How to mount sail shade pole

Installing a post is one of the best ways you can prepare for your summer and improve your home’s temperature at the same time. We’ve put together a guide on how to install properly, with tips on what type and where to place your shade sails – so check out our full article on How to mount sail shade pole!

Before installing your post, make sure it’s where you want it to be! It will only hold fast if it’s near the other fixing points. It will lose its allure and effectiveness if you install it too close to any of them. For further information about what you need to know before getting started, check out this article on Planning for a Sun Shade. Additionally, you might want to ask your local authorities about the building codes or permits that are required for your shade sail installation.

Dimensions and type of sail shade pole

A lot of people have different opinions on the best materials for building different structures, but urban contemporary homes typically use wood for its affordability and availability. Steel is also more expensive but provides a top-notch level of sturdiness.

It is more affordable to buy wooden posts these days but it may be difficult in some places to source timber that has been treated and will last for a long time.

It is possible to use round or square stuff for your design. It’s worth noting that they can be painted, which allows them to match the shade of the color or indeed any other color palette.

In most cases, a DIY residential installer would need to install a sun shade that was 20ft long and 20ft wide. This equates to about 6m x 6m in size.

“Even so,” people say, “the size of the pole required is still substantial,” and the loads on the post when the shade sail cloth is correctly tensioned and allowing for wind can get really high. The fixings require a depth of footing that is dependent on the height above the ground. The table below shows that for a fixing point 90cm above the ground, the required depth is 180mm.

NOTE: The United States has a non-profit program called 811. When calling 811, be mindful of what you’re asking since all calls are recorded. It’ll help the federal government identify your home’s location and determine if it’s in a potential construction zone before any digging occurs.

As a general rule, the depth below ground is about one-third to one-half of what is seen above ground.

Pole Measurements

This table gives an indication of the size of posts needed for different amounts of shade and what height the posts need to be at. Remember that you may not want to have your posts too high off the ground, as this could cause water runoff, or for aesthetic reasons.

The examples below are the minimum length for a post. You will need to allow some extra length for the actual fixing. ie For easier installation, it is recommended that you allow at least 3-4 inches / 10-15cm for mounting the eye bolt.

Sun Shade
Size
What Length
of
Post To Buy (Minimum !)
Pole Height
(Above Ground)
Wooden
Post
(Round)
Metal**
Post 
(Square, Side Length x thickness)
Metal**
Post
(Round)
Footing
Depth
Footing
Diameter
48sq ft 4.5m210’8″
3.3m
8′
2.5m
 5″ 125mm75mm x 3mm76.1mm x 2.3mm2’8″
0.8m
12″
300mm
14′ 8″
4.4m
11.5′
3.5m
5″ 125mm75mm x 3mm76.1mm x 2.3mm3′
0.9m
12″
300mm
96sq ft 9m211′
3.4m
8′
2.5m
6″
150mm
 75mm x 3mm76 x 3.6mm3′
0.9m
12″
300mm
14′ 8″
4.5m
11.5′
3.5m
7 7/8″
200mm
100mm x 3mm 88.9 x 3.2mm3′ 3″
1m
12″
300mm
172sq ft 16m211′ 3″
3.5m
8′
2.5m
6 7/8″
175mm
 75mm x 4mm102 x 3.2mm3′ 3″
1m
13 3/4″
350mm
15′
4.6m
11.5′
3.5m
7 7/8″
200mm
 100mm x 4mm102 x 3.2mm3′ 7″
1.1m
15 3/4″
400mm
269sq ft 25m212′ 3″
3.8m
8′
2.5m
7 7/8″
200mm
 100mm x 4mm102 x 3.2mm4′ 3″
1.3m
17 3/4″
450mm
15′ 8″
4.8m
11.5′
3.5m
7 7/8″
200mm
 100mm x 5mm114.3 x 3.6mm4′ 3″
1.3m
17 3/4″
450mm
388sq ft 36m2
12′ 3″
3.8m
8′
2.5m
7 7/8″
200mm 
100mm x 5mm114.3 x 3.6mm 4′ 3″
1.3m
17 3/4″
450mm
16′
4.9m
11.5′
3.5m
 8 7/8″ 225mm5”Schedule 40   125mm x 5mm 139.7 x 4.5mm4′ 7″
1.4m
17 3/4″
450mm 
source:

Using Smaller Poles; Using Stays / Guys to hold posts

If you need to use a smaller size of post or footing, use the Stays / Guys as reinforcement. This will ensure that the soil doesn’t withdraw from the post as it donates water over time. The ideal angle for the guy from the top of the post is 450 degrees, but anything larger than 300 degrees should be OK as long as you are using suitable fixings. This is also useful if multiple sails are being attached to one post. In these cases, a structural engineer may be required to verify that your post is strong enough and does not collapse due to the weight.

