Nobody wants blazing sun on the balcony or terrace, but which sun protection suits me? We give tips and suggest possibilities.© js-photo - Fotolia.com It is one of my absolute favorite places - 6 meters long and 4 meters wide - our terrace! With direct access from the living room, I am outside as often as possible - even if only to get some fresh air.
One problem that had bothered me for a good three years was the lack of, or rather sub-optimal, sun protection. We chose the simplest solution and bought an umbrella that was about two meters in diameter. No question, at least part of the seating set was overshadowed, but only for a certain period of time. You already guessed it, with every inch that the sun moved, I also had to move the umbrella. With an umbrella stand that weighs a good 25 kg, it's a lot of fun, I can tell you. So that was not a permanent solution and so I started to deal with the various possibilities of sun protection for balconies and terraces.
- 1 ❶ Traffic light umbrella for the terrace - rectangular umbrella for the balcony
- 1.1 ➔ Parasol for the balcony
- 1.2 ➔ Parasol for the terrace
- 2 ❷ sun sail - individual and inexpensive sun protection
- 3 ❸ awning for balcony & terrace - with crank or electric
❶ Traffic light umbrella for the terrace - rectangular umbrella for the balcony
A parasol is not just a parasol! The selection needs to be carefully considered so that a new umbrella does not have to be bought every two years. One aspect is of course the location, because more "sun protection area" is needed for a large terrace than for a balcony. Let's start with the latter ...
➔ Parasol for the balcony© mikaro95 - pixabay.com
The space on the balcony is quite manageable, so every centimeter needs to be carefully considered. First of all, you should "test" where the solar radiation is greatest and what exactly should be in the shade in the future. It will most likely be a small seat - if you want to protect the entire balcony from the sun, you may need two umbrellas.
You can often see the variant on the balcony that is more intended for the beach. I do not want to say that such a parasol does not serve its purpose, but a rectangular parasol is more effective, adapted to the shape of the balcony. Instead of shading a certain diameter of your balcony, you can protect a much larger area from the sun with a rectangular parasol. But there are also differences here! I recommend a rectangular screen that is also foldable. That means you can tilt the umbrella when the sun is no longer shining directly from above, but to the side of the balcony.
➔ Parasol for the terrace© Marco2811 - Fotolia.com
More space means more options. If you are looking for a parasol for the terrace, you can (and must) think in larger dimensions. I became aware of this too, so I decided - after many parasol experiments - to use a 3.5 m wide traffic light umbrella. Anyone who has done their own research will find that these umbrellas are not exactly cheap. But believe me, you won't regret this investment. But even here, umbrellas are not just umbrellas. The luxury equipment has four main features:
- rotatable by 360 degrees
- One-hand lever, for pushing up without effort
- Crank for easy opening of the umbrella body including fabric
- infinitely adjustable angle of inclination, necessary when the sun is low
Important: Traffic light umbrellas of this size need an absolutely firm stand. A conventional umbrella stand is therefore not enough. Most of these copies are sold with a steel cross. This must be firmly installed in the ground, or weighed down with a weight of at least 100 kg (for example below terrace slabs).
❷ Awning - individual and inexpensive sun protection© contrastwerkstatt - Fotolia.com
A practical and, above all, flexible alternative to the parasol are sun sails. This sun protection is available in a triangular, rectangular and trapezoidal design - which means that a model can be found for every requirement. In addition to the balcony and terrace, sun sails can also be used as shade in the winter garden. Sun sails are usually made of polyester or polyethylene and are therefore light and easy to use. If you want to use your terrace / balcony even in bad weather, you should use a water-repellent awning. However, very few models can withstand constant rain - you have to be aware of that. Adequate UV protection is also important, recognizable when purchasing by the note "UV Standard 801". You can find more on this criterion in the brochure "Textile UV protection" at Hohenstein.de.
In contrast to the parasol, attaching the sun sail can sometimes be difficult. The manufacturer usually delivers tensioning screws, snap hooks and wall brackets. The problem with rented apartments, however, is that drilling holes on the balcony is often prohibited. If you want to or have to avoid annoying drilling, you can alternatively attach your sun sail with magnets. I think it goes without saying that simple fridge magnets are not enough. If you want to implement this idea, you need strong adhesive neodymium magnets that can be obtained from a specialist dealer such as magnet-shop.net. The magnets can then not only be used to attach the sun sail to the wall, it is also possible to sew them into the lower end of the sail fabric. The fabric hem then sticks as if by itself on the handrail of the balcony railing and your sun sail does not flutter uncontrollably through the area with every breeze.
❸ Awning for balcony & terrace - with crank or electric© ifeelstock - Fotolia.com
Whether striped or plain-colored, awnings are one of the most popular shade providers on German balconies and patios. The great advantage of an awning - once attached, it can be used immediately and permanently as sun protection. In advance, however, you have to think carefully about where the awning should hang. Homeowners also have a clear advantage here, as they do not have to ask a landlord whether the awning can be attached. If changes to the facade are not permitted, a negotiating awning can be negotiated with the landlord - this can be removed without leaving any residue. Installation is then carried out using steel rods that are clamped between the floor and ceiling. Clamping awnings with hand crank are available from around 40 euros, if you prefer the electric variant, you have to dig deeper into your pocket.
If you have a large terrace, you may need two awnings, because it must be borne in mind that the wider the awning, the more susceptible it is to wind. Made-to-measure awnings can also be ordered, for example from markise24.de, so you can have the sun protection manufactured that fits your balcony perfectly.
The main advantages of an awning as sun protection are:
- the large covering area
- quickly ready for use by retracting and extending
- stowable to save space
- Protection in light rain
The following points must be considered rather disadvantageously:
- once attached, the position can no longer be changed
- no wind and sun protection from the side (varies depending on the model)
- must be run in with wind
If you are looking for sun protection for a balcony or terrace, you will definitely find what you are looking for - however, quick purchases should be avoided! You should carefully consider which area should be shaded and whether the structural and technical requirements for your favorite sun protection are met. Sometimes it is not wrong to choose a combination of several sun protection variants - for example, awning plus shade sail as a side shade.