Frequently Asked Questions

Are shade sails waterproof?

Generally, no. While there are some sails available that are waterproof, the idea of a shade sail is to provide shade, not rain protection. Shade sails provide 80 percent protection from rain, but water will seep through during a heavy down pour – but then, who wants to be outside during a storm?

How much sun protection do shade sails offer?

Shade sails offer between 85 and 95 percent protection from harmful UV rays, depending on the colour of the sail. Shade sails offer ‘hard shade’ rather than filtered shade. Being under a shade sail is like being under the canopy of a large tree.

How long does a job take to complete?

Regardless of the size of the job, Shady Places will, in most cases, complete your job within six weeks from the time the sail is ordered. The average job usually involves designing the shade sail, installing poles, and making the sail – a process that normally takes just four weeks. Summer is obviously a busy time for shade sail installers, and from December to February, jobs can take up to eight weeks – all the more reason to order and install before summer.

Why would I choose shade sails instead of a pergola?

Sails offer a more modern design than pergolas, without locking in the summer heat. Many pergola owners find that during the hot summer months, a pergola will retain heat. This is not the case with shade sails. Their open design allows breeze to flow through the area, providing cooler outdoor entertaining. Because sails are structurally lighter than a pergola, they also give your home a more open style living plan, without the enclosed feeling of a pergola.

My business/playground/school is in a very windy area, would shade sails be suitable?

All Shady Places sails are designed and installed to handle the worst possible conditions. During installation, poles are sunk to between 1200mm and 2000mm into the ground, which allows the sails to cope with the strong gale force storms that are common across Melbourne.

Can I choose to have wooden poles installed?

No. Wooden poles are unable to hold the tension of the shade sail. Wooden poles are not designed to go into the ground and are susceptible to rotting. The galvanised steel poles supplied by Shady Places are specifically designed to maintain a shade’s tension for as long as the sail is installed. They will never rust, and come in a range of a modern colours.

What is the smallest or largest area that can be covered by a shade sail?

There are no limits to the size a shade sail. Budget is the only factor that will determine the size of a shade structure. Shady Places have installed sails as small as 1.5 x 2.5 metres up to 15 x 20 metres. Shady Places have a range of innovative designs available to suit any size need.

I have an irregular shaped outdoor area, would shade sails be appropriate?

One of the main benefits of shade sails is they can be designed to suit any configuration. Unlike conventional pergolas, shade sails are not limited by structural designs. Sail designs can be triangular into a narrow point, hexagagonal or square. Shady Places would take great pleasure in designing a sail to meet your individual needs.

Will the sails keep their tension, or will they need to be re-tightened?

Shady Places takes great care to ensure the poles and house points are strong enough to allow for the sail to be tensioned properly during installation. As a result, we have found that 99% of shade sails installed by Shady Places never require re-tightening.

Are shade sails easy to clean?

Once installed, shade sails can be cleaned from underneath using a pressure cleaner. As an extra service, Shady Places also offers a full cleaning service. During this process, we take the sails down, clean them using a high-pressure cleaner, and then have them dry cleaned.

How many colours will I have to choose from?

Shady Places offers sails in up to 30 different colours. Our full range of colours can be previewed on this website.

Do you offer a repair and maintenance service?

Shady Places offers a full repair and maintenance service for two years after your shade sail is installed. All work is conducted by our trained staff.

Is it safe to connect sails to a building or house?

Shady Places takes great care to ensure all sail installations meet strict safety standards. When connecting sails to a house, we fix all appropriate points directly to the house structure to provide maximum strength and safety. Smaller sails can be fixed directly to brick corners.

Do you require local council permits for shade sails?

In most cases, permits are not required for shade cloth shade sails, but you should check with your local council. Waterproof sails do require council permits.

Is it a requirement to have shade sails engineered?

All commercial shade sails should be engineered, and all schools are now required to have engineering certificates of compliance design for all shade structures. School must also have yearly inspections of shade sails conducted by a structural engineer.
Domestically, a certificate of compliance design is only required if you are obtaining a Council permit. All Shady Places sails meet engineering requirements.

Why choose Shady Places?

Shady Places prides itself on designing, delivering and installing sails to the highest standards, while keeping its products reasonably priced. Shady Places will complete all aspects of your sail installation – from the manufacturing of the sails, to installation of poles and building points. This way, Shady Places maintains total control over your job, ensuring it is completed on time and to your satisfaction.

What qualifications do Shady Places employees have?

All Shady Places staff are fully trained in installing and designing sails. Company owner, Steve Goodwin, is a registered building practioner with an extensive background in the canvas and upholstery industry.