shade project


This weekend’s project was working on adding shade to the patio.  Luckily for us, its been almost hot around these parts. Because of that, while hanging out at the patio, we are reminded that the south side of the bar is in full sun for a good portion of the afternoon.  This makes hanging out a little less comfortable, as the top of the bar tile is actually hot to the touch.

I have been thinking about adding some sort of shade device since last Fall, but decided to put it off until we had spent some more time enjoying the patio when we didnt have to wear parkas, gloves and warm hats.

So, the basic concept is to have a hinged rectangular shade that hangs down flat on the front of the larger span, on the south side of the bar.  This hinged shade can be left “down” when not in use, so that the sometimes suprise winds that commonly occur in Denver will not damage the shade and more importantly, the patio roof.  However, when in use, the shade can be cantilevered out from the end of the rafters that face south, giving an approximately 3 x 14′ adjustable angle shade.

Luckily, I had some help with my wee project.  Dan was available to help with the long rips that were necessary to make the span across the south side bay of the bar.  being about 13.5 feet, we needed to use a 16 foot board, and rip the boards with a table saw that I rented from Home Depot.  The reason we wanted to rip the 2×6 redwood board was so that the frame would be strong but as light as possible.

We built the basic frame as a prototype, added a few braces and wrapped that up on Saturday just before puck drop of the Sabres / Leafs game.

Sunday was another incredible day of weather.  With Gretchen’s help, we were able to add the Coolaroo fabric by using some special hardware made for attaching the shade material to wood.  Basically they are 2″ long metal bars with teeth, and they worked quite well.  We had good success stretching the material tightly around the frame.  I then covered the hardware with some simple wood lathe as defacto moulding.

So… its almost done.  Up next, actually hanging the thing semi-permanently (i already have 4 of the 6 anchors in place) then, dealing with the rigging of how to easily lower and adjust the shade angle as well as possibly adding side braces to integrate into the existing roof bracing.



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