DIY Shade Sail Installation

Advice for DIY shade sail installation


What you need to know

Before you commence the installation it is very important that you consider some essential factors. There may be opportunities for creating attachment points for your shade sail on areas of existing structures, or you may need to install steel posts to create a free-standing structure. Proper planning will ensure that your shade sail performs in the way it was intended. Prior to installation, check with local council for any relevant building regulations which may exist.


Survey your house carefully. The sun rises daily in the east and sets to the west. As the seasons’ progress, the sun also moves from low in the sky during the cooler months to high in the sky during summer. Your shade sail should be planned to provide maximum shade protection during the height of summer as this is when it will be needed the most. It is worth considering purchasing two sets of shade sails which can overlap. This will act as an extra shield from the sun and will provide optimal enjoyment from your outdoor area.

Determining the right angles

Shade sails work best when they are installed on an angle where the fixing points, being steel posts or brackets, are created at different heights. A flat sail is harder to tension correctly, and in times of heavy downpour can catch and hold water for longer periods of time, thus putting excess load pressure on the fixing points. From an aesthetic perspective, they look less interesting. We recommend you install your fixing points with diagonally opposite high and low points to avoid these problems and create a visually appealing shade sail structure.

Deciding on the fixing points

Caution is imperative when considering fixing to an existing structure, such as a fascia or pergola. In instances of poor weather and strong winds, the loads placed on fixings by the shade sail can be enormous, and should not be underestimated. To ensure that your existing structure is adequate to handle such loads, you may need to consult a qualified builder.

If additional posts are required, your local steel supplier can assist you with your selection. Post lengths should be calculated taking into account the proposed height of your sail plus the depth of your footings. Steel posts can be cut to predetermined lengths and painted to a colour matching your shade sail and the environment.


For DIY installations we supply 316 stainless steel turnbuckles and shackles with the shade sail. Connect the supplied fixing accessories to your mounting points as required. Ensure that all connections face towards the middle of the sail and are tightly secured. Check again to ensure all mounting points are solid. Lay your shade sail out and commence the installation.


Using the selected fixing accessories, commence connecting the corners of the shade sail to the fixing points. Connect all points, using a ratchet tensioning tool if necessary to gain increased leverage. Stop tensioning when the shade sail is rigid with little or no creases.

CAUTION: Do not over tension. Re-tension periodically if required.


Do not have a fire or an open flame close to the fabric. Do not use your barbeque directly under the shade structure.

Exposure to certain chemicals (e.g. Chlorine) can lead to the premature breakdown of the fabric.

We recommend that you remove your sail when high wind conditions are forecast.