Step 2 – Installing Your Shade Sail Fixing Points.
2.1. Fixing to Existing Structures
Check with your local authorities and your home insurance policy.
Caution is imperative when considering fixing to existing structures, such as your house. In instances of strong winds, the loads placed on fixing points by the sail should not be underestimated. To ensure that your existing structure is adequate to handle such loads, you may need to consult a local engineer or qualified builder. For the best safety practises, you should remove your sail when high wind conditions are forecast.
2.2 Steel vs. Timber Posts
Steel is stronger and will not overly deflect (i.e. bend from the ground up), and will not rot. Rust factors can be compensated by using galvanised steel.
If using timber a larger diameter pole will be necessary.
2.3 Post Footings
Required footing sizes vary dependant on the size of the structure and the height of the post out of the ground.
Hole diameter. As a general rule, hole diameters should be around 350mm (1’2”), however increasing as column sizes increase.
Hole Depth is the most important factor. A general principal is 1/3 in, 2/3 out, which means posts out of the ground by 2400mm (8’) need to be at least 1200mm (4’) into the natural ground. If you are digging through land fill or raised garden beds, these depths should not be included in the overall depth of the footing.
Movement of your footings and flexing of your posts will compromise the ability to tension the sail.
2.4 Underground Services
Ensure your area is clear of underground services, such as sewage and water plumbing, or electrical cabling, prior to digging holes for your footings. Damages to services can be dangerous, and expensive to correct. Consider a services search prior to digging if you do not have plans of underground services available.
2.5 Local Authorities
You should also check with your local authorities as to relevant building regulations that may be a factor in your development of a shade sail structure. Once you have properly planned your shade sail structure, it is time to move on to the first of the installation phases – installing your shade sail fixing points.