DIY – How I built a Simple Stand-alone Sun Shade – Shelter

DIY – How I buildt a Simple Stand-alone Sun Shade – Shelter

**Update: I add a peaked roof to this shelter**

I constructed this 10×10 sun shelter for less than one third the price of a store purchased structure, and had a blast designing and building it! I feel this shelter is higher quality than store bought and the top material is easy to remove before the winter snows in western Montana.

I started with 10’ 4×4’s and 12’ 1×8’s. The structure is 8′ high and 12′ tip-to-tip on two sides. Two coats of stain will help preserve the structure from the elements.

I fashioned metal caps for the top of the 4×4’s and installed adjusters from an old clothes dryer to the bottom of the posts. The adjusters also keep the structure off the courtyard pavers so that water cannot wick up the posts.

I painted 10’ ¾” electrical conduit to hold the center of the sun shade material up. I drilled holes in the inner 1×8’s and inserted the conduit during the assembly process. This simple mounting technique eliminated complex mounting hardware.

The sun shade material and trick mounting clips were purchased from Greenhouse Megastore. The material I used was 12’ wide (without any seams) and will block 80% of the sun. Greenhouse Megastore will cut the material length you require. I purchased 13 running feet to get over the minimum order, thus saving on the cut charge. I cut the material to approximately 10×10 for my project. The clips are held in place at 8 points on the structure and 8 more clips were used to help stretch the material. The material does stretch nicely making a mighty fine cover.

This was a fun, simple project that almost anyone can build and enjoy for years.

Please contact me if you have any questions or comments.

Still photography was taken with a Samsung Galaxy S5 smart phone and an Apple iPad Air2. Video was taken with a DJI OSMO camera. I used Microsoft Move Maker to assemble the stills and finished the project with Adobe Premier Pro.

Music used: “Meditation Impromptu 02” by Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

20 Replies to “DIY – How I built a Simple Stand-alone Sun Shade – Shelter”

  1. Beautiful work. Trying to make something similar. What's the measurements on the (8)4×4 support pieces. And what size bolts did u use. Thanks

  2. Can't believe the people complaining. If you want to be spoon fed the details on how to build it look at the 100s of other videos on YouTube. I'm ready to declare myself not part of the species of human. I'm too embarrassed to be in the same species as some of you.
    You did a fine job with the pergola and the video. Thank you.

  3. I noticed that there seems to be a piece of wood that is between the 12' 1×8 pieces, right in the middle. I can see two bolt or nail heads. You can see it clearest at 4:11. Is that some kind of support that you decided you needed? I don't see it on earlier pictures of the build or install, but it's there by the end.

  4. Thought this was a how to, but then I saw "how I". Beautiful work, bro. Also noticed some comments on the music but I enjoyed it. ✌🐯

  5. Pretty nice work. Is there name for that type of shade "cloth"? Tough to tell if posts are 4×4 or 6×6 based on the angle supports…almost looking 4x6ish.

  6. Definitely not a how-to and that music….. Too bad, it clearly is an excellently rendered project and video.

  7. Beautiful piece. I'd have to build mine in the "back 40", because, if I built one that close to my house, it would be demolished from the weight of all of the snow falling off the roof from our Maine winters. Absolutely love the design though. Wish you was my neighbor… I'd enjoy watching this kind of skill in progress.

  8. Excellent video! I searched everywhere trying to find the right structure for a shade sail and then I found your video. It was perfect. I just made one almost identical to yours this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration and the finer details you included in the description and the replies you added.

  9. Beautiful job, but not what some (me) would call "simp!e". As a complete novice, with no power tools except a skill saw, it does show me that I need to be much better equipped, both with tools AND know-how, before I tackle something that I want to look nice, when finished. Again, very nice job!

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