3 Ways To Create Backyard Shade In Calgary, Alberta

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With the first day of spring passed and the promise of warm summer weather on the way, many homeowners are daydreaming about lazy afternoons spent in the backyard, relaxing in the backyard shade. While trees and buildings can help give you a nice cool spot to lounge, their placement might not be that convenient. So what can you do to create that perfect shade in your backyard?

We’ve done a lot of these types of builds, and we can recommend three main types that are by far the most popular, depending on your layout and the space available.

Pergolas for creating shade

While many people may not have even heard of these, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ve encountered a pergola before. The basic premise of a pergola is 4 support beams, no walls (though sometimes lattice is used), and an open roof, which again may be lattice or other cross-beams of some kind. They are usually placed in gardens or other similar greenspaces to be a focal point of the area. They can be made of wood, vinyl, or steel, depending on how strong they need to be for the area’s weather.

By using vines, curtains, wood, canvas, or other suitable materials, it’s easy to not only create shade from above and the sides, but to integrate how the pergola looks into the overall feel of your home. In modern architectural design, these decorative pieces are generally set in a square that can be expanded to the desired size, but traditionally, there are a lot of imaginative forms they can take. Be creative and think about whether one of these would go well in your garden, flower bed, or yard. Our friends at Trex make a customizable pergola set that is a perfect place to start.

Gazebos for backyard shade

Like a pergola, gazebos are open on the sides, but they are usually larger and have ornamental roofs that are more elaborate than the simple ones found on pergolas. They are great for shade and shelter, and can be a perfect area to host barbecues and other small outdoor events. You’ll most often see them in circles or in octagonal shapes.

We recommend building gazebos from wood, instead of metal, brick, or other construction materials – the natural tone is much more aesthetically pleasing, and fits better with most backyards. Cedar is an excellent choice to build your gazebo – it looks great and the smell is enticing, all summer long. Of course, you can paint or stain the wood as well, matching it perfectly with the rest of your house.

Awnings to create backyard shade

They say “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, and awnings are a perfect example of this. Usually made from a simple aluminum frame and a canvas or fabric cloth, awnings are elegant solutions for finding shade that have been around for centuries.

Of course, you have more options for awnings now than most people in history did! You can install one on the wall of your house, easily pulling it out when you need protection from the blazing summer sun. You can connect it to an electric motor that extends the awning in seconds, and retracts it again for protection. They range in size from just a few feet to a hundred square feet or more, proving an easy and reliable way to get shade without venturing too far from your door.

Are you thinking about installing a backyard deck or one of these backyard shade options this summer? At Maritime West Construction, we can help you make the right choice and get it installed with no hassle, right on time to enjoy the warm weather. Imagine a perfect afternoon outside, under the shade of your new addition – and when you’re ready to get started, just let us know!

If you would like to see a further expanded list click here to view 7 sun shelters for your deck in Calgary!

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