Home and Garden Design: Umbrellas or Awnings?

Are you looking for the best shade solution for your home? Something to protect you all year round? It often comes down to a decision between outdoor awnings and quality outdoor umbrellas. Don't fret any longer, you've come to the right place.  We have all the information to help you choose the right product.

What's the best shade choice for your home?

Think about your space.

Have you found yourself out in your yard with your hands on your hips, thinking: ‘This place could use a little more shelter’? Perhaps it was raining and there was nowhere to keep dry, or it was sunny but the thought of a hat and sunscreen didn’t seem too appealing.

Does that mean that you should just stay inside? No! Your home is your personal space and you should get to enjoy it all. You want the option to invite friends and family around for an alfresco lunch no matter what the weather, or give the kids some shelter during the day while they charge around outdoors, instead of annoying their mother, during the summer holidays. These are all key considerations when it comes to your home and garden design.

Does this sound familiar? 

Well, you’re not alone! Many homeowners find themselves pondering the same thing while the weather dictates how they get to use their beautiful outdoor areas. What you want is a way to reclaim those areas with something that offers protection from the elements, but doesn’t stick out like an eyesore or is difficult to install and use.

So, the first thing people do is cast their eyes high to an outside wall and think: ‘awning’. It's a bit of an easy solution to shade. However, have you taken the time to consider other options? After all, want both functionality and something with a bit of visual appeal and most awnings you’ve seen seem to fit the bill. Alas, awnings have their downfalls too.

The Common Limitations of Awnings 

We often hear from both homeowners and builders alike that they decided on installing an awning, then, before long, they found it wasn't at all practical for the property.

This common scenario arises because there is nowhere appropriate to install it or the area where they want shade is too far for the awning to reach.

If you’re renting, then you may not have the option to install an awning at all, or an awning may be far too complex or cost too much to be feasible.

This leaves you wondering what other alternatives you have to choose from. You want shade, but is there something else you could consider? Well, it may be time to bring outdoor umbrellas into the mix and see how they open up your world.

What can the Umbrella do for you?

Umbrellas are not just for urban cafes or resorts in Hawaii. They are perfect for your house too. You’ll be surprised at the large range of versatile umbrella options available today that are perfect for creating your family haven in your garden. For some reason, a lot of people often don't even think about an umbrella as an option because they haven't heard of a proper, high quality product that would suit their needs. That's what we're here for.

Our Shadowspec range of outdoor umbrellas are designed and perfect for home and commercial use. They provide a shady retreat for visitors and a great place to enjoy the outdoors out of the often oppressive and damaging sunshine, or the wind and rain.

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What do Umbrellas offer?

Outdoor umbrellas are great. Whilst that may sound a bit biased, we base our opinions. Our range of Shadowspec outdoor umbrellas has the following benefits:

  • Excellent UV protection from the sun
  • Solid and durable construction
  • Made from quality materials
  • Easy to operate and maintain
  • Great looking designs
  • A wide range of options to suit your outdoor needs

So now that you know all about outdoor umbrellas as a viable option for your home, how do you decide which is the best solution for you?

Four key factors to consider: awnings vs umbrellas

When trying to weigh up pros and cons, there are four things to consider:

1. Weather Protection

What do you want your shade solution to protect you from? For protection from the elements, umbrellas are the winner due to their versatility. While retractable awnings offer good sun protection as well as some shelter from rain and wind, an outdoor umbrella can be transformed into an entire outdoor haven.

2. Adaptability with usage

Consider the ways you are going to be using the shade. For example, the direction your home faces will impact the behaviour of the sun during the day - will this influence your decision on how to get the best coverage? Umbrellas may offer you a way to select a better position than perhaps installing an awning.

How about who will be using it? Awnings offer a lot in this regard as their lack of poles and posts keeps them out of the way, making them more convenient and safer for children and pets.

3. Cost

Price plays a major role for homeowners when deciding which shade option to choose. In this case, the outdoor umbrella should almost always win. Folding-arm, retractable and architectural awnings can be quite expensive. With an umbrella you know you can take it with you when you move, which is a bonus.

4. Durability

Lifespan should always be a key consideration, as outdoor environments can be quite unforgiving. It does come down to the quality of the product.  An awning or umbrella that you purchase from a lower end brand won’t fare well in heavy rain or wind, or offer you the UV protection you desire, compared to a more reputable brand like Shadowspec.

Both high quality umbrellas and awnings will last quite several years if they are taken care of, stored and cleaned in line with the manufacturer's instructions. There is no obvious winner here. However, it does come down to how easy they are to look after and due to the stand alone nature of an umbrella, this may present a better alternative for you.



So where do you stand?

Judging from all of the considerations and factors above, which is a better option for your home? An awning or an umbrella? While an awning might have been your first thought,  an outdoor umbrella may be a more viable option for you and your home. So, let's take a closer look at umbrellas.

Six reasons why umbrellas are the better choice

1. Umbrellas can be moveable or fixed in place

Outdoor umbrellas offer you flexibility in both location and fixture options. This means you can either select a heavy base with wheels that will hold it down but still allow it to be moved, or choose a more permanent location by concreting the umbrella into a slab or the ground itself. Either way, it’s up to you how best to suit your style and set-up.

2. No vertical support needed

Outdoor umbrellas don’t require the assistance of eaves or gables, or strong fitting points to a pre-existing house or building. This means you are not restricted to the borders or outskirts of your outdoor areas.

3. Quality Materials

Gone are the days when outdoor umbrellas were flimsy and easy-to-tear. You can now use your favourite awning material on your umbrella. This means that there is no reduction in quality when comparing both options. At Shadowspec we use Sunbrella fabrics and Dickson Acrylic fabrics for their quality.

4. Customisable

Most high-quality outdoor umbrellas, like Shadowspec, have advanced design options to offer you and your family better protection. For example, a ‘rain gutter’ can be zipped between two or more umbrellas, increasing the coverage into one single, large area.

5. Maximum Utility

It’s common to think that large outdoor umbrellas are clunky and heavy, or difficult to manoeuvre.  However, there are brands on the market such as Shadowspec, that are designed  to be easy to use, simple to open and require little effort to store.

6. Stylish and Iconic

Outdoor umbrellas come in all styles, shapes and designs. Thus you have the versatility to select the best match for your house, whether that be color matching or a statement motif.

Sold on umbrellas? Great.

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Why Shadowspec?

Because we understand homeowners, Shadowspec is your perfect shade solution partner when considering an outdoor umbrella. Attractive,  trouble-free umbrellas are our specialty. We offer a wide range of advice, options and products to suit your specific requirements.

How can we help you?

We want to help you choose the best solution for your home! That’s why we offer professional advice, complimentary quotes and proposals. All obligation-free. That way, there is no pressure and you get all of the information you need to feel comfortable about making the right decision.

Outdoor Umbrellas: Many types & sizes

Whether you need a small amount of sunshade for a deck, pool area or backyard, or a larger option for commercial use such as a restaurant or café, you will find the ideal solution with Shadowspec. From centre-pole and off-set designs, to single and multiple umbrella configurations, we have solutions no matter what your requirements.

Let's have a chat

To discover which umbrella option is going to suit your outdoor area best, get in touch with us or download our catalogue to survey the range for yourself.

Contact Us

Our helpful staff are happy to answer any questions and provide expert advice to help you find a product that is right for your needs, space and budget. With international award-winning designs, affordable pricing and excellent quality, Shadowspec is the best choice for all shade umbrellas.

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