With summer approaching a lot of outdoor time is about to overtake our lives. Whether you are going to the beach, lake, mountains or just hanging in your backyard, you want to be outside enjoying the elements! But when you are home how can you seek relief from the brutal heat on those blazing sun filled days. Well, it will depend on your home’s orientation. My rear yard happens to face south, which means I have the hot sun cooking my deck all day long! Despite the fact I have a light colored deck with the belief this would have reflected the heat as opposed to a dark colored deck absorbing the heat it just is not the case! My deck gets so hot I truly believe I could fry an egg on it on those scorching days. So how am I still able to enjoy my deck? I had considered a retractable awning since those commercials make them look so great and everyone is enjoying a nice piña colada in the shade. However, when you actually take a look at the sun path for New Jersey it is never directly overhead. However, if you are in Florida it is pretty close to directly overhead! In New Jersey, the sun reaches a peak angle of about 72 degrees on June 21 (the summer solstice) and then in spring and fall, we are down to 49 degrees. So let’s say you purchase a retractable awning that projects out ten feet, at peak time in the summer you will get at most five feet of shade on your deck and when we get closer to the brutal month of august you are practically getting no shade! It does shade the exterior wall of your home so you will benefit on the inside, but don’t you want to be outside sipping that piña colada?
So what other options do you have? If you are lucky enough to have some very mature trees in the backyard they will definitely provide some relief giving you shade throughout the day as long as they are tall enough (plant early!). Another option would be to build yourself a large gazebo with a fan. The gazebo should be constructed away from your exterior wall so you can take advantage of the shade it provides throughout the day. The shade will be moving but so can you without the restraint of your home’s exterior wall! If you do not have the funds to take on this structure you can buy a temporary gazebo at a big box store and assemble it at home with quite a bit of ease. But if you want to enjoy your outdoor living in a permanent style think about building a deck with a gazebo! It will give you enjoyment throughout the years. You can go out in a rainstorm in the morning and enjoy a cup of coffee as you read the paper and then later have some of your peeps over, fire up your blender and enjoy!