If you're about to purchase a shade sail for your patio and you have never bought an item like this before, here are some of the key pieces of advice you should follow.
Buy adjustable poles for the shade sail
Some shade sails come with adjustable poles, whilst others come with fixed ones. If possible, you should try to buy the former as adjustable poles will help to maximise the functionality of this item. For example, they will allow you to lower or raise the position of the shade sail and continue to shield the patio area from the sun because the part of the patio that the sun shines on changes over the course of the day. This means that no matter what time of day you choose to sit out in this section of your garden, you can still ensure that you're protected from the sun.
Additionally, being able to change the position of the shade sail's poles could be very useful if you like to light candles and put them on your patio table when dining in the evenings, or if you have a fire pit in this area that you like to use to stay warm whilst lounging in the garden on chilly evenings. The reason for this is as follows; if you adjust the poles and raise the height of the shade sail before you light up your candles or fire pit, there will be far less risk of the flames from these items licking and burning the underside of the shade sail. Raising this cover upwards will also ensure that its underside doesn't get covered with too much soot.
Make sure the shape of the shade sail suits the shape of the patio area
There are several different shade sail shapes that you can choose from; there are, for example, ones that come in the shape of a right-angle triangle, an equilateral triangle or a square. When deciding which shape you want, you should try to base this choice not only on which one you like the look of but also on the shape of the patio that the sail will be covering.
For example, if your patio is in the corner of your square garden, then a shade sail that is in the shape of a right-angle triangle should cover it perfectly. Matching the shape of this item to the shape of the patio will maximise the amount of sunlight protection it provides and will also ensure that it enhances the patio's appearance.