I need some help constructing a shadecloth/tarp type thing for the backyard.
June 29, 2006 10:13 AM   Subscribe

I need some help constructing a shadecloth/tarp type thing for the backyard.

We've been trying to figure out how to shade a specific area of our yard, and while driving one day, saw this. Does it look familiar? Is it a commercial product? How can this or something like it be anchored to a block wall?

Here are two pictures of it, one full and one detail of the hook.

Here are two proposed layouts.

We're not into anything like a standard shadecloth like you'd see at a nursery; they are ugly as hell. Thanks in advance. I don't know what I would do without you.
posted by Optimus Chyme to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
Best answer: Well, I can't help with the cloth, although getting a nice lightweight canvas drop cloth from a paint store and dyeing it comes to mind. My way would be to get a half-inch masonry bit, drill several holes in the block wall, insert masonry anchors into the holes, and screw in eye-hooks. Then you could attach the cloth using carabiners or rope or just about anything else.

I just ran into this last night - had to anchor a flat panel tv holder to a cement wall. Good luck.
posted by docpops at 10:31 AM on June 29, 2006

They are commercially available. You can hang them via the method you snapped here (with hooks) or with legs. Link Link Link Link

Believe it or not, Martha Stewart has a short and dirty explanation of how to attach to your house here. We're thinking of doing the same thing. I can't tell from the angle of your photo - is the cloth attached on all sides to different parts of the wall, or are parts of it attached to those poles?
posted by iconomy at 10:32 AM on June 29, 2006

Oh, and the awning manufacturer I spoke with wanted 900.00 to make an awning for us, and we priced the amount of good awning fabric needed to make the same size awning at 135.00. So there's a lot of money to be saved by rolling your own if you can manage it.
posted by iconomy at 10:40 AM on June 29, 2006

Response by poster: is the cloth attached on all sides to different parts of the wall, or are parts of it attached to those poles?

The poles in the front are for the tree; sorry about the confusion but we're taking a picture of someone's backyard from the street, so there was really no good angle. I'm guessing that the parts that aren't visible are anchored to the wall. Good suggestions so far; thanks!
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:47 AM on June 29, 2006

I'm not sure if this is too obvious to mention, but assuming this is in the northern hemisphere, layout A would provide the most shade; with B you'd likely get some sun in the afternoon.
posted by transient at 11:44 AM on June 29, 2006

Also, not to put too fine a point on it, but have you knocked on the door where you saw the tarp? This is the kind of thing lots of people love to talk about and so you might find that the homeowner would tell you a lot and show you their set-up.
posted by OmieWise at 1:10 PM on June 29, 2006

This looks like it has a rope or wire sewn in along all the edges. This will allow you to have those curved shapes without the fabric flapping in the breeze. The model is a Tensegrity design by Buckminster Fuller. There are kite designs that look quite similar and may be models for your awning. www.foreverflying.com/guildworks.html
posted by Gungho at 1:18 PM on June 29, 2006

Best answer: Check out the Coolaroo Shade Sail - that looks like what's in your photo.
posted by acridrabbit at 8:23 PM on June 29, 2006

I use a heavy cotton, king size bed sheet, stretched on a taught line, corner to corner,then an aluminum tent pole is lashed corner to corner. essentially an 'x' one leg of the x is string the other a stick, stretched tightly it flies well in the wind, no flutter, shades almost 100 sq ft. beautiful, minimal, cheap.
The tent pole is attached at the center, a line connects the ends of the pole, alowing the curve to be adjusted. I happen to use a North face tent pole, fibreglass poles were too droopy.
posted by hortense at 9:41 PM on June 29, 2006

Response by poster: Honestly I wish I could mark all of the answers best, because you've all had a lot of good suggestions and I'm much more confident about doing it correctly now. Thank you so much.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:27 AM on June 30, 2006

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