How to Install a Shade Cloth Sail Cover for a Patio

Coolaroo Shade Cloth Sail attached to our House and Timber PostsThe Shade Cloth cover we picked up for at Bunnings for only $40! It is a 4 metre x 4 metre Coolaroo Shade Cloth Sail that comes with a 15-year warranty and offers 90% UV protection. It was discounted because it’s a non-standard colour, even though it matches our paint colour scheme almost perfectly.

First I sunk 150mm diameter posts 60cm into the ground and then filled it with cement for the outer posts. At the base of the posts I made sure that the concrete sloped down, so the water would run away and not pool against the posts. I then put I-bolts through the posts for my anchor points.

Coolaroo Shade Cloth Sail over our Outdoor Entertainment AreaAgainst the side of the house I found where the timber studs were and simply screwed the stainless steel eye plates through the siding and into the studs.

The shade cloth sail has stainless steal rings at the four corners, so once my anchor points were down I used turnbuckles to attache the shade cloth sail to the anchor points.

Shade Cloth Sail Anchor Points Turnbuckle and ibolt After attaching the shade cloth sail to the four anchor points I used the turnbuckles to tension everything so that it ended up with a nice even tension over the surface of the shade cloth sail.

All up the cover only cost about $240 including the posts, concrete, shade cloth and all the brackets.

Note: One of my posts ended up farther away than I had planned, so I used some chain link to extend the turnbuckle to the anchor point on the post.

New Photo of the Front of our Queenslander

Tamara took this photo of the house back in November and I’ve been meaning to post it for a while as it’s a great photo of the front of the house with all the painting done and the window hoods on.

Front of our Raised Queenslander House

I love the perspective of the house from this photo. It turned out really good and it was a nice sunny day for it, we haven’t had many sunny days since then.

We have had 40 days and 40 nights of rain in a row here and there has been a lot of flooding around the region. It’s crazy, but I’m glad that we were at least spared getting hit by Tropical Cyclone Ellie a few days ago.

There is still a risk that the cyclone could reform as the tropical low crosses back over the ocean, but it’s a low risk.

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie Crossed the Coast Early

Tropical Cyclone Ellie took a sharp right turn last night, weakened to a tropical low and crossed the coast near Mission Beach around mid-night. You can see the latest cyclone tracking map below. You can also see the predicted path of it from now on, but they are notoriously inaccurate.

Ex-Tropical Cylcone Ellie North of Townsville

There is still a severe weather warning for Townsville and the area between Innisfail and Mackay, so my shade cloth will be staying down for now and I’m expecting a lot more rain.

There is speculation that this could be a bad cyclone season for North Queensland, and this is the second one that we have seen up here so far this year. I remember being called a "pansy" for not wanting a cyclone to come through next year. Well, if that’s the case then please call me a pansy again this year, as I would rather avoid the cyclones…

Tropical Cyclone Ellie to hit North of Townsville

It’s time to batten down the hatches so to speak as Tropical Cyclone Ellie is due to hit land about 120km North of Townsville on Monday (tomorrow) at around noon. Here is the current tracking map from the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology (link):

Tropical Cylcone Ellie North of Townsville

We will be keeping a close eye on this cyclone and this afternoon I’ll be taking down the shade cloth cover from our outdoor entertainment area. If the cyclone starts to build in strength, or move south at all, I’ll also be taking in the chairs, table and possibly the barbeque into the garage.

The last cyclone to hit near Townsville was Tropical Cyclone Larry in 1996 while our house was being lifted. That cyclone destroyed or damaged 1 of 3 houses in Innisfail, which you can see on the map above. This time we should see an increase in rain and strong winds in Townsville, but if it continues on the current path we should be fairly safe here.

Dealing with cyclones is one of the challenges we get to deal with living in the tropics. My wife’s been talking about writing an article about how challenging this climate can be at times (this week we had to throw out a backpack and at least one pair of shoes because of mould). Not sure if she will get around to it, but if so I’ll make sure to post it on here …