At this time of year we all start to become aware of the sun and just how hot it can get. Keeping the house cool becomes paramount, but with the sun beating down on it all day even those with air conditioning units can struggle. So how can we go about shading our house from the sun?
The obvious answer is trees: Natural, attractive and if the tree is deciduous then you'll find it will helpfully block the sun in summer and let the light through in winter.
However, not all of us have the space for trees or the time to grow them. Not to mention the hazard that trees can become as they get taller, where branches may end up interfering with power lines or a brisk wind could bring the tree down on your house.
So what other shade options are there?
Perhaps the fastest way to get the shade you need, when you want it, is through installing shade cloths. There are a variety of different densities and colours available, so finding one that's right for your house and garden shouldn't be too difficult.
You can also choose to either buy the shades pre-cut and designed to be fitted like blinds or sails, or straight off the roll. You will need some sort of frame work to fit the cloth to, but thankfully due to the weight of the material and the fact that it allows wind and water to flow through it, the frame work doesn't need to be overly complex.
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Not sure you like the look of shade cloths? Want something more natural? Then why not consider a climbing vine trellis. Some varieties can be extremely fast growing (much faster than trees!) and very hardy to all sorts of conditions and environments.
In addition to this, if using vines you have the advantage of being able to pick flowering varieties (for a bit of extra beauty), deciduous ones (so you can have shade in summer but let the light through in winter) and even use them on a lattice to cover up an unattractive piece of wall.
Like shade cloths, vines require a frame to climb on. Most varieties will also require a bit of pruning and maintenance to keep them looking neat and growing where you want them to.
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What other ideas can you think of for shading the house from the sun? Share them with us in the comments below.