ARTICLE Ross Hill-Rennie

This is actually a larger issue than people might expect.

The first thing is to decide how you are going to use the area. Will it just be used in summer and only need some shade when you are on the deck; or will you be using it all year round, including when it is raining?

You then need to decide how much of the deck you wish to cover and if it’s going to need consent, as some large sails and awnings may require a building consent. If you are just looking for a bit of shade, then there are some very good umbrellas on the market. A good example is the Revieria Canntilever umbrella or a lateral arm awning like the Cabriolet Cassette awning.

Both of these will give you good shade and some protection in light showers of rain, but will need to be put away if the wind starts to get up.

You can have more permanent shade by installing a shade sail, but most of them are not waterproof and are best taken down over winter as they block any light trying to stream into your home. If you are thinking that you would like to use the deck even when it is raining, then a more solid structure is needed.

Again, there are a number of options – from building a good old wooden pergola with some clear plastic roofing on top, through to the new Concertina retractable roof louvre system that not only keeps the rain off and gives you shade, but can open up and even fully retract to let all the sun and light back in when needed.

So when you are looking at your options, it is best to look for a company that offers a wide range of shade products. An expert can look at your area and talk you through all the options, and the pros and cons of each option.

For more information, visit the Johnsons and Couzins website.

You might be interested in reading: How much does it cost for outdoor coverage?

This article by Ross Hill-Rennie featured on page 36 of Issue 015 of New Zealand Renovate Magazine . New Zealand's first and only magazine solely dedicated to home renovations.

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