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Stay Cool & Comfortable with Our Outdoor Privacy and Shade Options

Stay Cool & Comfortable with Our Outdoor Privacy and Shade Options

While it's relaxing and restorative to spend time outdoors, not everyone wants to (or should be) exposing themselves to the sun's rays. When planning your outdoor living space, include at least one source of shade in your designs so that you can benefit from the fresh air without being constantly exposed to direct sunlight. We've gathered some of our favorite shade ideas for patios, porches, and backyards. When it comes to creating the ultimate outdoor set up, it’s worth taking the time to consider and research the best shading and privacy options for your needs. In this blog, we will cover popular choices for backyard privacy, as well as tips for choosing the best components for your space.

Types of Outdoor Shading Options

Retractable Awnings

  • Benefits of retractable awnings: Forget the dated awnings your grandparents had, contemporary awnings are softer, made of more pliable and longer-lasting materials, and, quite simply, are better looking. A retractable awning will protect your outdoor furniture from sun and water damage. Many homeowners report that installing a retractable awning saves them up to 30% on cooling costs. Added bonus, since you can store it during the off season you won't have to replace it as often.
  • Considerations when choosing a retractable awning: While there are alot of benefits ot retractable awnings, there are some factors to consider. Retractable awnings are more expensive than most other types of sunshade options, especially if you compare them to less permanent options that you can put up and take down.  Just like every other part of your home, you’ll have to take care of your retractable awning as well. You may have to clean the fabric or replace zippers and sliders to maintain it. If you don’t have the time or skill to maintain a retractable awning properly, you may want to get a different type of sunshade. 

Shade Sails

  • Benefits of shade sails: Shade sails are constructed from a knitted fabric which has tiny mesh holes allowing airflow through the fabric. These provide a cool, shaded area in your backyard, patio, or deck to keep cool and help avoid sunburn. Shade Sails are an affordable opinion that offer high UV protection from harmful UV rays produced by the sun.
  • Considerations when choosing shade sails: As with most anything else, there are some drawbacks to shade sails. The most common of the drawbacks is referred to as sail sagging. Essentially, sail sagging is one that dips towards the middle and will flap in the wind. The main causes of sail sagging are poor quality materials and poor quality rigging. Maintaining your shade sails is an ongoing task that you may want to avoid.
Shade sails effectively providing shade on a sunny day.

Outdoor Curtains

  • Benefits of outdoor curtains: Outdoor curtains are a great way to add a functional and  decorative accent to your outdoor living space. They help keep your outdoor space cool on hot summer days and provide privacy from neighbors or passersby. Outdoor curtains can also help protect your furniture and other backyard decor from sun damage.
  • Considerations when choosing outdoor curtains: Outdoor curtains require ongoing maintenance, they get dirty from exposure to dust and other airborne contaminants that blow around outside. They can be expensive depending on what kind of fabric you choose (i.e., polyester, cotton, etc.). Polyester tends to cost more than cotton but both have their benefits so it’s up to you which one works best for your needs based upon price point.

Outdoor Blinds

  • Benefits of outdoor blinds: Outdoor blinds allow you to separate a region of your yard for entertaining and privacy. Using outdoor blinds shield you and your visitors from the harsh sunlight and weather, allowing you to enjoy the outdoor life even though the weather isn’t on your side. Outdoor blinds combine well with any environment and come in a wide variety of colors and styles that will complement your space.
  • Considerations when choosing outdoor blinds: If you have kids at home, blinds with a pulling cord are not advisable for you to use whether it is indoors or outdoors. Aside from children, you should also be cautious if you have pets around. You also need to consider that the lift tape on the outdoor blinds will eventually deteriorate over time and it deteriorates fast. You will need to replace it more often as part of your maintenance. 
Home with umbrellas, shades, and outdoor privacy.

