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Chris Goodchild

Barbara Caldwell 55 You should never install shade sails flat, they should always be positioned so that the rain runs off.

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Hi Chris yes I did ask fir them to be stalled with a “run off” and it seems they did go that but probably not enough of a slant as when a heavy shower comes it quickly puddles into a huge blister I just thought I would change the actual sail to one that the rain could get through to solve the problem as it’s great for sun shade thanks for taking g the time to answer

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I was really daunted by the apparent investment required into buying and fitting a sail (but would it work?). In the end, it cost less than a new large high quality parasol and there is less clutter on the patio. The labour - a couple of hours - was provided by a local fencing company.

  • A large piece of fabric (old tarpaulin, bed sheet, etc.) can be used to mock up a sail. In this way the specific best shape and size can be determined as the sun exposure changes over the day.
  • I then bought a high quality sail from a local sailing manufacturer. The sail has strong corners and came with all the professional sailing bits, such as turnbuckles. This helps to keep it taught and the sail will last longer. It was a good contact to make anyway. They were generous with their advice and I know where to go for repairs if needed.
  • It is essential that the fixings are accessible and quick release in case of a stormy forecast. I tend to leave the highest point attached, but release the others and the sail can be tucked in.
  • The actual fixing points are largely re-used/re-cycled: one corner is attached to the ancient washing line pole (moved and concreted in), the second goes into the ring that was embedded into the outside brick wall already (also for the washing line) and for the third, is an extended standard wooden fence post.

Once set up, the sail offers protection from the sun outside (as intended) and even inside - during the hottest period of the day. Beyond that intended purpose, it provides shelter from drizzle to people and cushions. It creates a sense of shelter, calm (it is mid-grey) and privacy. It soars beautifully and even adds a sense of drama to an otherwise unremarkable set up of a small terraced house (plot width 4.5m).


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