The top 10 mistakes to avoid when installing shade sails were presented today at the shade sail demonstration at IFAI Expo 2015.
10. Don’t use long, skinny shapes. Shorter sides should be at least one-half the length of the longest side
9. Don’t use two triangles to fit a square or rectangular space. Triangles are inefficient.
8. Don’t design flat sails when you can avoid it. Flat sails move more in the wind than sails with height differences. This can cause premature failure of the sail fabric due to mechanical breakdown as well as excess wear and tear on the hardware. A shade sail with different attachment heights looks better and will last longer than a flat sail.
7. Don’t make the sail the same size as the space—it will be too small.
6. Don’t overlap sails without 3 feet of clearance.
5. Don’t flip the grain of the fabric when joining panels.
4. Don’t cut the smallest lengths first when joining panels.
3. Don’t use regular thread. Do use lifetime warranty thread.
2. Don’t skimp on posts. Lean posts out slightly to avoid looking bent.
1. Don’t skimp on footings. You can’t go wrong with the one-third/two-thirds rule. When in doubt you must get an engineer’s approval.