FAQs

Where can I buy a ShadeSail?


ShadeSails are sourced directly from our company’s sail loft, which is located in Glen Innes, a suburb in Auckland, New Zealand. For our local customers, we send a trained representative to design and quote onsite. Alternatively, you can use our Shade-U-Fit® system, which is suitable for the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) person of for customers who live outside the Auckland metropolitan area. However, any customer can also source product direct from us, or through our growing network of approved agents. International buyers can also source direct from us or via one of our international agent distributors. Please email your enquiry to sails@shadesails.co.nz and we will respond to you.


How much will my ShadeSail cost?   


We provide superior quality, custom-made and stylish ShadeSails and as a result, the price can vary greatly depending on the size of shade required, the number of attachment points, fittings, poles, and site factors affecting the implementation. Our shade sails typically cost NZD$3,000 to NZD$5,000 for a table-setting size (4 x 5m), including poles. For a sail only manufactured under our Shade-U-Fit® system, the cost is around NZD$1,500 (excluding the cost of poles or attachment fittings) and increases with the size of shade. We will quote on all projects or drawings supplied by the potential customer.


What is included in the price?


The following is provided standard with each sail:
·        Sail bag(s) for storage.
·        Stainless steel wire rope reinforced edges.
·        Reinforced corners with stainless steel rings.
·        Stainless steel rigging screws for attachment and tension
·        Instructions for fitting and maintaining the ShadeSail
 
Any additional services and/or components such as posts, fittings and installation will be separately quoted.


What guarantee is offered on your shade sails?    


We offer a one-year warranty on workmanship and materials for our shade and waterproof sails and a five-year warranty against ultraviolet (UV) degradation on both shade and waterproof fabrics.


How long will my shade sail last?   


Our shade sails will last 10 years (and possibly more) provided proper maintenance is performed. Fully waterproof products require more regular cleaning than shade sails in order to maintain the integrity of the fabric.


Can you provide a quote off a sketch plan?


Yes, we can quote off a sketch plan provided there are sufficient measurements to determine the size of the sail. A photo (preferably digital) of where you intend to fit the sail can also be very useful for visualizing your requirements. Please see How We Deliver or Shade-U-Fit for examples of the level of information we require.


If I am providing you a sketch plan what measurements do I need to take?


Because we are a New Zealand-based company, our preference is for all measurements to be provided in metric (ie, metres, centimeters and millimeters). However, for international customers, we can covert imperial measurements (ie, yards, feet, inches) if this is the only measure you can provide.
 
Typical measurements that we like you to provide on sketch plans include length, height and width of the area you want to cover. If the area you are going to cover is an irregular shape, we also like you to provide Additional measurements can include, for example, the height off the ground of any deck you are wanting top provide shade cover for, as well as distances to boundary lines of your property.
 
One last important matter to include on all sketches and diagrams is a compass direction showing North and the direction of the sun at midday or when the sun causes the greatest problem. These notations help us to approximate the sun’s direction and determine where shadows from shade structures will fall.


If we are only supplying you with the ShadeSail, how accurate do I need to be with my measurements?


Accurate measurements are vital to ensuring the sail fits and can be correctly tensioned. However, for the purpose of supplying a quote, accurate measurements on your part are not as important as final measurements before manufacture of the shade structure. Accurate measurements cannot be taken until the attachment points, such as “D” plates and poles, are in place. Once the attachment points are fitted measurements in millimeters (mm) from each point to each point are required. Please click the link to view an example.


Do I need a permit to put up a shade sail?


In New Zealand a residential shade sail is generally classed as a temporary structure and does not require a permit. For larger and more permanent structures typically greater than 30m2 that will be in use for more than 30 days, a permit is required, particularly if the shade structure is being used in a public place such as a park or school.


What markets do you manufacture for?


Shade sails provide protection from the sun and look fantastic in most outdoor areas. We manufacture for both the residential and commercial markets. Our products are widely used to enhance the appearance and functional aspects of private homes, commercial buildings such as bars, restaurants, cafes and office buildings, car yards, community centres, as well as schools and kindergartens, swimming pools and spa’s, sports facilities and any other area requiring protection from the sun and elements.


Do you supply overseas?


Yes, we do. Please refer to our Contact Us page for a list of authorized international resellers and agents. If there is not an agent/reseller responsible for your international location, then feel free to deal directly with our New Zealand headquarter office. Shade sails for our international customers are manufactured in New Zealand using our Shade-U-Fit® system, and then delivered to you by courier.


Is there an authorized agent in my area?


We have authorized agents throughout New Zealand and are currently expanding our international network of resellers. Please check the Contact Us page for your nearest authorized agent. If you are interested in becoming a reseller or agent, please view our Become a Reseller page.


Do I have to take my shade sail down during the winter?   


Your shade sail can remain in place all year round, but you can take it down during the winter months if you wish. The sails are relatively easy to take down, but you may need a second person to help fit it back again. Remember, it is very important that your sail is correctly tensioned to ensure maximum performance and life. If you are unsure about how to correctly tension the sail, our staff can be contracted to do this for you.


What is the difference between a shade and waterproof ShadeSail?   


Shade cloth is porous, which means that wind and rainfall filter through it. It is also much lighter than a waterproof sail and therefore needs lighter weigh (and therefore less costly) support structures. A waterproof fabric typically tends to be about the twice the price. Because waterproof sails are also structural membranes, they require much stronger anchorage systems, which add to the overall cost of the project.


How long does it take to get my system installed once an order is placed?       


