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Winter is in full swing. However, the frigid temperatures, snowstorms, and icicles will not last forever. While summer might seem an ice age away, it will be here before we know it.

When summer arrives, you may be looking for ways to escape the heat and stay cool. Creating an outdoor space that you can enjoy during the hot weather is an excellent way to entertain friends and family or use for personal relaxation and rejuvenation.

What do you need to keep those summertime guests comfortable while spending time in your yard? Shade.

Shade structures are essential to any backyard. They provide a shield from those sun rays and keep people and pets from overheating. The most popular areas to cover or shade include the:

  • patio
  • outdoor kitchen
  • picnic table
  • furniture and seating spots
  • deck
  • hot tub
  • swimming pool terrace
  • garden
  • walkway or path

There are a variety of options to add extra shade to these outdoor living spaces. Let’s look at five ways you can use Denver lumber to create more shade coverage in your yard.

#1 – Gazebo

Gazebos are often sought after for their decorative designs, but they serve a functional purpose as well. Gazebos are typically built as a circular structure – a ring of pillars supporting a curved roof that comes to a point or forms a dome. Some gazebos are enclosed with woodwork or rails to allow only one way in and out, while other gazebos utilize an open concept.

#2 – Pergola

Pergolas are extremely versatile. They are considered a permanent, installed structure with a slatted roof system. The beauty of a pergola is its open layout. You get just enough protection from the sun without disrupting the view, decreasing airflow, or blocking out a breeze.

#3 – Arbor

An arbor is a scaled-back version of a pergola. It has the same post-and-beam construction style of a pergola, but it only has two or four columns instead of a series of posts. An arbor is a perfect structure to shade a small table and chairs, a single bench, or a walkway.

#4 – Fence

A fence serves a wide range of purposes. Homeowners install fences to increase privacy, outline boundaries, create a barrier, deter trespassers, and more. A strategically placed fence can provide shade as well. Whether it runs north and south or east and west, you can achieve a steady line of shade from a fence.

#5 – Lattice

You can build an entire lattice fence as an alternative to a traditional privacy fence or construct a free-standing lattice screen with a support frame to increase the shade coverage in your yard. Lattice panels consist of crisscrossed wood creating the perfect grid-like pattern for plants and vines to attach to and grow upward. From this, you can achieve a solid wall of beautiful greenery with the added perk of extra shade.

Summer is the season to create memories. These shade structures open the door to hours of fun and enjoyment, instead of being forced to plan that BBQ or birthday party around a certain time of day when you know your yard will have enough shade to keep your guests comfortable.

Not sure which option is best for your particular yard layout? A professional landscaper can help you design a shade structure to meet your needs and shop for the best wood from your Denver lumber company. They have a trained eye and can help you determine the best use of your space. With their expertise, they can guide you through important decisions regarding:

TYPE – While a gazebo might seem big and grand, it’s not for everyone or every yard. Perhaps a pergola is a better fit for your space, or even a combination of shade structures like an arbor with added lattice panels.

SIZE – Is your heart set on a gazebo, but your backyard space is limited. You can begin by mapping out your yard to determine the sizes that could work for the items that appeal to you and areas you want shaded.

LOCATION – Every yard is unique. How close will your shade structure be to the house? Will you have enough remaining lawn for the kids to play in? Will a specific location create poor traffic flow? Where you choose to create shade should make sense with how you use the yard.

SHAPE/DESIGN – While the possibilities are endless, it is important to have realistic expectations. Elaborate designs that require more lumber will cost more. Remember that you can dress up simple structures by adding climbing vines or other vegetation.

PERMITS – A local professional will know whether your particular home location requires homeowners to apply for permits and submit building plans before starting on your shade structure. Hiring an expert can save you time researching the rules and regulations.

EXTRAS – Want access to water and electricity? Adding lights or an electrical socket is a significant amount of extra work and expense. However, the result can be stunning.

Now is the time to start thinking about those summertime gatherings. There are many great options to increase the amount of shade coverage in your yard, but it might take some strategic planning and preparation to accomplish.