Design and Install your own Shade Sails

Easy Step-by-step guide to ordering your Shade Sails Kit

Installing your own shade sails is a satisfying and reasonably straight forward project. This can be carried out by anyone familiar with using a tape measure and masonry drill, and by following the steps below.

To avoid possible installation difficulty, we use the principle of reverse sizing after the attachment positions have been chosen. In other words, the sail is custom shaped and sized for its location, usually without the need for extension ropes or similar. The pattern and manufacture process includes compensation for the tensioners (turnbuckles, rigging screws) and the correct degree of fabric stretch so that installing the shade sail is as simple as connecting and tightening the turnbuckles for a perfect fit.

Step 1: Design your Shades

Choose a shade sail design or layout for the area to be covered. You can source ideas from the Photo Gallery, or make use of our 3D Design Service via email correspondence.
  • Begin by finding suitable attachment positions on buildings and walls - the shade sails will be reverse sized by us to fit between wherever you choose to place the attachment points. If poles are needed we can advise on diameters and concrete base sizes, contact us and include the approximate sizes of the sails you wish to attach to poles.
  • Try to use an arrangement of 3-sided or 4-sided shapes. These create simple elegant lines and are often reminiscent of nautical sail shapes. Multi-sided sails are possible, but require more complicated measuring when multiple planes are involved.
  • To add interest, cover larger areas by overlapping sails rather than using one large single sail. Remember to leave a vertical space of 100-200mm between overlapping shade sails to avoid chafing.
  • Most of the fabrics we offer will deflect rainwater to varying degrees. By sloping or twisting the shade sail this effect will be improved, and water run-off can be directed to a chosen low point. Water will tend to drip through the middle of the sail in the case of a perfectly horizontal shade sail. Sails made from completely waterproof fabrics MUST be sloped to at least 1:4 to avoid rain water pooling on the sail.
  • Avoid shade sail corner angles of sharper than 25 degrees. This may cause intersection of the catenary curves and thus an "impossible" sail shape.
  • On outside corners of buildings and the tops of walls, anchor points should not be positioned closer than 100mm from the wall edge or top. "Vibracrete" type garden walls and unreinforced brick pillars are not suitable for attaching shade sails to. Established trees can be used - any part of the tree that has no movement at all in wind can be fixed onto, as a good rule of thumb.

Step 2: Measuring for your Shades

  • Mark the individual anchor point positions on the walls or poles that are to be used for sail attachment with chalk or pencil, ie. A, B, C, D etc, making final marks with a permanent marker pen or similar. Where there is a risk of the marks being painted over, a nailable tag can be used. Where multiple sails are to be marked in the same area, writing in the shade sail number is a good idea to avoid confusion, ie 1A,1B, 1C….2A, 2B, 2C etc
  • Take measurements between these marks, to the nearest 10mm. The diagrams below illustrate which measurements are needed for 3-sided and 4-sided shapes, measuring for sails with more than four sides in multiple planes is a little more complicated – please contact us.

Step 3: Submit your Shade measurements

Please email your measurements and contact details to to "request a quote."

Step 4: Installing your Shade

Following your quote acceptance, manufacture and delivery, the shade sails can be fitted. There will be instructions supplied with your order package, outlining how to fit the wall anchors in the positions marked previously, how to attach the shade sail, and how to tension it correctly using the turnbuckles.
Awe-inspiring shade sails since 2006