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Deck Shade Solutions


If you have an outside area that is in the sun in the afternoon and evening, you will want to look at some Deck Shade Solutions to get some relief from the heat.  I will look at seven ideas on how to keep your cool in the heat of the day without breaking the bank, well maybe.

Getting the proper shade without planting a tree and waiting for it to grow will be what we will be looking at.  Most people will not want to wait the 5 to 10 years for a tree to grow big enough to give proper shade.  If you have a small yard you may not have enough room to plant a tree that will give you some relief from the evening sun during the summer months.

Now let us look at some of my ideas and see what will work for you and your pocketbook.


Deck Shade Solutions-Half Outdoor UmbrellaHalf Umbrella


If you have a really small deck and only have a bistro or chat set, you may want to just get a half umbrella.  Most people have not seen this option, it has the same size as a market umbrella, just half the shade.  You can place against a wall and it will open just like a regular umbrella.

You can purchase half umbrella bases to complete this set and secure your umbrella post to a wall for support.  No hole in the tabletop is required for this type of umbrella.

For more information on a half umbrella, see my post here.  I would recommend storing this umbrella when not in use.


  • Great for small spaces
  • No need for a hole in a tabletop
  • Comes in a variety of colors and designs


  • Needs to be attached to a wall for stability
  • May need a half umbrella stand if against the wall
  • Will need a storage area when not in use



Deck Shade Solutions-outdoor patio umbrellas

Patio Dining table with market umbrella

Market Umbrella


A regular market umbrella will be 8 to 9 feet across.  You can get smaller ones that are only 6 feet across for smaller areas.  There are many options for this type of umbrella to choose from. I will list them below.

Tilt function will allow you to chase the sun for increased shade potential.

A crank for lifting the shade will make it easier to get the shade opened when needed.

Solar lights will allow you to have enough light to eat or play games after dark.

Clips for adding your own lights are on some market umbrellas.

Styles of the shade will vary, square six-sided, tiered shade or the material and color will come in many forms.

See my post here on the different styles of market umbrellas to get a better idea of what will work for you.


  • Can tilt to provide shade for a longer time
  • Will retract when not needed
  • Can be purchased with solar lights for night time fun


  • Will need an umbrella stand
  • Needs dining table with a hole for umbrella
  • Will need to be stored when not needed

Deck Shade Solutions-10 foot Offset UmbrellaOffset Umbrella


This will be for those areas that are a little bigger.  If you have an area that can use shade and you do not have a table with a hole in it, the offset umbrella will solve this problem.  A weighted stand will support your umbrella in light windy conditions.  It will retract and rotate to cover a large area.  Some will have a tilt feature to chase the shade.

This type of umbrella will need some ballast for the base to keep secured to the deck.  These types of umbrellas are great for sitting areas with a conversation set and coffee table that needs a shade solution.

For more information on offset umbrellas, look at my post here.  This type of shade solution works great around the pool or with a seating set.


  • Can be used without a table with a hole for umbrella
  • Covers a large area
  • Great for by the pool


  • Is rather large for small spaces
  • Most do not come with ballast for base
  • Cannot use in windy conditions

Deck Shade Solutions-Vinyl Fairfield ArborArbor


An arbor can provide a small amount of shade for your outdoor area.  Most will have a semi-open top with slats running both directions.  You place the bigger slats to block the most sun.  A fabric shade can be purchased to place on the roof or a side for extra shade.

The arbor is a more expensive idea for most people and cannot be retracted.  If you add the fabric shade material it must be removed in high winds or harsh weather.

You can hang a swing or hammock under bigger arbors for a shady spot to take a nap or read your favorite book.


  • Very sturdy in windy conditions without a shade
  • Can be used to mount a swing or hammock
  • Can grow plants on the ends for extra privacy


  • More permanent mounting required
  • Does not give full shade without a fabric curtain
  • Most are on the small side

Deck Shade Solutions-Better Homes & Gardens Hardtop GazebosGazebo


This solution will take the most time and space to work out.  The gazebo will come in many styles, shapes, and sizes.  They will provide shade with the top that is made from fabric or a solid metal or composite material.  The ones that have a solid top can be used with a grill most of the time.  There are some that are made just for grilling.

A gazebo will be a great solution for any back yard that will need a shade or weather solution that is not going to be moved.  Most are quite large and after assembly cannot be moved very easily.

Some options for a gazebo will be to have plant shelves in the corners, netting to keep flying insects out and hard tops for grilling.  Most will be in the 10 foot square size that will fit on some decks.  Mounting to the deck can be done to secure your gazebo in windy areas.

If you have a screen and fabric top, you should store them when not needed to extend their outdoor life.  Extreme weather conditions will damage the fabric material quickly.

To see some of my gazebo ideas, look at my post here.


  • Can provide protection from flying insects if you add a screen
  • Some have plant shelves in the corners
  • can use grill under hard-top versions


  • Cannot move after assembly
  • Have to store fabric material items
  • Can be damaged in windy conditions

Shade from Redbud treeTrees


This option will take the most planning and time.  Getting the proper tree for shade in your outdoor space will be different depending on your location.  A palm tree would be great in Florida, not so good in Maine.  This idea will also take the most time to get the shade if you do not have any trees yet.

Planting a tree in the proper location is one of the most important parts.  Having the tree where it will supply the best shade and still not be in the way of traffic will be in the planning stage.

I have a Redbud tree that gives shade to my dining patio area in the back yard.  I have to keep the limbs trimmed up to keep them off the top of my umbrella.  On most days I will not have to put up the umbrella until late in the day.


  • Once the tree grows, it will provide great shade
  • Can get a decorative tree
  • Nothing to store when not needed


  • Waiting for a tree to get big enough
  • Trimming limbs if a tree is close to your patio area
  • Spring and fall may not provide any shade without leaves


My thoughts on shading your deck

I have provided several ideas for Shade Solutions for a Small Deck in this article.  I use several in my outdoor spaces today to keep the sun off my head.  The tree will be something that will take time and only offers shade when it has leave's during the warmer months, the market umbrella will be the best solution cost-wise.  The other solutions will add some flair to your outdoor space.

What are your thoughts on shade for your patio or small outdoor space, let me know with the forms below.  If you have any questions for me, use the forms below and I will get back to you shortly.