Need shade? Whether you’re looking for a permanent outdoor shade structure or something temporary, learn what to expect when purchasing an outdoor shade structure for your deck, patio, or other outdoor space.

Choosing the Right Outdoor Shade Structure

The first step in choosing an outdoor shade product for your deck, patio, or other space, is deciding what you need.

Research the many different types of shade structures that are available to make sure you choose the best one for your outdoor needs.

At W.A. Zimmer Company, you’ll find that not only do we offer many shade options but that there are different options available for each type of outdoor structure.


A pergola is an outdoor structure made up of columns, beams, and rafters. They house an open-roof concept with slanted rafters to create shade while allowing for maximum airflow. Pergolas are custom-designed for your outdoor space and come in a variety of styles and colors as well as traditional pergolas or operable pergolas.

Patio Covers

Unlike a pergola, a patio cover will provide full shade and stops the heat and rain from seeping through the roof. These would be the best option to keep you and your guests safe from the elements.

Retractable Awnings

Retractable awnings are semi-permanent shade structures that allow you to control how much shade you want depending on the time of day. If you want to enjoy the night sky after a long, hot day, just push a button and your awning retracts giving you a perfect view of the night sky.

Shade Screens

Shade screens attach to pergolas, patio covers, or even your garage to increase the amount of shade that you have during the hottest parts of the day. They are also great for an increased sense of privacy on your deck.

Hiring the Right Contractor Service

Once you’ve decided on the right shade product, do your research before hiring a contractor. Make sure that the contractor your choose is reliable, has quality products, and can get the job done.  You also want to make sure that they’re friendly and easy to work with.

A few questions to ask:

  • How long has your company been in business?
  • How many similar projects have you completed?
  • What happens if I have a problem after installation?
  • Who will be doing the work at my home?

Compare costs and reviews before making a decision.

Once you have an idea for your outdoor space, the right contractor will help you bring the plans for your outdoor space to life.

Next Steps

Once you’ve settled on a product and hired a contractor, what’s next? While every business is a little different, here’s how we do it at W.A. Zimmer Company

  1. Contact us to schedule an appointment. One of our designers will come out to your home and take a look at your outdoor space. We’ll discuss your wants and needs and take some measurements of the area.
  2. We’ll give you a quote on the cost of materials and installation of your new shade product. We can even discuss financing if that’s something that you’ll need.
  3. Once the job is approved, we’ll order the materials and schedule a time for our installation team to come out and get started.
  4. Our installers will come out and install your shade structure, taking care of any landscaping you currently have and cleaning up once the job is complete.

Enjoy Your Shade

Once you have your outdoor shade structure installed, you’re ready to spend more time in your backyard or garden without the heat and UV rays forcing you indoors.

For over 40 years, W. A. Zimmer Company has helped homeowners in Northern Indiana enjoy their homes more with quality shade products. Schedule an appointment today to get an estimate for your new pergola, awning, or other shade structure and start enjoying the outdoors again!