Bunnings logo with a piece of holly.
Project listShopping cart

Sign in to your account

Project list

Sign in to your account

A wall mounted shade cloth for a poolside area
When the weather warms up, there’s nothing better than spending time out in your backyard. It’s the perfect place to relax or entertain friends, so it’s important to have plenty of shade to protect everyone from the sun.

What to shade

The amount of shade you need generally depends on your climate. If you live in a hot region, then you should be shading up to 75 percent of your garden. While more variable climates need to shade about 50 percent.

Entertaining and seating areas should be well shaded along with any plants, flowers or vegies exposed to the sun. Your trees may already cover some of these areas, but you can add some artificial shade for extra protection.

Ways to create shade

Umbrellas

With a wide range of materials, colours and designs available, umbrellas are an easy, portable shade option. They're easy to move about and angle to the sun's position at any given time of day.

Market umbrellas are a smaller, lightweight option. They look great and are perfect for small areas over outdoor settings or chairs. You can adjust their height and fold them up when you don't need them.

Alternatively, cantilever umbrellas are sturdier and built to cover larger areas. They have a solid metal stand and are ideal for shading smaller decks and courtyards, or kiddie pools and spas.

Outdoor table and bench seats covered by a large umbrella.

Shade sails

Perfect for larger areas like patios, pools and decks, shade sails are a flexible option because you can put them up in summer and take them down over winter. Their distinctive shape makes a terrific design feature. Plus, shade sails are easy to install and tailor to suit the size of your space.

Made from fabric or PVC, shade sails are designed to withstand a lot of pressure and can be easily tightened so they don't blow around in the wind.

Before you install a sail, it's best to check where the shadows fall in your yard so you can angle your sail to cast shade where you want it.

Large shade sail covering backyard area.

Gazebos

You can create some shelter anywhere you want in your backyard with a gazebo. There are portable and fixed styles, available in a range of materials and designs. They're simple to put up and offer great protection from the elements.

Portable gazebos are ideal for gatherings in the backyard, at the beach, and even as a market stall. They come in different sizes with some offering screening, side panels, and even windows.

Fixed gazebos are more solid, permanent structures. They're tough, weather resistant, and come in a wide range of styles. Some even have drawback curtains that you can pull around for a bit of privacy.

Close up of a gazebo.

Pergolas

Putting up a pergola can extend your living area to create an outdoor room. It looks great, adds value to your home and lets you spend more time outdoors.

You can build a pergola from the ground up or they come in kits with instructions for easy installation. Build one over an existing verandah or put in a deck first and build around that.

The great thing about a pergola is that you can keep adding onto it and enhance the space. Put in screening, grow some creepers across for beautiful natural shade, hang up plants or install polycarbonate roofing.

Close up of a pergola.

Outdoor blinds

Shading your windows with outdoor blinds will protect your indoor furniture and help cool your house, especially on hot afternoons. You won't need to use the air-conditioning as much, which will save you energy and money.

You'll find roll-up, roller and retractable blinds in loads of colours and patterns, which you can also get custom made to suit the size and shape of your windows. You can even invest in some retractable awnings to wind out when you need them.

Bistro blinds cover larger areas and are easy to install, it's a great way to enclose and protect your outdoor area. Add them to an existing pergola or gazebo to keep the weather and insects out during the hotter weather. There's a range of colours to suit your decor or you can get clear and tinted PVC to enjoy the view of your backyard.

Pool area featuring outdoor blinds to create shade.

Get your outdoor shade sorted

We've got plenty more outdoor shade ideas to help you get set up and enjoy your outside areas all year round.

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.