HOW TO INSTALL A SHADE SAIL

March 10, 2022 54 Comments

HOW TO INSTALL A SHADE SAIL

Shade sails are an inexpensive way to block harmful UV rays from your patio space, and they help cool off the area! Shade sails take you one step closer to creating the perfect backyard getaway, but you may be worried about the technical aspects of bringing your dream to life. Installing them may seem intimidating, but you can complete the installation yourself with time and basic power tool knowledge. This DIY approach will also help you save on additional professional installation costs.


We created a brief how-to guide for installing your shade sail that comes with a few tips and tricks you may not have considered to get you on the right path. Remember that there are various ways to hang your shade sail based on the location and size, offering excellent installation flexibility and making it easier for you to choose the methods that are the best fit for you.

Preparation

Tools & Hardware

As we mentioned, there are many ways to hang a shade sail, resulting in a range of tools and hardware depending on the method you choose. You can review our list below for the most common tools and hardware pieces.


  • Impact drill
  • Screw & Plastic Expansion
  • Pad Eye
  • Turnbuckle
  • Snap Hook
  • Rope
  • Post
  • Ladder


Rope is included with the purchase of our shade sail, shade sail hardware kits are sold separately in our store. If you are missing any other needed tools, you can rent them from most large hardware stores.

Fixing points

Many customers plan to use the side of their house, outbuilding, fence or garden wall for some of their fixing points and then where needed they supplement with posts or poles.


Posts and poles come in a variety of styles, and it is important to ensure that your chosen post is up to the job. Thin posts can bend or snap under the weight of a shade sail.  The sail itself needs to be supported, and extra stress will be placed on the poles if the wind blows or if rain falls.


Square, wooden, fence like posts or round, wooden poles can all be purchased from your local wood merchants or DIY store.  A diameter of 125mm for round and 125mm x 125mm for a square one would seem like a reasonable minimum width.  To be very secure, most posts require a hole in the ground to be dug and a mix of gravel and concrete laid to support the pole securely in place and avoid movement.      


Other ideas, which you would need to investigate and use at your own risk (as we haven't tested them – please note!) is to get some bolt down metal plates which your post can fit into – this might work if you want to secure directly to stone-ground or patio.  Another idea might be to look into some of the fence post spikes that are on the market, installing at a slight angle away from the sail or using ratchet tie-down straps may help support the posts if the spikes are subject to a bit of movement.  Either way with both these alternative options you will need to consider whether they will be strong enough to take any pull from the sail.

Installation Guide

Step One: Measuring

There are two important measurements when installing a shade sail. First, installation height, and second, the distance between the fitments.


The distance between the fitments should match the size of your sail . Adjustments can be made to a certain degree with the type and amount of fitments and/rope you decide to use, but the closer you can get to the right size, the better.


The height of the posts will also play a factor. Remember that you must install your sail at an angle of 20-30 degrees, depending on the size of your sail, to allow any rain water to run off.  Where some posts are higher than others, a diagonal line will be involved which will change the length of your measurement.

Step Two: Installing the pad eyes

Attach each pad eye using appropriate screws and anchors as needed at the marked anchor points identified in the previous step. Verify each one is level and secure before moving on to the next.

Step Three: Installing shade sail

Carefully unwrap your sail and without dragging it along the ground, and also ensure that the seams are facing down. Open it up and start to hook each D ring onto your chosen fitments. The sails have curved sides for pull and tension, so as you install each corner, you may notice it becomes increasingly more challenging to attach; this is entirely normal. Shade sails must be very taut to avoid damage during high winds and inclement weather. You may need to run a rope through the sails corner hardware and the pad eye to help you pull the sail into position. Note: If the shade sail doesn't reach each pad eye, you may need to implement chain links or steel cable to make up the difference where needed.

Step Four: Tightening the screws

Once each corner is securely attached, you will need to tighten each turnbuckle a few turns at a time to get even tension all around the shade sail. Once the tensioning is complete, the shade sail should have little to no wrinkles in the fabric and should not sag in the middle.

