June 25, 2023 2 min read

Choosing the Right Shade Material for Your DIY Canopy: A Beginner's Guide

DIY Sunshade Made With Electrical Conduit


With the sun becoming more intense as the summer season progresses, the demand for DIY canopies and sunshades is on the rise. Whether it's for a lush garden, a cozy porch, or a relaxing deck, a shade structure can significantly improve your outdoor experience. Building custom shade structures is easy with the help of EMT Conduit and Maker Pipe Connectors. However, the crux of an effective shade structure lies in the choice of material. This article aims to guide you through the process of choosing the best shade material for your DIY canopy.

The Importance of Selecting the Right Material

DIY Rooftop Sunshade

The right shade material does more than just block out the sun. It determines the durability of your canopy, its level of UV protection, aesthetic appeal, maintenance requirements, and even cost-effectiveness. Hence, understanding the different types of shade materials and their benefits is critical to your DIY project's success.

Types of Shade Materials

There are several types of shade materials available on the market, each with its own pros and cons:

  • Shade Cloth: This material is lightweight, durable, and comes in varying levels of sun protection. It's easy to install but may not be the most aesthetically pleasing option.
  • Canvas: Canvas is a robust and durable material that offers excellent sun protection. It's heavier than shade cloth and may require more support.
  • Polyethylene: Known for its durability and UV resistance, polyethylene is an affordable option. However, it's not as breathable as other materials.
  • Polyester: This material offers high durability and water resistance, making it ideal for rainy climates. But it might lack in UV protection.
  • Sun Shade Sails: These are shades that are tensioned between several points. They come in various materials, shapes, and sizes.

Understanding Your Needs

Custom conduit canopy built over top of a backyard grilling area

When choosing a material, you need to consider your specific needs and conditions. Factors such as local weather conditions, the level of UV protection required, your budget, and aesthetic preferences should influence your choice.

Top Considerations When Choosing Your Shade Material

Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when choosing your shade material:

  • UV Resistance: Not all materials offer the same level of UV protection. If your area experiences intense sun, opt for a material with high UV resistance.
  • Water Resistance: In rainy climates, a water-resistant material like polyester can be beneficial.
  • Durability: Consider how long you want your canopy to last. If longevity is a priority, opt for a durable material like canvas or polyethylene.
  • Maintenance: Some materials are easier to clean and maintain than others. If you want a low-maintenance option, shade cloth or polyethylene might be your best bet.
  • Cost: The prices of shade materials can vary significantly. Be sure to consider your budget before making a decision.


Custom DIY Garden Sunshade

Choosing the right shade material for your DIY canopy is crucial to ensure its effectiveness and longevity. We hope this guide helps you make an informed decision. Remember to consider factors like UV resistance, water resistance, durability, maintenance, and cost. With the right material, your DIY canopy can become a long-lasting haven from the summer sun. Check out the Maker Pipe Community for inspiration and ideas for your own custom canopy and sunshade structures.