How to Install a Shade Sail

Block out the heat of the sun and harmful UV rays while relaxing outside with a shade sail and sun sail posted up in your backyard. As we spend more time at home these days, everyone in the family still wants to get out of the house to enjoy their summer days. Shade Sails, also known as Sun Sails, can offer a beautiful alternative or addition to a DIY pergola to enhance the comfort of an outdoor entertaining area.

Read on to learn how to install a shade sail and create a visually appealing deck or yard that family and friends will love to gather within. Learn how to put up a sun-blocking shade and keep your guests and family safe from the damaging effects of long-term sun exposure.

How Do I Put Up a Shade Sail

Shade Sails can be attached to so many structural options including deck posts and columns, large trees, houses, pergolas, and pavilions. Mount a Sun Sail in place with steel brackets, stainless steel D-rings, and more to control the tension of the fabric shade and keep the Sunshade in place during high gusts of wind.

Here are the 3 most popular ways to hang a shade sail out in your backyard for a gorgeous shaded area that will bring years of enjoyment and protection from overexposure.

3 Ways to Install Shade Sails

Find out how to put up a shade sail in your backyard space and gain a bit more shade for family and friends to relax in

Mount a Sunshade on a Pergola Wall

Add a lovely shaded oasis right in your own backyard to keep the summertime sunshine out of your eyes by mounting a Sunshade along the sides and top of your LINX Pergola system from Wild Hog Railing.

Ideal for a relaxing, breezy ceiling or a wind-blocking opaque wall to add a touch of shade and privacy to your backyard shade structure, mounting a sun shade sail to your pergola posts will expand your living space outdoors. Sunshades come with included side brackets and corner brackets for incredibly straightforward shade sail installation.

Simply attach the shade sail mounting hardware in either the 90° corners of your opening with the corner brackets or right on the flat surface of your pergola posts or beams. Fasten the shade sail mounting brackets in place with coated or stainless steel screws such as the LINX Screws for weather-resistance.

Anchor Posts for a Shade Sail

For homeowners without a pergola or pavilion in the backyard, a shade cloth can be connected to existing or new deck posts and support posts. Plan out the location and design of the shade sail desired for your outdoor living space, mount posts or ensure that existing support posts are tall enough, and attach the shade cloth to the fixing points.

For DIY builders who will be mounting support posts, use a Post Anchor or Post Base Kit to attach the pieces in place on an existing deck or patio. For shade structures out in the grass, dig a post hole deeper than your frost line and set a post in concrete until cured or attach the post to the solid concrete top via a base kit bracket.

Attach a Shade Cloth to Surrounding Trees

If connecting your sun cloth to existing structures or a DIY pergola isn't fitting your outdoor aesthetic, choose to mount your shade fabric in place to tall, sturdy trees!

Choose Eye Lag Screws or Pad Eye Anchors installed within the tree face to create mounting point foundations for the 3 or 4 corners of the shade fabric. Then connect the shade sail corners to the anchors via a Turnbuckle, Snap Hook (also known as a Carabiner), or S-Hook to tension the shade and keep it consistently in place throughout the season.

Be sure to plan out for appropriate spacing between the mounting point and the edge of the sun sail fabric to allow the sail hardware enough space to be fully in place.


Learn more about the basics of deck framing and building in our Deck Framing Guide and learn deck parts and terminology in the DecksDirect Glossary of Deck Terms and Lingo.

Browse more deck design and railing style notes to upgrade your backyard space and deck in the DecksDirect Railing Style Guide: the quickest way to learn if your home is more suited for a classic aluminum deck railing or a showstopping cable rail setup.

The more you know, the better your deck and backyard projects will be! Whether you're looking at a brand new project, a deck update, or a style refresh, give our deck project planners a call at 1-888-824-5316 or send us an email at hello@decksdirect.com. Our experienced team will help you get the information, products, and tools you need for an awesome deck completely personalized to your needs!