A patio umbrella is a great addition to your backyard. You can have that in an area of the yard that is not covered by an awning. You can close the umbrella when it is not in use. There are many shapes, sizes and colours of patio umbrellas that you can choose from.

A patio umbrella is a way of easily creating a shade in your backyard for family gatherings. You can purchase a couple of umbrellas with seating so that you have enough space to enjoy the summer. Before you purchase the umbrella, you need to examine your landscape and how best to locate it. You will find several types of umbrellas in the market such as sunshades which are intended for one person, pagodas that mimic the Japanese pagoda shape and cantilever types where the base and pole are away from the centre of the umbrella. The market umbrella is a larger umbrella that is  best for residences. These are usually shaped like an octagon. There are also heavy duty commercial grade umbrellas for restaurants.

If you already have a patio table that you are buying the umbrella for, you will need to measure it so that the umbrella covers the table when it is fully open. But make sure that you get the proportions right. A larger umbrella will dwarf a small table and vice versa. For tables that have a maximum diameter of 36 inches, you can go with an umbrella size of 6 or eight feet. There are also umbrella diameters larger than 11 feet which are recommended for tables that are in the range of 45 to 60 inches.

Think about where the roof of your house ends. If you are installing the patio umbrella on your outdoor deck where there is the possibility of the roof and umbrella touching each other, you might have to think twice. It is recommended to have some space in between. If you have an outdoor BBQ grill, make sure that you locate the umbrella a safe distance away from it. Think about the flow of movement when it comes to the location of the umbrella. It should not be in the way. Patio umbrellas are made of different types of materials. So you need to select a material that is durable to where the conditions of where you live. The umbrella frames come in fibreglass, aluminium and wood. Aluminium is a common frame material and it is more affordable than timber frames. There are waterproof fabrics that you can use for outdoor umbrellas that can withstand UV radiation.

Select a colour that complements the landscape and the house. Think of the colours that are already there so that it can match. There are rectangular, square, round and octagonal umbrellas. You have to think about the shape that the patio umbrella is covering when selecting an umbrella. The traditional patio umbrellas were opened using a pulley. These pulley styles are still available but you will need upper body strength to open it. The crank system is mostly used nowadays as it is easier to operate. In this system, when you are winding the umbrella open, it will automatically lock in place when the stopping point is reached. You can also tilt the umbrella in certain models when you turn the crank.