Garden parasols: how to choose the one that suits you best?
To enhance outdoor spaces and make terraces and balconies comfortable, the first step is to choose the most suitable garden umbrellas. To find the right model, you need to assess the characteristics of the space, but also the use you want to make of it. In short: the choice must take several factors into account.
What to consider when choosing garden umbrellas
They provide shade, cool the air even on the hottest days and offer shelter from rain and humidity: garden umbrellas are a must-have for anyone who wants to enjoy the outdoors. When choosing an outdoor umbrella, the first consideration is the size of the space to be covered.
If you simply want to create a small sheltered corner on a terrace or create a shady area in the garden, you can choose a standard size parasol of 3×3 or 3×4 metres. If, on the other hand, you have a large terrace or a large garden and want to use the space to host friends, you can choose a larger model of parasol or one with custom dimensions.
On the market, there are basically three types of garden umbrellas, each with very specific characteristics:
- Parasols with a central pole, which resemble the structure of beach umbrellas and are suitable for shading small spaces;
- Umbrellas with a side arm, which are perfect for large terraces and gardens, and ideal for making the most of the shaded area created by the parasol canvas;
- Wall-mounted parasols, which have a similar structure to parasols with a side arm, but with reduced mobility.
Parasols with a central pole are the ideal choice for refreshing a small area of the garden, to be used for breakfast outdoors or to relax a little at the end of the day. If you want to create a convivial area to share with the rest of the family and friends, the best option is to choose a parasol with a side arm.
Thanks to the pulley opening system, the parasols open and close easily and with little effort. Once opened, the orientation of the sunshade can be adjusted for optimal shading. The end result is a true outdoor living room that can be furnished with garden tables and chairs.
How to choose the structure of garden parasols?
When choosing a garden umbrella, do not make the mistake of concentrating on the appearance of the model, forgetting to thoroughly evaluate the properties and characteristics of the materials.
In fact, the solidity and strength of the structure should be considered very carefully, because they not only influence the functionality of the parasol, but also affect its safety. Wooden or aluminium poles are usually used for garden parasols.
Among woods, iroko is one of the most suitable. This material is often used for outdoor furniture, thanks to its ability to resist humidity and temperature changes without deforming. Aluminium, on the other hand, has excellent resistance, which is combined with lightness.
The choice of materials and the characteristics of the awning is also essential to ensure the right comfort for your family and guests. You should choose a material that is water-repellent and waterproof and capable of shielding harmful rays. Often, garden umbrella manufacturers offering coloured awnings will subject the material to a treatment that prevents discolouration. This is to ensure that the umbrella can be used for years without showing signs of prolonged exposure to the sun.
The presence of a wind chimney is very important to ensure the stability of the structure. And also to prevent the parasol from becoming a danger in strong winds. A wind chimney is an opening in the centre of the awning which is used to direct the air that accumulates under the awning upwards. This can cause the sunshade to rise or tip over.
The sun canopy can also be fitted with an outer flap, which is ideal if you are looking for extra protection from the sun even during sunset, when the sun is lower on the horizon. The sun canopy can also accommodate an integrated lighting system, which makes use of spotlights or LEDs.
Whether it is a terrace outside the flat, a terrace on the top floor of the house or a space surrounded by greenery, garden umbrellas can provide shelter from the heat. At the same time, they provide privacy and comfort.
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