There are lots of great reasons to add a shade system to your courtyard. Whether your space accommodates bistro or bar patrons or it provides a communal relaxation area for an apartment or office complex, hospital or school, shade can be both functional and aesthetically appealing.
A shade system can be an affordable and forward-thinking investment. Here are just five ways shade can improve your courtyard:
If you’re operating a retail enterprise, the ability to use your courtyard during the summer months or even multiple seasons can extend your “sales floor.” That enables you to generate more revenue.
Turn your courtyard into additional seating area for your bistro or bar. For super-popular establishments, additional space helps reduce waiting lines that can turn sales away. You can expand your retail space for special sales, or use your courtyard for small-audience special events such as a live music performance.
When your courtyard is earning additional revenue, it can help pay for your shade system in no time. Now that’s a good investment!
Even if your courtyard is partially shaded by surrounding buildings, when the sun beams in it can be uncomfortable for anyone sitting outdoors. Shade not only protects people from the direct sun, it cools the entire space. Brick, cement or other hard surfaces absorb and radiate heat, so by shading the floor you can bring the temperature down noticeably. That helps keep surrounding walls a little cooler, too.
Dressing up your courtyard makes it more inviting. It’s not just shade, so have some fun with it. If your courtyard is large enough, you can use shade system components to define separate “rooms” – perhaps comfy conversational seating in one area, an outdoor beverage station at another. . .
4. Drawing power.
If your courtyard is visible from the street, a snazzy shade system will draw people’s attention, whereas they might otherwise just walk on by. Noticing your business is the first step toward entering and, ultimately, becoming a customer.
The thing about creating shade is that you have so much choice. You can choose traditional retractable or stationary awnings, free-standing tent-style canopies, umbrellas, tensioned membrane structures with the look of wings. They can be any size. And you don’t have to use just one. Interesting combinations can give your courtyard a look that’s completely unique and uniquely inviting.
Good advice is a good place to start.
Investing some time consulting with an awning expert might be your smartest purchasing decision. The vast array of options can be daunting, especially if you aren’t familiar with all the details of design and construction and the various materials available.
Fully understanding all those options, and getting solid advice from a pro will ensure you get exactly the shade system you need. You’ll get some great ideas, too, because the pros have seen it all. They know what works best, what looks best and what will last the longest, trouble-free. Why guess?
You’ll want to discuss:
- Ease of set-up and take-down, and storage considerations in the off-season.
- How long you expect the shade system to last. This will depend on whether you use it occasionally or continuously over several months each year, as well as the materials you choose.
- Local building codes. Sometimes they include rules or restrictions for temporary structures in addition to permanently-attached building elements.
- Night time use. If you’ll use your shade systems to provide a “ceiling” for after-dark activities, you’ll need to think about lighting, too.
- Maintenance. Shade systems will last longest if you care for them kindly. That’s usually a simple proposition, but knowing exactly how to clean the specific framing and fabric you choose will be important.
- Your budget.
Better weather is coming. Is there a new shade system in your future?
Photo Credit: Phil Comeau via Flickr