used for our Outdoor Sun Shade Sail Installation:
- Two each (2) Phoenix Oversized 18.5′ Square Sun Shade Sail Complete Professional Kit Desert Sand Color
- Eight (8) 6×6 Cedar Poles – 4 @ 16′ and 4 @ 14′ for height variance
- 100 feet of Galvanized Steel Wire Rope, 3/16″ x 840 lb, Uncoated
- Four each (4) Reese Towpower 74337 Winches
- Eight each (8) Lehigh 7421-6 5/16-Inch by 3-1/4-Inch 280-Pound Stainless Steel Spring Link
- Four each (4) Lehigh 800 lb. 3/16 in. x 2 in. Stainless-Steel Quick Link
- Twelve sets (12) Lehigh 7462-6 1/4-Inch Stainless Steel Wire Rope Thimble and Clamp Set
The Outdoor Sun Shade Sails were purchased online through Amazon. Most of the hardware was purchased at my local home improvement store, however I did find most of it online and included the links above.
Outdoor Sun Shade Sails – Trial and Error
The actual sun shade sail installation was a process of trial and error. The poles were installed first at staggered heights to give the sails dimension and allow for water run-off. The cables were installed next. At first we used a wire cable that had a plastic protector around it and tightened it down with two of the Stainless-Steel Wire Rope Thimbles.
On the first windy day after the sun shade sails were up, the plastic around one of the wire cables stretched and ended up snapping off. Down came one corner of a shade sail. Okay, that didn’t work. Round Two…
So what happened? We figured that with the wind blowing the shade sails up and down, the plastic coating on the wire cable wasn’t allowing the thimbles to grip the wire cable tight enough. We replaced all the plastic coated wire cables and used galvanized uncoated wire cables and we installed three thimbles on each end connections instead of the two. This ought to do the trick! The shades were installed again and…
Outdoor Sun Shade Sails – SUCCESS!
It worked! All our hard work, trial and error paid off! Watch this video to see the reason why we upgraded our installation!! I have to give kudos to our contractor for working with us on this project. This was his first installation of outdoor sun shade sails and working together we figured out this whole project!
Outdoor Sun Shade Sails – We LOVE our backyard now!
It was so boring and hot out there… but just look at it now!! Needless to say, we love our backyard shade sails!