Shade Sail Installation - Wooden versus Metal Poles

Home & Garden Blog

Shade sails are a great idea if you want to protect your outdoor space from UV light and excessive heat during the summer months.  Most shade sails are fixed permanently using posts or poles made of either wood or metal.  But what's the best medium to choose for your shade sail?  Here's a comparison to help you decide.

Wooden posts or poles

It's important that the posts or poles you choose for your shade sail are strong enough for the job that they are required to do.  Wooden posts offer strength as well as flexibility, which is an important consideration if you live in an area that's exposed or prone to windy weather.

Wooden posts are usually quite a lot cheaper than their metal counterparts and can also be easier to obtain.  If necessary, you can order made-to-measure wooden poles or posts from a wood mill, and this allows you much greater flexibility when it comes to your garden design.

Wooden poles can be either round or square-shaped, although round is preferable from a safety point of view as there are no sharp edges to watch out for, and the likelihood of picking up splinters is less.  Round wooden poles are solid, making them easy to drill into when fitting your shade sail's attachments.

If you choose wooden poles or posts, you can opt to paint them in colours that coordinate with your décor scheme.  Alternatively, you could choose to stain or varnish the poles so that they retain their natural colour.

One drawback of wooden poles is that they do require regular maintenance to keep them weather-proof and strong.  If you don't sand and varnish or paint them at the end of every season, there's a chance that water will get into the wood, eventually causing the poles to rot and become unsafe.

Metal posts or poles

Metal posts or poles are not generally as strong as wooden ones, and for this reason it's recommended that you have guy lines fitted to assist their stability. 

Metal poles are not flexible like wood and are much more likely to break or collapse if caught by a high gust of wind.  They are usually tubular in form, and this can make them much less stiff than wooden ones.  If you would prefer to use metal poles to fix your shade sail, you can overcome this disadvantage to some extent by using a pole with a thicker-walled tube, although this will incur extra expense.

Attaching fittings to metal poles can be tricky as they are hollow, rather than solid, and there can be a tendency for fixings to work loose after a while.

Metal poles can be galvanised or powder-coated.  This makes them extremely durable and long-lasting, and you can also choose from a variety of colours.  Stainless steel poles are also available if you prefer a more contemporary look that ages well, but they are generally a more expensive choice.

Metal poles do not require much maintenance aside from cleaning from time to time and checking that the fixings are still secure.

In conclusion

When it comes to choosing between wooden and metal poles or posts for your shade sail, it's really a matter of what suits your circumstances best.  If you want a versatile, strong and flexible solution that's also easier on your pocket, and you have the time to carry out regular maintenance, wooden poles might be the best option for you.  However, if you're prepared to spend a little more money on metal poles, you'll enjoy a more durable and low maintenance option.


15 January 2016

Custom Made Items For Your Home and Garden

Hello. My name is Dean and this is my home and garden blog. Last year, I decided I needed to improve the look of my home. I visited several home and garden centres and various different shops but I just couldn't find the items I wanted. I had this dream of creating a really cool and funky look based on an African design I had seen. My friend suggested that I customise the items to create the look I wanted and began to give me some lessons. I really enjoyed the process and I learnt a lot about how to improve your home and garden.