A patio umbrella is a helpful addition that can provide outdoor spaces with a comfortable reprieve from the sun. If you are searching for the ideal shade for your space, there are a few different options to choose from:
• Standard patio umbrellas feature a straight vertical pole and can be used either freestanding with a weighted base or with a patio set that features an umbrella hole in the center of the table.
• Offset patio umbrellas, also called cantilever umbrellas have a base that is offset to the side so that it doesn’t obstruct the area that it is shading. This makes a cantilever umbrella a convenient option that’s ideal for shading an outdoor dining set or an area where people will be walking through. An offset base also means it can double as a pool umbrella to offer a cooler area in the water while keeping the umbrella base on dry land.
• Half umbrellas are a relative newcomer to the world of backyard shades. These innovative additions are exactly what they sound like: a patio umbrella that looks as if it has been vertically sliced in half. This unusual configuration allows it to be placed snugly against a wall to provide a small pool of shade on a more compact patio. Half umbrellas are particularly useful for sheltering a couple seats or a bistro set on a balcony type patio or as a porch shade for an apartment deck.
Once you know which type of patio umbrella that you would like, be sure to take a look at available features. Some of the most popular include:
• Ability to tilt – this allows you to angle the umbrella to fine tune where the shade falls
• Crank control– a crank umbrella features internal mechanisms that allow you to open and close it simply by turning the handle. This is much easier and more user friendly than manually lifting it open.
• Vents – while this might not seem like a particularly functional addition, venting actually serves two important purposes. A vented umbrella is able to allow heat to escape out from under it and it allows wind to pass through it, preventing the umbrella from blowing away as easily.