Selecting The Right Shade Solution For Your Commercial Space

Commercial sail shades have become an important addition to businesses today, taking about 44.97% of the sail market as of 2021. For one, they create vibrant and inviting spaces, attracting customers. They also extend usable space and create a cooler, more comfortable environment; it’s a win-win for businesses. (1)

You could be looking to cool down a deck, shield customers from the rain, or set up an extra business space; commercial shade solutions offer a world of possibilities for your business. But with so many choices out there, finding the perfect fit for your commercial space isn’t an easy feat.

This post walks you through the top factors to consider when selecting a commercial shade. Let’s begin!

Material Considerations

The materials you choose for your shade solution will affect its durability, maintenance, and overall aesthetic. For fabric awnings and sails, consider options that are resistant to UV rays, fading, and mildew. Popular choices include acrylic and polyester.

Frame materials can vary as well. Aluminum, for example, is lightweight, durable, and resistant to corrosion, making it a popular choice for many shade structures. On the other hand, steel is stronger but heavier; it also requires regular maintenance to prevent rust. Meanwhile, if you want a natural aesthetic that complements certain architectural styles, wood can be an option. However, wood demands the most upkeep compared to other materials; regular cleaning, sealing, and possibly even treatment for rot and insects are necessary to ensure its longevity.

Selecting the right materials for your commercial shade solution is crucial for both functionality and safety; two key factors to prioritize are UV protection and fire resistance.

That said, look for materials that offer good UV protection, adhering to standards like AS4174:2018. This ensures your shades effectively block harmful ultraviolet rays, protecting both your customers and your furnishings from sun damage. Fire resistance is equally important for safety. So, opt for materials with a low fire risk to minimize the chance of fire hazards, especially if your shades are exposed to high heat or open flames. You can click here for more information to help you select the right material.

Working with a Professional

One of the best ways to get the correct shade solution for your commercial space is to work with professionals. This is ideal, especially when working with larger or more complex installations. An experienced installer can ensure proper design, secure installation, and adherence to building codes. 

Start by researching reputable companies in your area. Look for those with a strong track record and positive online reviews. Next, delve into their portfolio of past projects. Do their past installations align with your vision and desired aesthetic? Request references too – a reputable company will be happy to connect you with satisfied clients.

Finally, schedule a consultation to discuss the company’s experience. During these meetings, inquire about their understanding of local regulations that might impact your project and gain a clear picture of their design and installation process.

Understanding Commercial Shade Solutions

The world of commercial shade is diverse; each solution offering unique benefits. Fixed awnings, for example, are a popular choice for storefronts and restaurants, providing permanent shade and protection from the elements. They come in various styles and materials, from classic canvas to modern aluminum. 

Retractable awnings, on the other hand, offer flexibility. You can extend them for shade when needed and retract them to enjoy the sunshine or clear views. These are often motorized for easy operation and may be customized to match your brand colors. 

Canopies offer another option, either freestanding or attached to a building. They come in different sizes and are perfect for creating shaded areas over patios, outdoor dining spaces, or even parking lots.

Meanwhile, shade sails are a more modern and stylish alternative; they add a touch of flair while providing ample protection from the sun. Most shade sails protect against 90-95% UV rays, making them ideal for outdoor settings. They can also be configured in countless ways to suit your space and style. (2)

Assessing Your Needs

As you explore your options, assess your specific needs. What’s the primary goal of your shade solution? Are you looking to block the harsh sun during peak hours, create a more inviting and comfortable outdoor space, or even use the shade to extend your usable commercial area?

Next, consider the location and orientation of your space. Which direction does it face? What are the typical weather patterns in your area? Are there any existing structures that could be integrated with a shade solution? These factors will significantly influence the type of shade structure that will work best. 

And, of course, budget is always a consideration. So, determine a realistic amount you’re willing to invest in your shade solution; this will help narrow down your choices and ensure you don’t overspend. Check for any local regulations or zoning requirements that might affect your options too.

Maintenance Needs and Longevity

Your commercial shades need regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them durable for a long time; this might include cleaning the fabric, checking for wear and tear, and lubricating moving parts. Therefore, choose materials that can easily be scrubbed, hosed down, and can be cleaned with soap and water without damaging it. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific care guidelines. (3) 

Many shade solutions come with warranties that cover repairs or replacements in case of damage. So, be sure to understand the terms of your warranty and what it covers.

In Closing

Choosing the right shade solution for your commercial space involves a thoughtful balance of purpose, aesthetics, and budget. With the factors discussed above, you can create a comfortable and inviting environment for your employees, customers, and guests.

And remember, a well-chosen shade solution is an investment that can enhance your business’s appeal and functionality. 


1. Shade Sails Market to Reach $2.68 Billion by 2027, Around $600 Million Opportunities to be Explored During the Forecast Period – Arizton:
2. How to Buy a Shade Sail:,most%20UV%20rays  
3. How to Clean a Retractable Awning: