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.

5 Replies to “How to Install a Shade Cloth Sail Cover for a Patio”

  1. Fred @ One Project Closer

    Great tip on shade cloths… not very popular here in the states but I definitely like the idea. Looks like you used some pretty serious posts to anchor the thing. How much tension (rough estimate) is actually on the cloth itself? Also, how does it behave in rough weather? Do you have to take it down?

  2. Bill Hutchison Post author

    I went with the larger posts because they were quite high off the ground, about 2.4m (7′ 10″). The larger posts were also recommended because of the heavy winds that we can get.

    I don’t actually know what the tension is on the shade sail. I just twisted the until it was smooth.

    We have left it up in fairly strong winds, but when they reach gale force, and when we thought that Cyclone Ellie was coming, I look it down and hung it in the garage. That’s a nice thing about the turnbuckles, they make it quite easy to put it up and take it down.

  3. Pingback: DIY Round-up: Patio Shade Sail Edition on One Project Closer

  4. jarrad

    how did you anchor it to your house? i am having a similar problem at the moment as i also have a type of wheather board. did you just use a wallplate?
    my prblem is i cant get to the other side to bolt a U bolt in so i need to fix it to my outer wall, i have the support beam that i can fix it to but im not sure if a wallplate will be enough

  5. Bill Hutchison Post author

    It sounds like I had a similar situation to you. I used long carriage bolts to attach wall plates through the weatherboard to the support beam. The plates that I used were similar to Pad Eyes used on boats, http://www.pyacht.com/schaefer-cast-pad-eyes.htm. I just picked them up from Bunnings in the section with the shade sails.

    It held really well, but I definitely removed the shade sail whenever there was a cyclone in the area.

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