Depending on the direction your house faces, chances are you may have some unwanted sun where you'd rather have shade. If your backyard has eastern exposure, you will have sun in the morning and early afternoon. Western exposure? You'll have sun in the afternoon and early evening. With northern or southern exposure, you'll have a combination of sun and shade throughout the day. There are easy solutions and quite a few ways to create shade in your backyard. Some more permanent, and others are at your discretion.


The simplest way to get some shade in your backyard is a patio umbrella. They come in many shapes and sizes. Some are circular or octagonal, others rectangular, and some are square. Some come with separate stands that you place the umbrella pole in. These are good for patio tables with a center hole for an umbrella. Some have built-in stands with long, curved arms which hold up the umbrella. These types are convenient if you want to be able to move them around, depending on where shade is needed. Some umbrellas even have built-in lights.

Outdoor Tent

An outdoor tent is another option for getting shade in your backyard. These come in different shapes and sizes, depending on your needs, as well. There are portable ones which you can just pop up anytime, and there are more permanent ones which are anchored into the ground with permanent anchors.


There are permanent gazebos and portable gazebos. Permanent gazebos are structures, typically made from wood, that are built in your backyard. Some permanent gazebos are open-aired, and some even have windows. Gazebos can have built-in lights and ceiling fans as well. Portable gazebos are similar to outdoor tents. Some portable gazebos have sides that you can have down or tied up, depending on how much protection from the elements you want.


A pergola is a permanent structure in your backyard. They can be free-standing or attached to your home and are typically more elegant looking. Pergolas are usually made from wood or steel. They can help protect against the sun and also serve as a support for climbing plants. An article written by Maria Conti on, The Best Pergolas and Gazebos for Every Backyard, has some wonderful pergola and gazebo ideas.

Shade Overhangs

Shade overhangs come in manual and electric styles. They are attached to your house and roll out horizontally. They come in different widths and lengths. The longer and wider ones have poles to support them.


If you are looking for a more permanent addition to your home, you can add a sunroom or a three or four-seasons room. These come in different styles as well. Some are open-air, some have just screens, and some have actual glass windows that open and close. Since a sunroom is an actual addition to your home, it will add square footage and home value.

Fast Growing Shade Trees

Another way to create shade in your backyard is to plant fast-growing trees. The types of trees to consider will depend on the area and climate you live in. The article, Fast-Growing Trees for Quick Shade, written by Sara Anderson on, offers some insights on shade trees you might consider. Large, mature landscaping and trees have also been known to increase home values.

Having a nice, shady place to relax or spend time with family and friends is key. Choose the option that is best for your needs.