Everyone loves to relax in the sunshine during summer, enjoying barbecues and watching the clouds roll by. A patio is often the most happening place of any home during the warmer months, and a well-maintained, beautifully decorated outdoor space is the delight of any homeowner. Many of us have fond memories of playing outdoors, then flopping down on a lounge chair and enjoying an ice-cold drink while we recharge for another round of frolicking.
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However, sometimes the sun can be too much, which is why patio umbrellas are an essential component of your outdoor patio decor: they provide shade, and protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays, and can even enhance the overall aesthetic of your patio. But with so many different types of patio umbrellas available on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your patio. In this article, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when picking the best patio umbrella for your patio.
The first factor to consider when choosing a patio umbrella is the size. The size of your patio umbrella will depend on the size of your patio, the amount of shade you want, and the number of people you want to accommodate. Typically, patio umbrellas range in size from 6 to 11 feet in diameter. A good rule of thumb is to choose an umbrella that is at least 5 feet wider than the area you want to shade. For example, if you have a 6-foot patio table, you should choose an umbrella that is at least 11 feet in diameter.
The material of your patio umbrella is also an important factor to consider. Patio umbrellas can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, aluminum, and fiberglass. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Wooden umbrellas have been used for thousands of years across many cultures, but they’re still relevant in the modern age thanks to their beauty and durability. However, they require more maintenance than other materials, and they may not be as weather-resistant as aluminum or fiberglass.
Aluminum umbrellas are lightweight, easy to maintain, and weather-resistant. They come in a variety of colors and styles, and they can be powder-coated for added durability. Though they put up a better fight against the elements, they aren’t quite as sturdy as wooden umbrellas – and they cost more.
Fiberglass umbrellas are strong, durable, and lightweight; they are also resistant to rust, corrosion, and fading. These are a good option if you have a very contemporary style, but they do cost more than both wooden and aluminum umbrellas.
The style of your patio umbrella is also an important consideration. Patio umbrellas come in a variety of styles, including freestanding, cantilever, and market umbrellas.
Freestanding umbrellas are the most common type of patio umbrella. They are supported by a central pole and can be placed in the middle of a patio table or in a standalone base. Freestanding umbrellas are available in a range of sizes and materials, and they are often the most affordable option.
Cantilever umbrellas are a popular choice for larger patio spaces. Supported by a pole on one side, with an umbrella canopy extending from the base, this design allows for greater flexibility in placement and provides more shade coverage.
Market umbrellas are similar to freestanding umbrellas but use a center pole instead of a side pole. These are typically used in commercial settings, such as outdoor cafes or restaurants; because of this, market umbrellas are often larger than free-standing umbrellas, and they can be more expensive.
Finally, you should consider any additional features or accessories that come with your patio umbrella. Some umbrellas come with lights, which can be great for nighttime gatherings. Others come with wind vents, which allow for greater stability and air circulation. Some umbrellas also come with tilt and crank mechanisms, which make it easy to adjust the angle of the canopy and open and close the umbrella.
And don’t forget about bases! This help ensures that your umbrella won’t fall down and hurt anyone, especially when the weather is a bit windy. Because the base that comes with your new purchase may not be quite heavy enough, you should consult a buyer’s guide for patio umbrellas, which will give you a good idea of how heavy and large a base you need for your particular model.
Choosing the best patio umbrella for your patio can be a daunting task, but by considering the size, material, style, and features, you can make an informed decision. A patio umbrella can transform your outdoor space into a comfortable and inviting oasis, providing shade, protection, and style. By taking the time to choose the right umbrella, you can enjoy your patio for years to come.