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What Are the Different Types of Shade Structures?

Understanding the different types of shade structures and the various applications can help you choose the right fit for your project. Knowing where shade can be applied at your location and the benefits of shade can potentially increase the usability of the space.

Below are the most common types of shade structures and their unique features for any kind of project:

1. Cantilever Shade Structures

  • Minimizes column obstruction, leaving more open space beneath the shade
  • Provide versatile and customizable product options that are suited for a variety of applications
  • Applications include pools, covered parking, bleachers, playgrounds, and outdoor seating areas
  • Available in a variety of configurations and design styles including those with Hip, Arch, and Wing roofs
  • Standard length, width, and entry heights available; custom sizes are available to meet the requirements of your property and building code, including snow-loaded regions

Cantilever Shade Structure at Airport

Arch Canti structure at DFW INTL Airport

2. Hip Shade Structures

  • Feature a clean, straight roofline with two, four, six, and eight column options to support the structure
  • Highly stable and effective for shading areas large and small
  • Among the most popular and economical types of shade structures
  • Provides coverage for picnic areas, bleachers, pool areas, and more
  • Hip structures are also available with a slanted roof, ideal for shading bleachers
  • Super Span Hip structures and Joined Hip structures are great for extending shaded coverage to accommodate large applications like playgrounds, multiple seating areas, outdoor event spaces, and covered parking

3. Multi-Panel Shades

  • Multi-Panel structures utilize multiple fabric tops to provide a unique look; multi-level designs further enhance the visual aesthetics of a shade structure
  • Mix and match colors to create a unique and highly customizable structure
  • Multi-Panel structures are available in a wide variety of design styles including Octagons, Hexagons, Pyramids, and more

4. Canopy Shade Structures

  • Options include cabana-style structures with curtains on all four sides that can be opened or closed for additional privacy
  • Available in elongated shapes ideal for bus stop benches and walkways

5. Shade Sails

  • Available in 3-Point, 4-Point Hypar and 5-Point Sails with customizable column heights and attachment points
  • Adds a striking presence to any venue and works well as a stand alone structure or as multiple structures in groups or layers
  • Multiple column heights and attachment points create an interesting visual aesthetic as the fabric shape is manipulated into elegant curves
  • Provides ideal coverage for pool spaces, splash pads, play areas, open-air venues, entrances to buildings, and more

A Wide Variety of Shade Sail Types to Meet Your Needs

In addition to the structure types listed above, USA SHADE can customize shade structure solutions that combine eye-catching looks and unique shapes with high-quality materials and versatile functionality. USA SHADE has designed, manufactured and installed thousands of commercial projects, so you know you can trust our experts to determine the right options for the individual demands of your terrain, property, brand and business. Check out our galleries of completed projects for inspiration or reach out to our team for expert help from the pioneers and leading innovators of the shade structure industry.