Guide: 7 Tips for Picking the Right Cantilever Umbrella

Do you need a shade in your outdoor space? Then, having a cantilever umbrella is something you should consider. Here are tips for picking the right option.

Keyword(s): cantilever umbrella

When the good weather hits, we want to make the most of it. You’ve probably heard of the fancy people down the road bragging about their cantilever umbrella, but what exactly is it?

With summer starting in June and ending in September, it’s not a lot of time to get the most out of your patio. The only problem is with all that sunshine, comes a lot of risks and problems.

Sunburn, overheating, heat-stroke and the risk of skin cancer. When you’re considering the safety of your family, but still want to make the most of the outdoors it’s worth considering some options to get the best out of the weather while reducing the risk.

That’s where a cantilever umbrella comes in. This article will take you through seven tips for picking the right umbrella for your patio and how to make the most of it for summer.

What Exactly Is a Cantilever Umbrella?

The U.S. market for outdoor garden furniture is growing at an alarming rate, expected to grow 5% year on year to an estimated $11 billion by 2021. This may be from increased demand in grill products leading to demand for outdoor furniture.

The cantilever umbrella is simply an outdoor umbrella used to provide shade for a particular area. It’s attached to a free-standing pole on one end, instead of down the center, as you see with many umbrella designs.

This makes it one of the most popular outdoor pieces of furniture due to its versatility of you being able to use it with other furniture.

What to Look at When Buying

When you are picking out your design of cantilever umbrella, there are quite a few designs and styles to consider.

Assess Your Patio & Garden

Before you go shopping for any outdoor umbrella, you need to assess your landscape. That’s both the hardscape (patio area and decking etc.) and the softscape (the garden, or anything that grows in the ground).

If your umbrella is going to be providing shade for a table on your patio, make sure to measure the table. Although most outdoor tables will be a standard size, you don’t want to get your new purchase home to find it doesn’t cover your table.

On the same spectrum, you don’t want an umbrella that dwarfs your table and makes it look overpowered.

When assessing your landscape always remember to assess these points:

  • The location of your umbrella in relation to your house and any overhanging parts.
  • Compared to your grill, outdoor kitchen, and indoor kitchen, where will your umbrella be? The last thing you want is your new umbrella going up in flames the first week.

What Size to Choose

Size matters, especially when it comes to umbrellas. But sometimes, bigger isn’t always best.

If your patio umbrella is too big, it can crowd a smaller patio detracting from a natural look. On the other hand, an umbrella which is too small is unlikely to provide enough shade. This limits the functionality of the umbrella and the whole point of purchasing it in the first place.

Generally patio umbrellas will range from 4 feet to 11 feet. However, some manufacturers do offer umbrella designs up to 13 feet. Having that extra bit of shade can ensure that chairs remain covered when your guest pull them away from the table.

When considering size don’t forget the height of the umbrella. The right umbrella should be tall enough to accommodate tall guest standing, but not so tall that it loses its main use as protection.

Most landscape designers will recommend getting a height of 7 to 8-foot poles.

Mechanics of Your Umbrella

Traditional models will often use a low-tech pulley to open and close the umbrella. Most people leave these types of designs open through the summer as they require a lot of strength to open, and you can lock them into place with a pin.

Another type of mechanical choice that is popular for cantilever umbrellas is the crank design. With a crank, the process of opening the umbrella is much easier as it winds open and shut. It should also lock into place when opened fully.

Many regard cranks as easier than pullies to operate. Some more elaborate and expensive designs can include a push-to-open button and an auto-tilt or automatic option.

What Material to Choose

Most umbrella frames will be traditionally constructed from aluminum, wood or fiberglass. The material you will see most widely used is aluminum, resisting most weather conditions when manufactured correctly, it can be a popular choice.

Wood frames can be a higher cost when using materials like teak, eucalyptus or ipe. Fiberglass is a lightweight alternative to aluminum and is also flexible and non-corrosive.

Modern umbrella’s use UV-resistant fabrics made of synthetic materials which are very similar to the type used in awnings. They are typically available in a wide variety of colors, finishes, textures, prints, and solids.

Weighting down Your Cantilever Umbrella

What’s the use of having a beautiful umbrella if at the first sign of wind it disappears on its own adventure? Weighting down your cantilever is crucial to make sure it doesn’t end up in the neighbor’s yard.

There are a variety of different ways to secure this type of offset umbrella. There are a couple of points to consider.

Does Your Base Need to Be Mobile?

If you’re planning on moving around the base of the umbrella frequently, it’s worth investing in a base design that has wheels. You can move these easily and transport them without any issues.

Can You Attach It Direct to Your Flooring?

Depending what material your patio is if you don’t need to move it many people will attach their cantilever umbrella directly to the floor.

With a wooden patio, this is fairly easy. It just involves drilling into the decking and using lag bolts.

With a concrete patio, it’s a little more difficult. You can either sink bolts into the concrete before it’s poured and just add locking nuts once it sets.

If you’ve poured the concrete already, you might want to go with one of the pre-weighted options.

Give Your Patio the Upgrade It Deserves

With summer just around the corner, compile these tips outlined above and get the perfect addition to your summer garden. For more tips on how to get the most out of your garden furniture or for help picking out the best type of design contact us today.