How to choose a good patio umbrella: 7 things to know

As summer approaches and the mercury rises, many wonder how to choose a good umbrella for their patio. It’s time to swap the hoodie and the wool sweaters for the swimsuit!

The arrival of summer is synonymous with good weather; BBQ with friends, long discussions on deck chairs around the pool and great moments with family or friends in the backyard. Like your patio, your pool’s surroundings should be well laid out. When it comes to decorating your living space, it’s important to invest wisely. For example, even if you could find patio umbrellas in big box stores, these are not made as strong as custom patio umbrellas. Also, you will be limited in the choice of colors and style. It’s, therefore, better to turn to a custom-made offering that will go well with your living space.

Since 1895, our company has helped thousands of residents to well develop their little corner of paradise for the approaching summer. We are masters in the art of patio awnings and umbrellas. If you are thinking of investing in a patio umbrella, we invite you to discover how to choose a good one. We give you our 7 tips to consider to make the right purchase.

How to choose a good patio umbrella to make the most of your summer: the custom patio umbrella

To know how to choose a good patio umbrella, you must first understand it’s main objective is to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. To know how to choose a good umbrella, you must also consider it’s style and lifespan. Although it’s possible to get an umbrella for less than $200 in a big box store like Costco or Canadian Tire, these are not made to last. This type of lower quality patio umbrella quickly fades. In addition to style and durability, you will need to:

  • Check the quality and thickness of the canvas;
  • Make sure the canvas can protect you adequately from the sun’s rays. Knowing that UVB rays occur between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m., it’s important to be well protected. These rays damage the surface layer of the skin and are responsible for skin cancer.

In general, acrylic fabrics are particularly appreciated on the market due to the durability and protection they offer. A good patio umbrella must, therefore, have a canvas that can protect you from the sun’s harmful rays, in addition to being aesthetic and durable.

7 questions to ask yourself to know how to choose the right umbrella for your patio

To understand how to choose a good patio umbrella, discover the 7 most important things to consider when buying a patio umbrella.

Fixed or mobile base?

Do you already have an idea of how you want to set up your patio? Our experts recommend choosing a fixed base. On the other hand, if you are the type of person who likes to change their exterior layout regularly, the mobile base is more suited to your personality. It will be easier for you to move your umbrella during the various changes in your backyard.

How to choose a good umbrella: Straight umbrella or with an arched arm?

The straight patio umbrella is a good investment for smaller budgets, because it’s less expensive. It’s always important to look at the thickness of the post. The thicker the post, the more your patio umbrella will be robust. A too-thin pole may fall and damage your patio if there are strong winds.

As for the umbrella with an arched arm, it complements your outdoor space well. You can place them above a table to enjoy a good meal with friends under its protection. So you won’t have to worry about the sun’s hot rays.

How to choose a good umbrella: what is the size of your patio?

To know how to choose an umbrella that will match your patio, you still have to consider it’s size. It’s essential to look at the size of your living space before investing in anything for it. This is why custom made patio umbrellas are advantageous. By having your patio umbrella made to measure by experts, you will be assured that your patio umbrella will be perfectly suited to your living space. The expert will take exact measurements.

If you choose to buy your umbrella from a big box store, you should take your patio’s measurements before making your choice. Also, a floor clerk will not be able to guarantee your patio umbrella will maximize the space available.

For smaller patios, we recommend the straight umbrella. It’s easier to handle and ideal for small patios and balconies. It’s also easier for you to arrange it with your outdoor furniture since it takes up less space than an arched arm umbrella.

For larger patios, the offset or cantilever umbrella is a good choice. It’s important to allow more space so you can open and close it easily. If your patio has eaves, don’t forget to measure it. A landscaping expert can do it for you.

What are the guarantees for custom-made?

  • Enjoying your garden is good. Being able to do it for a long time is even better!
  • The warranty depends on the manufacturer. In some cases, the structure does not have the same guarantee as the canvas.
  • Ask about your product warranty to avoid unpleasant surprises.
  • In the long run, buying a custom patio umbrella is much more economical since you will not have to replace it after 2 or 3 years.

How to maintain a patio umbrella?

To maximize its lifespan, it’s important to take good care of your patio umbrella. For a fabric that is treated against UV rays, it’s important never to put the fabric in the washing machine. If you see spots on the canvas, use a mild soap and brush to remove them. In case your canvas is very dirty, don’t hesitate to entrust it to experts in canvas cleaning to avoid damaging it.

How to properly store your patio umbrella?

Although it’s possible to put a winter cover on to protect your investment from the weather, we strongly recommend you store your patio umbrella in a dry place. If you do not have adequate storage space, we recommend you look into storage services. Remember to ask if the storage space is insured, heated and secure.

How to choose an umbrella: which colors to choose?

Finally, the question of style. If choosing the type of patio umbrella is a decision taken quickly, the choice of color deserves further consideration.

When the time comes to match the colors, we find two schools of thought.

  • The umbrellas must blend in with the exterior decoration already in place;
  • Umbrellas should create a contrast and freshness effect in your outdoor setting;

No matter how you think, the color you choose will have an impact on its lifespan. If a black or gray umbrella complements a patio with more sober colors, dark colors tend to fade faster than lighter colors.

To keep the fabric shining as long as possible, we recommend the use of a protective cover. If you make custom patio umbrellas,  ask your landscaping expert if it’s possible to have a custom cover.  By covering the umbrellas canvas with a cover, you avoid premature discoloration.

Another element to consider when choosing your umbrella’s colors is your sensitivity to the sun. Often omitted when making a decision, be aware that the chosen color will have an impact on your comfort. If you are sensitive to sunlight, a darker patio umbrella will cut off some of the light, while a lighter umbrella will let in more light.

How to choose a good patio umbrella: in conclusion

As an economical and aesthetic alternative to the Pergola, installing a patio umbrella is a good way to give cachet to your patio and complete it.

Depending on your budget, it’s important to remember that in the long term, the purchase of a custom patio umbrella is always more economical than the purchase of a big box store umbrella since it deteriorates rapidly.

Also, your custom umbrella can be set up on your balcony or not far from the sandbox if you want to protect your children’s skin.

Since 1895, Groupe Bellon Prestige has supported hundreds of patio owners in their outdoor development projects. We offer you a large selection of fabrics and thanks to our expertise, we will be able to carry out your vision. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free quote.

Need more help on how to choose a good patio umbrella? Contact us. Our outdoor patio experts are delighted to put their expertise at your disposal.

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