How Much Does an External Shade Sail Cost?

This is a question we get asked a lot and the answer is more than most people think. With an influx of enquiries from people looking to access more of their outdoor space due to the recent Covid-19 outbreak, we thought is best to answer this question along with providing an insight into whats involved with designing a professional shade sails solution.

So, Whats the Difference Between a Professional Shade Sail & a DIY Solution?

  • A professional shade sail must comply with Health & Safety and building regulations.

DIY shade sail options do not need to and therefore come with more health & safety risks and building insurances do not cover them.

  • Professional shade sail solutions are designed to the site and site conditions.

DIY shade sail installations do not take this into account.

  • A professional shade sail solution is tailored to your exacting needs.

DIY solutions offer best fit option at best.

  • A professional shade sail solution uses premium UV tested fabrics with guarantees.

A DIY shade sail solution can often use inappropriate fabrics with no testing and no guarantees.

  • A professional shade sail installation has life expectancies of 10-15 years minimum.

A DIY shade sail installation products life expectancy is less the 24-months.

Dream V’s Reality

When most of us think about having an icon shading solution such as a shade sail installed in our gardens, be it a commerical or domestic setting, we instantly think of exotic destinations bathed in sun.  What we do not think of, is strong gusting winds, heavy downpours, and stormy weather that’s associated with the UK.

In the UK we are prone to higher average wind speeds than that of the continent, with on average 1.5 summertime storms per annum.  On top of this our winds are more gusting, which implies higher loadings on a sail and its fixings. Therefore, it is not possible to design and install a shade sail in the UK to the same fashion as you would in other countries.

So, How Much Should I Be Looking at For Professional Shade Sail?

This is entirely dependent upon, size, design, site location, installation, required specification, and of course, the obligatory engineering confirmation.   However, for a professional shade sail installation, you need to think upwards of £3,800 for a 3m x 3m with posts or wall plates.

So as you can see, to design and install a professional shade sail, capable of withstanding UK weather and one that complies with UK building regulations, means you will be paying substantial more than you would be buying a DIY kit option from online for.

How to Design A Professional Shade Sail!

On a professional installation you must design to the site and its implied wind loads. For instance, if you live within 20 miles of the coast, you will suffer from higher more gusting winds. If your property is on high ground or has large open spaces surrounding it, you will also suffer from higher wind loads that are also sustained.

On top of this you need to account for heavy rainfall, meaning a sail must be angled to allow rapid dispersion of water. Otherwise the sail will incur what is known as ponding where water gathers and causes the fabric to sag, sometimes burst.

If these factors are not considered, any sail installed will fail with possible structural damage or worse. Risk of personal injury is a high possibility.

There are many other factors that determine how to professionally design a shade sail solution in the UK, to affect a better solution and to mitigate health & safety issues. But, for most the importance is getting a solution that works and is fit for purpose.

That’s is why we at, backed by our Tensile Architectural Parent Company The Airsculpt Group, have been designing bespoke shading and all weather tensile solutions for commercial and domestic clients alike for over 15-years, taking into account the many factors as outlined above. Including planning.

To find out more or to discuss a professional shade sail solution for yourselves, contact us directly on +44(0)1249 848649 or email us at