Shade Structures Buyer's Guide

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Things to Consider

Providing shade to your outdoor area is essential when it comes to protecting your customers, guests, and visitors from the effects of the heat and sun. But don’t let the various commercial shade options available overwhelm you. We’ve created the below Shade Structures Buyer’s Guide to help you find the perfect shade for your outdoor space that offers critical protection to everyone while enhancing the look of your outdoor area.

If you have any questions after reading through our Shade Structure Buyer’s Guide, our global network of commercial shade experts is available to help you find the best commercial shade structure with the right size, entry height, shape, and attachment method for your project.

Types of Shade Structures

EppersonLagoon-350x264.jpgThere are many different types of shade structures that maximize the benefits of sun and heat protection while simultaneously enhancing the aesthetics of your outdoor area. Shade canopies, cantilever shades, single post shades, multi-panel post shades, hexagon/umbrella shades, hip shades, and pyramid shades will all meet the demands of the heat and sun. The one that is right for you depends on your project parameters for space, design, budget, and usage. We offer both standard shapes and colors, or you can work with our designers to create something more custom, personalized, unique, and eye-catching.

Shade Structure Applications

Sunshine and nice weather draw people outdoors, but too much sun can make watching or participating in outdoor activities uncomfortable and dangerous. Commercial shade structures are the ideal solution to turn these activities into something safer and more enjoyable.

CharlotteDay_Sports_350.jpgShade structure applications can include:

  • School outdoor rec areas
  • Playgrounds
  • Childcare facilities
  • Churches
  • Amusement park rides and waiting areas
  • Park picnic and leisure areas
  • Pools, splash pads, and waterparks
  • Parking lots
  • Sports and recreation complexes
  • Amphitheaters
  • Dog parks
  • Outdoor classrooms
  • Zoos

There are also several customization options to turn an ordinary outdoor space into something extraordinary. A logo or design can be added to your shade fabric or you can showcase your team or brand colors with custom multi-colored panel tops. We can also integrate electrical elements like handholes, lighting mounts/connections, and more.

View different applications of commercial shade structures from dog parks to sports facilities.

Choosing the Right Shade Structure

ThePavilion-350x264.jpgNo matter your project, any outdoor space can benefit from a commercial shade structure. The right commercial sunshade depends on a multitude of factors including — space, budget, design goals, venue, and audience served. We have hundreds of options, both standard and custom, to help you find the right shade structure for your outdoor area.

Shade products are often designed to meet IBC building codes and engineered to withstand wind speeds and snow loads. SkyWays standard shade products are designed to IBC 2015 building code and engineered to withstand wind speed up to 105 mph and snow load up to 5 psf. If your project requires different specifications, SkyWays can create a custom design to meet your needs. 


Choosing the right manufacturer

ISO-logos-240.jpgIt's important to make sure your shade investment is durable and will last for years to come. SkyWays® commercial shade products are engineered for super durability, making it a long-lasting and great looking addition to your outdoor space. SkyWays shade fabric is made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and is resistant to mildew, fading, and ultra-violet rays. It also uses knitted mid-duty HDPE as the standard, one of the strongest standard fabrics available in the industry, leading in tensile, tear, and burst strengths. SkyWays shades use corrosion-resistant steel fastening hardware and our design permits fasteners to be easily removed for fabric storage. SkyWays commercial shade structures are unmatched in their quality of manufacturing. In fact, to ensure continuous improvement in quality and environmentally-conscious operations, we're ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 1400:2015 Certified.

AISC_Classic_240x.jpgMake sure your shade manufacturer is a certified, approved fabricator. By complying with the rigorous standards established by the most recognized national quality certification program for the structural steel industry, you can feel confident about the superior quality of our shade products. An AISC Certification demonstrates commitment to building to the strictest quality standards from the start.  SkyWays has achieved the AISC Certification and is an Approved Fabricator and meet the most rigorous standards in Clark County, City of Los Angeles and City of Phoenix.



Shade Structure Installation

Commercial shade structures are a functional and beautiful addition to any outdoor atmosphere. They protect people, equipment, and surfacing from the heat and the sun’s damaging effects. Because of their size and height, the importance of proper installation cannot be underestimated. Be sure to follow all recommendations from the shade manufacturer to ensure your commercial shade structure is safe for those enjoying your outdoor area.

RapidRelease-SingleTop-35x264.jpgShade structures can be installed after a project is complete — like adding shade over an existing playground or outdoor seating area at a restaurant — or can be integrated in an initial project design. Commercial shade structures can also be a standalone feature or integrated into a pre-existing building structure or playground.

You may also want to consider buying a shade structure with a canopy that can be removed or reinstalled. During the changing of the seasons, inclement weather preparation, or simply a desire for a new color scheme could all be reasons you want the option to remove and reinstall your canopy. Our patented Rapid Release® system for SkyWays shade includes an adjustable mechanism to quickly and easily release shades while making sure you can achieve proper tensioning when reinstalling the canopy.