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Hang a shade sail

The past couple of summers have definitely been getting hotter, and at a cost of around R500, a shade sail is one of the cheapest and easiest DIY solutions for shade in a garden.


A Coolaroo shade sail costs around R500 for a 3 metre x 3 metre x 3 metre triangle - large enough to provide a nice shady spot above patio furniture. Installing a shade sail is also reasonably quick and easy and can be done in 30 minutes tops. You will find a selection of shade sails at your local Builders Warehouse

Coolaroo shades come complete with the cords, but there are a few tools and accessories you will need to install your shade sail.


Fitting for mounting on walls or other - For this project we mounted one side of the shade sail on a wall, and the other two sizes were tied off on sturdy trees in the garden. You will need a hook or eye and a nylon fitting.  

Nylon cord - While the Coolaroo has its own cords in the pack, these aren't very long and if you need to reach trees that are far away you will need more cord.

You will also need:

Combi Drill or Impact Drill and assorted bits

Craft knife or scissors to trim the cord

Sellotape or masking tape to wrap off the ends


An extra pair of hands






1. First thing you need to do is to attach the nylon cords at the corners, Unless, of course, these are already attached. Tie secure knots. 

2. Next step is to determine the best position to hang. You will need a couple of extra hands to help hold the shade sail and decide how to fasten this to walls and / or trees to provide maximum shade. Consider the position of the sun at different times during the day and allow for this, so that the area to be covered has shade as much as possible throughout the day.

3. Drill a hole based on the size of the nylon wall plug you will be using. A good size wall plug is around 8mm (drill bit). You can use a wall plug and screwed-hook or an expanding steel rawlplug with hook on the end.

4. Now you're ready to start threading the shade sail through the eye hooks (as we did on one side)... 

GOOD TO KNOW: Where the cord is cut wrap tape around the end to prevent it from fraying.

... and fasten to trees for the other 2 sides. Make sure it is high enough above the seating area, and only tie off with permanent knots after any adjustment has been done so that the shade sail it taut.

GOOD TO KNOW: While knots need to be tight, make sure you can undo them later on. After a while the shade sail may sag and you will need to pull taut again.