Step Five: Enjoying

Sit back and enjoy the shade! After all your hard work and the time you invested, you should feel accomplished.

install shade sail


54 Responses

Joy Fatheree
Joy Fatheree

March 17, 2022

I used a 1/16th inch bit

Allison Floyd
Allison Floyd

March 17, 2022

I think 7/32" would be the best to use and make sure you drill deep enough for the anchor to go in flush. Keep in mind that for masonry you need a masonry bit . Tap the grey plastic anchor into the hole, flush with the surface, run one screw in, through a hole in the pad eye and then use the remaining holes in the pad eye as a template for drilling the rest of the holes.

eboykin620
eboykin620

March 17, 2022

What size drill bit do I need for this kit?

Maureen Spielman
Maureen Spielman

March 17, 2022

Why do I need the snap hook when the turn-buckle has hooks on both ends?

jusbisjgahj
jusbisjgahj

March 14, 2022

Blocks the sun, cools the deck!

Laura P.
Laura P.

March 14, 2022

This shade sale worked perfectly to provide morning and afternoon shade and looks fabulous I like that the way the design looks, it was easy to install, and has held up to the monsoons of summer quite well. I am purchasing another one for the horse pen!

Chris Mayhew
Chris Mayhew

March 14, 2022

This Brand is the best quality that I found

Christina Marino
Christina Marino

March 14, 2022

Nice set up and thanks for the instructions but just wondering where did you order the sail shade material? thanks

Tabisa Walwema
Tabisa Walwema

March 14, 2022

Could you add to the description the hardware that was used?

Sue Lowmiller
Sue Lowmiller

March 14, 2022

This is really great. I’m pretty sure my HOA won’t let me do it though (because of how it looks). Well, I won’t know unless I try it though. As long as I don’t have a neighbor report me. 😂

Dosam _
Dosam _

March 14, 2022

Best shade install video I’ve found. Thanks!

Aura Solaris
Aura Solaris

March 14, 2022

We just installed our Sunshade Sail on the end of our patio. It looks and works so good. Breeze flows through it and cooled down the patio to a nice temperature.

nicole salazar
nicole salazar

March 14, 2022

Used to install my sail shade…good buy and simple to install.

Nicholette Thorne
Nicholette Thorne

March 14, 2022

Made it easy to install sun sail over the swimming pool. Held up to some strong monsoon winds.

Shannon
Shannon

March 14, 2022

Used on an 8′×12′ and work well.

Megan K.
Megan K.

March 14, 2022

This is very sturdy hardware . It secures our 13×20’ canopy with no problem. I believe it is only limited by what you use to anchor to. i.e. wood post, side of house etc.

Lesley Wall
Lesley Wall

March 14, 2022

This packet came with all the equipment needed to install our new shade sail, and there was even extra equipment left over. I can’t imagine you would need anything else to install your shade sail.

linzbob22
linzbob22

March 14, 2022

How big of a sun shade can i connect this hardware kit to?

Jenna Dillon
Jenna Dillon

March 14, 2022

perfect for use on my deck, so easy to use

Mia Aguirre
Mia Aguirre

March 14, 2022

Just what we needed to install a shade sail.

Morgan Cox
Morgan Cox

March 14, 2022

Very high quality for the price. I was able to put up a shade sail and it stays tight in high wind. With extra pieces I was able to use on other projects.

Kelly Moran
Kelly Moran

March 14, 2022

Great to have with sails. Gives you options and can adjust as the sail stretches.

jwong923
jwong923

March 14, 2022

Great package of SS hardware. I didn’t need the mounting hardware but the rest was good quality and a bargain compared to shopping locally for individual pieces. Heck I immediately reordered more to have for my next project.

eedamyan
eedamyan

March 14, 2022

This is a necessity for hanging a sun shade . Allows all corners to be tensioned evenly. Does take quite a few tensioning sessions till shade has stretched enough to reach sufficient tautness.

