I gave quite a bit of thought to the possible ways in which I could create a shady area on my patio. It quickly became evident to me that I didn't have the expertise to actually build it myself but I could certainly come up with some ideas and design it!
What I decided on was to have a framework built, using 4 x 4 treated lumber on one side, with the other side anchored to the house. On this framework, I planned to attach a shade fabric. While it would allow rain through, it would keep out 84 - 90% of sunlight and harmful UV rays. The fabric is called Cooleroo and comes in a variety of colors.
I enlisted the help of my neighbor to build the framework and below you can see some in progress photographs.
The first upright post.
The first rafter
Rafters nearing completion.
Once my neighbor had built the framework, I was able to get up on a ladder and attach the Cooleroo shade fabric.
Just a little trimming still to be done, but you can already see how much sunlight it blocks -- check out the blazing sun on the right hand side of the photo! Now all it needs is some greenery and my backyard oasis will be complete!
And -- a few weeks later you can see I have added some hanging baskets, as well as finishing the patio floor by filling around the edges with gravel standing potted plants. Since this area carries a lot of water off the roof, I determined this was the best way to deal with the area, improving the drainage and lessening the chance of severe flooding.
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