How to Measure for a Shade Structure

How to Measure for a Shade Structure

As we approach the hottest season of the year, have you ever really considered how important public shade is for better health and social outcomes? It’s fairly significant.

It’s that time of the year when everyone spends more time outdoors enjoying community parks, event spaces, sidewalk cafes, and playgrounds. When these areas are shaded, it not only keeps people comfortable in the heat, but they can spend longer periods of time outside while gathering and socializing with others. Bet you thought of shade as a community builder!

Commercial shade structures are creative and eye-pleasing solutions that enhance the spaces they’re meant to protect like playgrounds, parks, seating areas, apartments, pools, schools, daycares, and any other outdoor space where people gather.

When considering a shade structure, it’s important to make sure you have the right measurements for the area you want to cover.  Though the type of structure you choose will dictate the measurements, here are some basics to help you get started.


You want to get the dimensions of the area itself that you want to cover. If there are existing buildings or other structures already in place, you want to make sure that the shade structure doesn’t interfere with or block the existing objects like exits, entrances, parking lots, and other adjacent facilities or amenities.


The height of what you are covering will determine the height of your shade structure.  For example, if you are covering tall playground equipment, you’ll want the height of the center attachment point to be much higher than the equipment to prevent interference with the shade structure. You’ll want to measure from the ground up to the center of the attachment point to determine the height. But keep in mind, the higher up the shade structure the smaller the actual shade it is going to create.


In addition to measurements, you’ll also want to know the positioning of the sun at different times throughout the day to help determine the placement of the shade structure. Make note of where the sun’s position is morning, noon, and afternoon so you get the maximum shade coverage no matter what time of day it is.


Adding shade structures to public spaces allows individuals to safely spend more time outside during the summer months socializing and taking advantage of many activities that might otherwise be limited or completely out of the question in the heat.  For more than 30 years, Southeast Outdoor Solutions has been bringing communities together by planning, building, and maintaining playgrounds and active outdoor spaces throughout Georgia and the Southeast. If you are interested in adding shade structures to your existing or future school, daycare, apartment, church, or city parks, we can help you properly measure for and build the perfect shade structure for your space. Give us a call at (770) 709-5605 to learn more.