Choosing the best position for a garden parasol is perhaps the most important question to ask first! Choosing the location will affect what canopy and base size you will require, consider whether you require lighting, if so, bear in mind how power will be supplied. The positioning of your parasol is especially important with larger canopies as they can act as a sail in high winds, so ensure you select a model designed to withstand high winds!

Permanent or non-permanent position?

The first aspect you’d want to consider when thinking how to position your parasol is if the place for it will be a permanent one – you don’t intend to move the parasol – or you will have to move it and change its position, depending on where is needed. In the first case, you will need an in-ground base – the strongest fixation available and for the second one, a heavy base with handle and wheels, that will make transportation easier.

To get a shade, the parasol will have to be positioned in between you (your patio, pool or the actual space you need shading for) and the sun.

Parasol for patios facing the sun

If you are a sunrise or a sunset lover, most likely your patio will be facing east (for sunrise) or west (for sunset). It’s a wonderful feeling to enjoy a cup of coffee on the terrace, or have a nice evening dinner surrounded by family, but don’t forget to stay protected. For this type of setup, we highly recommend purchasing a tilting garden parasol or a tilting cantilever parasol. The tilting mechanism will allow you to find the perfect shade, no mater the time of the day.

parasol on a terrace with sunset in background

Parasol on the pool side

For those that want to shade a part of their pool, the best choice would be a rotating cantilever parasol because it allows the space underneath to be clear, it can be tilted and rotated to find the perfect position and keep the water cool on that side for the whole day. Once you are out of the pool, you can rotate it to bring the shade over your patio table or sunchair, if this is in the proximity.

2 mirrored cantilever parasols over sunchairs on the side of the pool

Parasols for commercial and hospitality terraces

If you are in the hospitality sector, you may be facing the situation where you will have to choose between one giant parasol or multiple smaller umbrellas. Both options have pros and cons depending on the size of the area, the number of tables and the floor space available. The giant parasol can be fixed in the middle of the terrace with an in-ground base and will save more space allowing people to move better. Maintenance will be easier and faster and you can simply fold and unfold the parasol using a crank handle.

giant parasol in hospitality with side screens

Having multiple parasols on the terrace can be more time and resource consuming – operating each one individually, ensuring electricity access for lights and heaters, more storage space required and more floor space under or in between the tables.

Once you have established the position of your new garden umbrella or commercial parasol, it is important to choose the correct parasol canopy size and think about what colour would be the best fit for that place. You can find a useful guide here. Remember, the canopy occupies the space above you! Not the floor! Always check that the canopy will not catch on anything when opening, over hanging roofs, trees, signs etc. Shade Specialists supply sizes ranging from two metres square to a massive 9m square! No matter what size space you have - we can offer an option!

Should you require more information or require help choosing your new parasol, visit our Parasol Buyer's Guide, or please contact the Shade Specialists team who will be happy to help. We are here Monday to Friday and you can phone or email us with your questions.