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  • Tim Kraemer

All Things Shade

Updated: Jun 14, 2019

As Wisconsinites we cherish the sunny days of summer. We wait out many cold, dark winter days each year to get to the beautiful summer months. It is a time that goes too quickly each year and often a time filled with more events than you can schedule. From barbeques to birthday parties, camping trips to wedding bliss. Most of us love these summer months, but we may not all love the heat. Our bodies can stand those cold winter days, but set us in the sun and we seem melt! A nice piece of shade is just the ticket to get more enjoyment out of these ever too quick summer days.

Starting inside the home, let’s talk temperature defense. Sunlight through windows can drastically raise the temperature inside your home. Although you may not want to shut all the blinds and hide in the dark, it could save you some sweating and money on your next energy bill.

There are plenty of styles to choose from when it comes to blind/shades/curtains. You can get thermal insulated curtains or black out curtains. For blinds there are choices between wood, faux wood, vinyl and aluminum. Panel track, vertical, or cordless styles. Shades are a softer look, made of flowy fabric. Ever wonder what the difference is between a window blind and shade? Window shades do not have slats and are a fabric material while blinds have slats which can be opened or closed to allow light to come in. Whatever your style preference, remember to use your window coverings as temperature defense. Make it a habit to close up the windows each morning and you’ll come home to a darker, but cooler environment.

Now that we’ve got your windows covered, let’s move outside! There are many ways to make your yard a place of shade and comfort. Let’s go over some ideas for outdoor shade.

· Shade Sails: Fabric shaped like sails, strung from posts. Can add a flare of design and shade to a deck or patio. Need to have posts.

· Pop-up Canopy: Just as the name says, a pop-up set up which can come in different shapes and sizes. Portable and can easily be moved around the yard or taken out for different needs. Can also provide shelter from light rain.

· Retractable Awning: Great option to get the best of both sun and shade when you desire. Can be electric or hand-crank. Installation process is more involved.

· Umbrella: Whether in a table or standing alone, patio umbrellas are another easy option.

· Pergola: A stylish patio cover, though they don’t provide much sun relief as the roof only has slats and not full coverage. Installation requires carpentry skills.

· Trees: Use nature to your advantage and seek out shade from the trees already in your yard, or plant smart so that the tree will offer relief from the afternoon sun.

As the summer days continue to fly by, we hope that you can find some relief from the summer heat. Happy shade finding, friends.

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