Types of Outdoor Privacy Options

Outdoor Screens

  • Benefits of outdoor screens: Looking for some privacy in your backyard? A privacy screen is a simple and practical option. Privacy screens are detached, freestanding screens that allow you to shield off part of your yard or property. Depending on the type of privacy screen, you can also move it around your yard to block different areas from sight at different times. Shield your patio from the busy portion of the sidewalk while you’re entertaining, or set it up over the garden to provide shade for certain plants during peak sunlight hours.
  • Considerations when choosing outdoor screens: If you want to complete privacy in your yard, a privacy screen or two probably won’t cut it. While helpful in blocking small areas, these screens aren’t usually larger than a few fencing panels. Complete privacy around your yard or pool will require a different solution.


  • Benefits of fences: With a fence, you can add either partial or full privacy to any property in any style. Do you want to block out noise as well? Solid wood fencing naturally has this feature. In general, a fence’s privacy features will depend on a number of factors, such as the type of wood used as well as the style of the fence. A well-maintained fence installation can also add curb appeal, which translates to a higher value for your home.
  • Considerations when choosing fences: Fences are an upfront expense and need ongoing maintenance. Fence maintenance usually entails regularly cleaning with a pressure washer or garden hose, a bi-yearly repaint, and a re-stain every five years. 

Hedge Walls

  • Benefits of hedge walls: Hedge walls are typically made from plastic, and were created as an alternative to living gardens and shrubbery. Hedge walls are becoming a staple in many modern homes. A hedge wall requires very little maintenance and  doesn’t require watering, fertilizing, and pest control like traditional landscaping. You also don’t have to worry about cutting back or shaping hedge walls as they’re truly evergreen and stay in the same stunning shape their whole lifetime.
  • Considerations when choosing hedge walls: One major thing that plastic plants simply cannot do is provide oxygen and process carbon emissions the way a real plant can. If a lush, natural landscape is your goal, you may want to choose another option. Additionally, it is hard to achieve total privacy with a hedge wall as the size and shape are limiting. 
A beautiful outdoor deck with railing.

Tips for Choosing the Best Option for Your Outdoor Space

 Assessing the Outdoor Space

The first step to enhancing your outdoor living space is to use your imagination. Dream and dream big.Then go indoors and look out the windows to envision what you’d like to see when you look outside.  Initially, dream without constraints. There will be plenty of time to prioritize and set practical, workable goals but your long-term vision will help identify the necessary steps to achieve your backyard dreams.

Budget Considerations

Every plan needs to be grounded with a budget in mind. If you must create your ideal outdoor living space over time, know what your ultimate goals are so that you can save money in the long run. Prioritize the projects that will meet your budget stipulations and will give you the most immediate satisfaction. Along with coming up with a general budget, factor in upkeep costs. After all, an outdoor space that’s not correctly cared for won’t be comfortable or beautiful for very long. 

Style Considerations

 One of the biggest mistakes people make in their early attempts at designing a space is not determining a style or theme for the outdoor-living area. You don’t want to end up with a hodgepodge of design and elements that don’t necessarily work together. When you are upgrading your home, work with a professional to determine a style for your outdoor living area. Make sure it blends with or compliments your home style. 

Durability and Maintenance Considerations

Come sunshine or snow, your outdoor space will be exposed to the elements. Planning out your maintenance costs and the time needed to repair, refinish, and protect your selection is important. Ongoing costs might include deck refinishing, fountain or pond maintenance, and landscaping upkeep. To reduce your overall expenses, you can always create your dream outdoor space over several years and learn how to DIY some smaller routine maintenance projects.

Outdoor space with storage and seating.

Turn to Webfoot for Your Dream Backyard

Webfoot is your source for everything deck related. Our team is made up of true craftsmen who specialize in the design, layout, care, know how, and maintenance of decks and outdoor living spaces in Bend and surrounding areas. You won't catch us remodeling kitchens or building homes, but when it comes to natural wood decks and composite decks...we're the seriously great team for the job. Seriously. 

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