Too much sun isn’t something the Pacific Northwest is known for. Surprisingly, however, living at a northern latitude creates challenges when protecting patios and decks from direct, harsh summer sun.
Most people think the sun is directly overhead at noon so it should be the hottest time of the day. Not so for us. Because of our latitude, the sun we get is actually angled. One effect of the sun coming in at a lower angle is that we experience higher temperatures later in the day—4 to 6 p.m. PDT in spring spring, summer and fall—just the time you want to relax on your patio or deck, have dinner, or entertain friends.
Fortunately, there are creative shade structures that will let you control the sun, including tinted roofs and window panels, pergolas, shade sails, and screens to filter direct sun. Here are a few examples.
—Kim Katwijk, owner of Deck Builders, Inc. and an Alfresca Outdoor Living project manager