Need shade on west side of enclosed pergola

October 25, 2016
We need fresh eyes to look at our outdoor living area problem. We are desperate for some ideas for the west side of our pergola which heats up in the afternoon sun. We've looked at a motorised awning, but not sure that it will fit under the gutter or that it will be suitable on windy days. Considered a cantilevered extension which we could put shade cloth over, but we've been told the beams would fall down. We've also considered a shade sail but where we would need to put in the uprights we have a brick retaining wall so it would be awkward. Husband is not keen to add the uprights for this and is also concerned about winds. I also considered outdoor type curtains but the screen panels in the pergola concertina when we want t open the area up, and the curtains would be in the way of this.
Any suggestions?

Comments (17)

  • oklouise

    to fully shade the brick floor a good quality market umbrella that rotates on a heavy base, suitable small trees (depending on your climate), a tall "fence" of sarlon or decorative panels along the north and west side should reduce intensity but only a roof and wall will provide more effective shade......Do the concertina screens fold in or outwards? is it possibe to add Sarlon Roller blinds to the inside of the screened area...ours were easy to remove at the end of the hot season

  • PRO
    MB Design & Drafting

    A motorised awning would be a good option as it will give more covered outdoor space as well as reduce the Western sun. They usually have a wind speed sensor an retract once the speed too high. It looks like it would fit under the gutter.

    Shade Sails should be engineered and well built as they work like a sail when windy! They can flap and annoy the hell out of everyone if not done properly.

  • LesleyH
    We have just had installed two 85% zipline awnings with remote. We have also taken up the option of having a wind sensor installed. When wind reaches a certain speed it rolls inself up. You have to wait 10 minutes before putting it down again. It also acts as a mozzie protector. The darker the material the more you can see through. We are amazed at the clear vision.
  • Cath
    Thanks for those suggestions. I'll follow up the products you've all mentioned as I'm not familiar with them specifically.
  • Cath
    Oklouise, the concertinas are the large panels and they swing both inside and outside. The room itself is really functional except for his issue with the hot western sun.
  • LesleyH
    Sorry got name wrong - see image below
  • Vy

    We installed louvres overhead but it meant getting plans 3K to install them. Also it didn't help with the sun going down so ended up with privacy screens still got one more for the other side.

  • spmm
    Not sure what the glass is but a 'film' on it may help to reduce the light/heat transfer whilst you look at other options.
  • spmm
    Deep planters outside with fast growing bamboo or large plants will also do the trick and soften the structure.
  • LesleyH
    Bamboo slender weaver 6-8m tall in the ground or Bamboo Fargesia Fortune to 4m tall. Each are clumping, non runners and only grow to 1.2m wide - less if contained in a walled trench.
  • Cath
    Thank you for all the ideas. Sometimes you think about something so much you can't see solutions.

    Like the ideas of umbrellas or awnings. We have 80 mm of the timber beam available to put an awning on. I think they're wider than that.☹️☹️ (There is a bolt in the beam that protrudes 2cm, it's not easily seen in photo as it is painted cream). An awning would need to sit underneath this bolt.

    The panels are plastic not glass and their track would need to be clear for when we open the pergola up, which we do during summer on long hot spells. We did plant callistemons about 3 -4 m away but they have not grown according to

    I'm thinking the most achievable solution is a
    cantilevered umbrella. I think we'd need to concrete the base into the ground and remove the pole during winter. The brick area is a play area - netball etc. Any pros or cons to this idea?
  • 94236633
    Do you live in Melbourne Cath?
    I have a huge cantilever umbrella in Ivory colour that turned out to be too big for my courtyard. I paid $800 for it at Rob Cousens but will sell for $200. It does need to be concreted in and I have the fittings. It's taking up room in the garage.
    Other than that, maybe get a curtain company to come out and see if outside blinds can be fitted to the panels individually, so they won't interfere with opening and closing.
  • Cath
    I will discuss with he who will have ultimate say - as he will be doing the digging! Do you have a photo of the umbrella? And what is its size? I am in Melbourne
  • 94236633
    I will measure tomorrow Cath. I also have the receipt.
  • 94236633
    I will get the measurements tomorrow. I also have the receipt.
  • LesleyH
    Be careful with the canterlevered umbrella. We had one but it was ruined in a wind gust, the arms bent. Too expensive to get fixed.
  • 94236633
    Hi Cath, here are the pics. It is a bit hard to hold being so large. There are the accessories and cover too. It measures 62 cm deep X 124 across. I never left it open, either closed it down or put in garage.