114. 91. 104.
These aren’t your number of Facebook friends and Twitter followers — these are common daily temperatures in this scorcher of a summer.
With the National Weather Service calling for even more heatwaves through the season, it’s time to take drastic measures to save your “chill spot” at home — your backyard.
Play it cool so you can halt the heat with these hot spot backyard shade ideas.
DIY Backyard Shade Ideas
No one can blame you if you just want to stay inside your air-conditioned home all summer. But that can get expensive, and an older or broken unit can ruin your cool attitude.
If you’ve got a knack for doing-it-yourself, there are a couple of easy patio covers you can install to create atmosphere and downgrade outside temperatures.
DIY Outdoor Shade: Tarp
Possibly the simplest of the DIY backyard shade ideas, installing a tarp is low-cost, low energy, and low difficulty. Once you buy your tarp, take care that it stays neat and unwrinkled.
On a simple pergola or slatted ceiling, just drape the all-weather sheet through the boards. Voila! Instant shade.
You can buy pre-fabricated pergolas and slatted ceilings at patio or home improvement stores such as Home Depot or Lowe’s. If you don’t have access to something like that, you can easily construct one with 2x4s and smaller boards.
Tarps come in all colors, but white will reflect the most light. Avoid the standard blue color unless you’re going for a theme — or everyone will know your DIY secrets!
Pro Tip: If you want to be really classy, click here to check out shade sails. They’re like tarps, but canvas — and they’re made from real boats!
DIY Outdoor Shade: Patio Umbrella
This one might even be easier than installing a tarp. Purchase a heavy-duty porch umbrella in a light color such as white or tan.
Install one or more on your patio or deck, and make sure to weigh them down properly so that a windy day doesn’t undo your shade solution!
Having a summertime party can be irresistible, even in the deepest heat. This and our other backyard shade ideas are an easy way to have shaded tables or seating for guests.
Buy a Cabana
You can purchase or create a freestanding cabana for a fresh take on porch shade ideas. Instead of covering up what you’ve got, why not create a whole new “room” outside that cools you down and could heat up!
Cabanas can come with solid roofs, tarp-style roofing, or even slatted ceilings like a pergola or archway.
Plant a Tree
Last but not least, play the long game and plant a shady tree. Big-leafed beauties such as sycamore trees are perennial favorites for people craving some cool downtown.
What better than to fall asleep on a hot day beneath a cool shady tree?
And trees are good for the health of your family and your yard, too. They attract other native plants and animals to your yard, as well as generate oxygen for you and your family to breathe.
If these backyard shade ideas don’t cool you down, there’s no way to beat the heat! Click here for some further resources on shade.