4 Reasons Why Shade Structures Trump Permanent Structures

September 18th, 2019 · Published to Shade Solutions by Steve Lewis

Shade Structure at school playground

Shade Structure manufactured by Global Shade and installed by Ashadya Shade Sails & Blinds

Structures are one of the vital necessities in life. Whether you’re looking to provide shade or shelter, you will need a structure to do so, and structures come in many different shapes and forms.

If you’ve done any research into the types of structures available, you will find that you generally have two options at hand; shade structures and permanent structures.

There are two major differences between the two options; shade structures are temporary or semi-permanent structures that are considered to be low-cost investments, whereas permanent structures are just that, permanent, and are considered to be high-cost investments.

In this article, we’re looking at structures that supply shade or all-weather protection. And, of course, I am biased in saying that shade structures are a better choice than permanent structures in this regards. However, I do have a good reason for my bias, which I will share with you below.

Shade Structures are more affordable

There is a major cost difference between shade structures and permanent structures. Shade structures require only fixing points and posts to support the sail or canopy which make them a lot cheaper than permanent structures. Permanent structures on the other hand, often require council permits and approvals, site excavations, footings, beams and other structural elements made from bricks, steel or timber.

Shade Structures are more flexible

The canopy of a shade structure is made from fabric; this can be shade cloth, PTFE-coated fibreglass or PVC-coated polyester. They can offer sun protection or all-weather protection. And, because they are made from fabric, they can be twisted and curved to offer coverage to just about any location. Best of all, they can be taken down and removed when not needed.

Permanent structures can use a variety of materials to create a canopy, including steel, roofing tiles, glass and shade cloth. However, it is much harder and more costly to have permanent structures fit obscurely shaped areas and they are not able to be removed at any time. 

Shade Structures are quicker to complete

Shade structures require a lot less designing, planning, and construction than permanent structures and are therefore much quicker to complete. From start to finish – that is from the time that your shade structure is ordered, till the time it is manufactured and installed – shade structures can take as little as 2-3 weeks to complete.

Depending on the design and size of a permanent structure, it can take much longer, especially if a site conveyancer and/or a structural engineer is required. The only permanent structure that you can expect to have completed in less time than a shade structure is a simple open pergola.

Shade Structures are suitable for more applications

A simple shade sail or shade structure can be used for more applications than anyone permanent structure. Think about the uses of a shade sail for example; they can be used to create shade over a driveway/carport, outdoor table setting, shopping centre car park, playground, park, or swimming pool, and at schools, cafés and restaurants, and much more.

Due to the cost of permanent structures, they are not suitable for all applications and also won’t look as attractive or inviting. Think about a pool with a big heavy structure over it – that just kills off the summer vibe.


While there are many structures available that provide shade or all-weather protection, I believe shade structures to be the best choice. They are more affordable, more flexible, quicker to complete and more suited to a larger list of applications.

If you’re looking to have custom shade structures made for your home, business, school, or establishment, contact Global Shade. As one of Australia’s leading shade structure manufactures, we can create a shade structure to meet your needs and also find a local licensed installer to install it. Phone us on 1800 724 407 or contact us via our website.

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