A wonderful cheap shade for a sitting area

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How to create a shade oasis to escape the heat.

It gets down right miserable  hot out here in this high desert climate. The big plus is, if you can get to some shade you cool off pretty quick, the draw back is there is not much shade to get to. Today we are going to take a look at how to build a cheap shaded sitting area.

I have seen all kinds of expensive canopies, lame umbrellas that just blow around, and odd looking contraptions that are not appealing to the eye. I have been looking all over for a good, cheap, but aesthetically appealing shade. I do not want to spend very much on it because I plan on putting in a nice gazebo and awning at a later date and that will end up being fairly pricey.

I have tried the umbrellas, and they just wont stay put when a good wind comes through. I have also tried the soft top canopies, after you anchor them down they seem to stay in place well enough but the wind will tear the soft top. If you live in a windy area this is not such a good choice.

I went over to a friends house the other day, and he had put together an awesome little shaded sitting spot out by the garden. This rig addresses all of the issues  the umbrella and canopy presented. I will post a picture of it at the bottom of this post.

First he took a bench that was in the yard already. Then he took a 50 inch by 16 foot cattle panel, bowed it over the top of the bench, and staked it down to hold it in place. Once the panel is  secured he put some shade cloth on the top part of the bowed panel, and then covered it with camouflage netting, like what the military used to use to hide large items on the ground. Make sure you secure the netting to the panel in multiple spots. There you have it, a good little shaded seat to escape the heat.

The fact that the panel is staked down means it will not blow away like the umbrella, and the netting has large enough holes in it to let the wind pass through without tearing. I bet you could even step it up a notch and install a misting system on the outer edge of the cattle panel and provide extra cooling. This will give you a wonderful place to hang out even when its terribly hot outside.

shaded bench


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