Aussies Living Simply

Installing Shade Sails?

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  • #256059
    Rinelle
    Member

    We’re having some massive heat problems from our east and west facing windows (house is completely facing the wrong way), and I’m thinking that shadesails are going to be our simplest and more importantly, cheapest options, but I’m a bit nervous about installing them. Mostly, not a problem, but once or twice a year, we do have some big winds. Obviously if we’re home we can take the sails down if there’s a big wind, but if we’re not home, or it’s the middle of the night, I’d like to know they can stand up to it and not flap around and smash a window.

    Any advice on installing them? Outside our bedroom will probably only be a small sail, maybe 3m x 3m square, and I’m debating a way to attach it to the ground, since we don’t need to be able to walk under it really. Would tent pegs do, or are they just going to be a danger? I’m thinking they’re probably not going to hold it, but DH thinks they will.

    Out the front we’ll need a larger one, I’m thinking 8m x 5m to cover the main windows and sliding glass doors. This one will need some steel posts set in concrete I’m thinking, probably one higher than the other. Still deciding if that will look cool or weird, LOL.

    Both of them will need to be attached to the house on one side. I’m thinking the best place to attach them is the bricks. Our facia board (however you spell that?) doesn’t seem to have anything solid behind it, and anyway, if they’re attached there there will still be a gap where the sun can go through. Will drilling into the brick be strong enough? I did read about something called sail rails, but not sure if they will work with shade sails, or if they are only for a particular type of sail? (Seem to be marine related.)

    Any advice really appreciated. DH and I are pretty new to building stuff and DIYing things, so we’re a bit aprehensive. Prices to get them installed professionally are crazy though!

    #513978
    Michael1973
    Member

    Tent pegs wont hold them. When they get some wind behind them there is a huge amount of force to restrain. I would go for as solid a mount as you can get. I would think the bricks would be OK. Most times you see the metal poles concreted on an angle against the anticipated force of the sail to stop the metal poles being bent under high wind. Really high wind will shred the sails which are usually held under tension with those screw adjuster thingies. Sail rails are an extruded alloy channel which one edge of a sail (as in boat) is threaded along. The threaded edge has rope hemmed into it which is what is threaded into the channel. Probably not strong enough for what your after and i dont think they do it with shade cloth.

    #513979
    Bullseye
    Member

    Hi Rinelle, This is a bit of a rough guide… The general engineering rule of thumb with posts in the ground is 1/3 in-ground for 2/3 out-of-ground. A steel post, SHS 100x100x4mm (galv preferable) 3 metres out-of-ground should have a hole about 300mm diameter of concrete poured around it for a shade sail with an area ranging between 20-30 m2. The post should have 100mm thick concrete base before the post goes in.

    The posts should have about an 5 degree angle leaning away from the middle of the shade sail.

    #513980
    Bullseye
    Member

    For connecting a shade sail to a brick wall I’d attach a mounting plate (incorporating the loop to connect a “D shackle” to it, to the wall that anchors to 4 different bricks one anchor point per brick – spread the load. There is a lot of force in wind from a storm onto a shade sail – wouldn’t want to weaken the wall by anchoring a corner of the sail to just one brick.

    #513981
    Snoopy
    Member

    Agree 100% with all the responses above. A few further thoughts for you:

    [ol]

    [li]Make sure your bricks are not made from concrete! Besser blocks and the like are very soft compared to a clay brick and dynsbolts may not get a good grip. If you have clay bricks, make sure the dynabolts go into the bricks and not the mortar joins.[/li]

    [li]I’d go a few smaller sails than one larger one. The idea is to hopefully allow the wind to pass harmlessly between them rather than grabbing hold and trying to wrench it from it’s anchor points. Have a look in school yards at how they cover a larger area to get an idea of what I mean.[/li]

    [li]Have you thought about some form of shutter or louvre panelled screen for some or all of the windows instead? Your DIY skills may cope better with solid materials?[/li]

    [li]Also have a look at plant solutions. Some fast growing screen plants may give you a solution in a couple of years, or advanced plants in pots might be ableto be positioned sooner for some relief. Bamboo springs to mind.[/li]

    [/ol]

    All the best with getting some relief very soon!

    #513982
    Rinelle
    Member

    Wow, some great advice there.

    Thinking now about going with a retractable blind for the bedroom window. Something like this. Being closer to the house, I think it should be safe from the wind doing too much damage?

    For the front, I really want to keep our straight line of sight to the back yard so that I can see my daughter when she’s playing out there. Eventually we want a patio, but it’s just not affordable right now. Shade sails are a semi temporary (couple of years at least!) measure.

    How do I know what my bricks are made out of? They aren’t besser bricks, they just look like normal bricks to me. Does that mean they are clay ones? Great idea to place the fitting over 4 bricks, I wouldn’t have thought of that, thanks.

    A couple of sails is probably a good idea. I’m thinking that will mean putting in more posts though, and I hate digging post holes, LOL. Will have to think about how to make some combinations. Could look quite nice if I get it right.

    #513983
    Snoopy
    Member

    Rinelle post=329418 wrote: …How do I know what my bricks are made out of? They aren’t besser bricks, they just look like normal bricks to me. Does that mean they are clay ones?…

    If you can see them, and they look like bricks, then you’re okay. Our place was rendered over what looked like normal bricks, and the hammer drill made holes in our concrete bricks like a hot knife in butter.

    #513984
    Rinelle
    Member

    Having trouble sourcing the steel posts. Anyone have any ideas where I should be looking for them? I’ve found a couple of places that sell actual shade sail posts, but they want $200-300 each for them, and that’s a bit more than I want to pay! Found some second hand in the paper, but they were already sold. 🙁 Not sure where else to look?

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