After we receive the confirmation of the order including the 33% deposit, the posts and fittings are installed, detailed measurements are then taken between the attachment points, and the sail is manufactured and installed.
 
ShadeSails can usually be manufactured and delivered in 3-4 weeks, but in the peak summer season expect 4-5 weeks. However, if your job requires poles to be manufactured, this can add another 1-3 weeks to the job, especially when special finishes, such as powder coating or colouring, are specified for the poles.


If I am a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) person, can I install a ShadeSail myself?


Yes, you can, Please view our Shade-U-Fit® page to understand the DIY process. Once you commit to purchasing a ShadeSail from us, we will provide you with all necessary assistance to ensure your ShadeSail installation is a success. If you do want to install the shade sail yourself, it is preferable to have a second person helping.
 
We prefer to manage our projects right through to installation. This is to ensure that we eliminate simple mistakes that can occur during installation that will compromise the integrity of your shade and reduce its life expectancy. If our staff are not available to assist with your installation, we can refer you to our network of trained agents.


How much wind can a ShadeSail withstand?


Our residential shade sails are typically designed to withstand winds of 50 knots (92.6 kph or 57.54 mph) provided they are properly installed and tensioned. We recommend taking your shade sail down if winds in your area are going to exceed this rating (ie, cyclone, hurricane or typhoon).


Are all of your company’s ShadeSails engineered to the same specifications?


No, they are not. Certain installations, based on their size and location, are required to be certified by a registered engineer for various factors, including load, structural integrity and strength, and wind rating. Some of our professionally engineered shade structures can withstand winds in excess of 64.79 knots (120 kph or 74.56 mph).


What shapes are your shade sails available in?


Every shade sail we manufacture is custom designed from pre-tensioned fabric to meet your specific requirements. We DO NOT manufacture any pre-determined shapes or sizes, however, our finished product can be triangular, rectangular, square or multi-sided.
 
The reason all of our shades are custom designed is because each job is unique and typically requires a custom solution to be effective, to provide protection from the sun and be aesthetically pleasing. We have found that in our almost 20 years of manufacturing custom ShadeSails that standard, pre-manufactured shapes never meet customer expectations. Why? Because every site is different and a sail that is not made-to-measure and correctly tensioned with the right components will inevitably flap and/or tear under a wind load and will be ineffective in providing adequate shade protection.
 
Our experience, as well as the feedback we receive from our vast customer base, is that custom-designed ShadeSails specifically tailored to meet the needs and nuances of your installation area, is the answer to ensuring proper fit and maximum performance.


Will the canopy fabric fade and how durable is it?


Every shade sail we manufacture is custom sewn and individually fit using only the highest grade materials available. All shade sails are made from high-quality materials that have been pre-tensioned. Our shade fabrics are highly durable and incorporate ultraviolet (UV) inhibitors that act to minimize fading over time. Some colours, like red, will always fade with the UV.


What colours and kinds of fabric are available?


An extensive selection of swatches can be supplied for all our cloth options, featuring the most up-to-date colours and materials. Please view our Colour Swatches page for a complete selection of available fabrics and colours.
 
Most shade sails are constructed using a woven mesh shade cloth. These materials will block out at least 90 per cent of UV light and are also partially water resistant. Different colours let in different amounts of light.
 
Fabrics used in SailShades designed to provide shade cover include Coolaroo shade mesh 90% and 95% block, and Ferrari Soltis 86% and 92%.
 
However, if complete protection against water and wind is required, then a structured PVC vinyl material is a better choice. For waterproof designs, we use Ferrari®’s Precontraint® Color Design 502, which is a 100% PVC product that offers outstanding dimensional stability and an exceptional level of mechanical strength over time. For waterproof sails that are wider than a standard roll of fabric, we seam-weld all joins to ensure integrity and strength of the finished product. The sail is stretched between fixing points situated at different heights to make sure that water is not trapped by the structure. Rain tracks can be incorporated into the design to direct water run off to desired areas. We can also accentuate the difference between the high and low fixing points, giving the sail a distinctive twisting shape to further improve rain runoff.


What fittings are provided with the ShadeSail?


ShadeSails are made of the finest quality cloths and are built using marine-grade, stainless steel wire and fittings to give you years of trouble-free enjoyment. The sails come complete with reinforced corners and all necessary rigging screws and shackles for quick and easy attachment and adjustment. A sail bag is included for storage.


Poles and posts.


We strongly recommend the use of galvanized steel posts for our installations, simply because of the improved level of strength and life expectancy they offer versus the use of wooden posts.
 
We do not recommend the use of 4”x4” wooden posts at all. Why? Because they are not strong enough, even when they are made of treated timber. A ShadeSail places significant loading on poles and attachment points and can cause wooden posts (particularly 4x4s) to bend and weaken, which is a problem that is further accentuated by harsh sun conditions.
 
Posts are cut to a length that allows for the height of your sail as well as the required depth of your footings.


Fixing a sail to your house


One side of a ShadeSail can be (and often is) attached to the side of a house or building in the area that shade/water coverage is desired. Our staff and contractors are all skilled at ensuring that attachments are made using the right fittings secured properly to whatever part of the building is required.

What maintenance do I need to perform on my ShadeSail?


The top of the sail is usually kept clean with the rain, but pollen and pollution sits on top of the sail and works its way through the mesh. The rising damp in the winter months will, over time, cause mildew and mould. We recommend a gentle clean once a year using a low-powered water blaster. Generally, we DO NOT recommend the use of any industrial cleaning product (such as and abrasive, acid or alkaline cleaner). However, you may feel the need to use a very mild detergent in conjunction with light water blasting.



 
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