Kristin Dettmers
Kristin Dettmers

March 14, 2022

This is just what I needed to hang my sun sail shade! I price compared to find the best bang for my buck and found this set was the most reasonable.

castateb
castateb

March 14, 2022

I would say that as long as there is solid backing behind the vinyl it will be fine.

Tara Ricci
Tara Ricci

March 14, 2022

Can this product be used on vinyl siding?

Mandy Corr Blanc
Mandy Corr Blanc

March 14, 2022

I purchased three of these to use with shade sails installed vertically on the sides my pergola. How should this be installed?

Cheryl Williams
Cheryl Williams

March 14, 2022

The right way to do it👍🏻

Falynne Elise
Falynne Elise

March 14, 2022

How far apart the poles ought to be?

Brandi
Brandi

March 14, 2022

Good tip about placing the posts on a slight 20 or 30 degree angle. Thanks!

Jane Buck
Jane Buck

March 14, 2022

Nice job! I want one!

Nicole Baer
Nicole Baer

March 14, 2022

nice shade on the side of your house

Kate Schmitt
Kate Schmitt

March 14, 2022

Thank you👍🏽

Allis
Allis

March 14, 2022

I would not like to built such Shade Sail because wind can blow it away or make a lots of noise.

Rachel Palmer
Rachel Palmer

March 14, 2022

When Installed my shade sail, I put solar post lights on the top of my post.

Kelsie
Kelsie

March 14, 2022

These sails are great if you need shade at 12 noon. Any other time and its freaking pointless cause you cannot change the angle.

Cayli Thomas
Cayli Thomas

March 14, 2022

Thank you. Your video helped me today 👌🏽

Kaila Martin
Kaila Martin

March 14, 2022

I think it’d be great if you made the shade go over the roof to keep the house cooler. 110 Fahrenheit here in the summer.

Tanisha Wright
Tanisha Wright

March 14, 2022

Stood under shade sail in full sun. Well positioned.

anna jaquays
anna jaquays

March 14, 2022

Any consideration needed for wind direction?

Erin Cote
Erin Cote

March 14, 2022

Used your video for our shade install – thank you.

Erika Smith
Erika Smith

March 14, 2022

Is the shade large enough to protect that side of house from the sun? What about strong wind, would it cause any problem to the shade?

Molly MacRae
Molly MacRae

March 14, 2022

Thank you so much for this. I’m a lady from the United States, my husband put ours up 2 years ago with hooks & rope. It looked terrible & was sagging. He died last year so I’m going to try to fix it correctly this year by myself.

Jenny
Jenny

March 14, 2022

Brilliant, exactly what I was looking for!

Leah
Leah

March 14, 2022

Great, really helped me with my project. Bit confusing with the D shackles that were mentioned but didn’t seem to be used.

Chloe Lambert
Chloe Lambert

March 14, 2022

Thanks for the detailed step by step instructions. This is great.

kylapw
kylapw

March 13, 2022

This kit provides solid support during normal conditions and has quick release for severe weather.

Alexis H
Alexis H

March 13, 2022

This is the hardware kit for their Sun Shade Sail Canopy. Everything is included to mount the pad eyes and install the sail. I would recommend purchasing additional rope.

Jennifer
Jennifer

March 13, 2022

Does this come with hardware? If not, what hardware do I need?

brandymcneil
brandymcneil

March 13, 2022

There are several ropes, other shade sail hardware kits are sold separately in their store

Paige Beyo
Paige Beyo

March 13, 2022

Does it come with an installation hardware kit?

sarahlok17
sarahlok17

March 11, 2022

To install a Sail Shade. you must make two sides higher than the other sides, FOR Water DRAINING! I install SAIL SHADES…..

Jennifer Le
Jennifer Le

March 11, 2022

How do you use the 12’ cables in installation? Are there any diagrams for installation?

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