It is important that your shade structure does not become brittle or rot if it comes into contact with concrete or ground. The H5 treatment should be done on softwood. This will allow it to be used outdoors, where it will be exposed to fresh water. The post is protected against termites, borers, and severe decay. This wood treatment is used to enlarge retaining walls, piling, house stumps, and building poles.

Hard Wooden pole

Hardwood posts should be made from Class 1 wood. A species’ durability rating (described as a class) refers to its natural resistance to decay and pests. Class 1 wood should last 25+ years if it is still in the ground.

Metal poles

As with wooden posts, it’s important to make sure that metal posts don’t rust or corrode too quickly. Galvanized posts are a common choice. If desired, it can be powder-coated or painted (painting treatment).

You can also buy Stainless Steel posts. However, they are significantly more expensive. It may be worth paying extra to have the post attached to a mounting plate that is set into a concrete footing.

‘Hold Down’ Bolts.

In my investigation, I discovered that people recommend screwing in wood or having an ‘hold down’ bolt (metal), screwed into the bottoms of the posts. These bolts are used to keep the concrete from separating from the concrete. It was also suggested by many others that it was unnecessary. It was simple enough for me to add them.

Footings

A small movement in your footing can result in the top of the post moving quite far. This will impact your ability to tension your shade cloth and reduce the life expectancy of the sun shade. These depths should not be included when you dig through soil fill or raised garden beds.

The table lately shows that the dimensions of the hole needed to install the post can vary in terms of their diameter, but not as much as the depth. To avoid digging further than necessary, check for any utilities (gas, water or electricity) before you begin digging.

Firm Ground

After you have dug your hole to the desired dimensions, you will need to add approximately 4 inches (100mm), of medium-sized gravel (3/4inch / 20mm) to the bottom. The gravel should be compacted to make it more solid, but it will also help drainage and keep the bottom of your post from being surrounded by water.

Soft Ground

Once you have dug your hole to the desired dimensions, but the sides or base are not holding their form, it is a good idea to dig a bit deeper.

Concrete post for Sun Shade Sail

Preparation

The posts should be placed at a 5 degree angle from the shade when they are ready to be concreted. Although this is not necessary, it is recommended to prevent the shade from bending the posts when tensioned. In order to attach the fixings, ensure that square posts have one flat face facing the shade. Once the post is in its correct place, you will need bracing to keep the concrete from moving while it sets. Bracing is not necessary, but it can be easy for concrete to slip out of the hole.

How to measure a 5 degree lean on the post.

It is okay if the angle of the pole is not exactly 5° from the vertical. Some sites suggest 10 degrees, while others (mainly for smaller shades), do not mention the pole at an angle

A temporary mark (A), can be made on the post along its length, but it should not exceed ground level. Next, measure the length of the post at 40 inches (100 cm) and mark another (B). Measure the spirit level 40′(100cm) from the bottom corner of the spirit level and mark it (C).

Keep the bottom corner of your spirit parallel to the post. Keep the spirit vertically aligned with the post.

The angle is increased by increasing the distance between C and B. For example, a distance of 7” or 18cm would be a 10degree lean.

Concrete Mix and Pour

Concrete should have a minimum 20Mpa rating to embed the posts. Concrete’s strength rating is determined by how much cement is used, the amount of sand, and the water content. (Approx. 1:3:3:3 + Water) Ready-mix concrete bags will contain this information. Different cement manufacturers may have different suggestions. As incorrect mixtures or adding water to the concrete can decrease its strength, it is important that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Concrete types are suited for different environments. Contact your local concrete supplier if you have any questions.

To aid water drainage, slope the concrete’s top slightly towards the post when filling the hole. Stopping the concrete at least an inch below the top of grass will allow you to replace turf that was cut earlier. The manufacturer may recommend that the concrete be left to set for between 48 and 72 hours depending on how hard you use it.

And that’s it, with this guide you’ll easily install poles for your shade sail

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