Patio umbrellas are an oft overlooked part of the home and any outdoor business. Many consumers cheap out on them, and are then disappointed when the umbrella inevitably falls apart or fails to impress.
There are reasons why this is a mistake. A good patio umbrella can have health benefits on top of more abstract advantages like improving the value of your home or becoming a hotbed for traffic if you’re a business with an outdoor section (such as a café or restaurant).
Let’s get into the specifics:
1. Patio umbrellas are a key part of any outdoor aesthetic.
While outdoor aesthetics are an extremely subjective idea, most will include some form of patio umbrella. Shade is important, and sometimes you just don’t want any trees near your house in case of damage or sap. Parasols, gazebos, overhangs, and more are all used for this purpose. More commonly, people opt for the patio umbrella.
Because of how common this piece of furniture is, their aesthetic becomes important. How the furniture contrasts with surrounding pieces and the exterior of your home is paramount; a bad umbrella will stick out like an eyesore.
A good patio umbrella, though, will stick out as well… but in a good way that draws in people’s attention and encourages them to stick around for a while. People love looking at attractive things, and a patio umbrella can tie in the aesthetic you’re trying to present. Something like a market umbrella can give your outdoor patio an exotic, almost-tropical feel while aluminum umbrellas have a wide range of framing options that allow you to match and accentuate your other furniture and your landscaping.
2. They increase property value if they complement your house and landscaping.
Attractive landscaping can significantly improve property value. A pretty home drives up prices, and you can start a self-feeding cycle that sees your neighborhood’s value increase annually.
That may not be important to you if you’re happy where you are at the moment, but should the day come that you want to sell… well, who wouldn’t want to sell for more? Something as simple as purchasing a high-quality patio umbrella can start driving up your property value that pays itself off exponentially when or if the time comes.
A home with a well-manicured yard has an increased property value between 5.5 to 12.7 percent. Gardening and lawn care can be a monumental undertaking at times, especially in more challenging climates, but a taken-care-of patio umbrella will last years, look great the whole time, and requires little upkeep beyond the basics.
It’s an easy win on the property value front.
3. Shade is more effective than sunscreen in protecting your skin from harmful UV rays, and in helping you keep your body temperature down.
Sunscreen is temporary, and prolonged exposure to the sun is dangerous to your skin even if you regularly reapply your preferred brand of cream. Some common brands of sunscreen are also relatively ineffectual at their job, meaning that you’re still going to end up with a sunburn if you have sensitive skin or if you’re in the sun for over an hour. That’s just the simple reality.
Another simple reality is that shade does the job that sunscreen can’t do. Shade protects you almost entirely from harmful UV rays and sunburns. It gives your skin an opportunity to “breathe” for a while, repairing damage from the sun and reducing the risk of sunburn. Regular breaks in the shade ensure you’re doing the best you can to be safe while still enjoying the sunny outdoors.
So here’s a problem. Cheaper patio umbrellas are often made with poor-quality material. What’s more is that they might not block all the UV rays, and a stiff breeze might change the shade coverage to such an unstable extent that you’re constantly repositioning yourself to get out of the sun.
That’s obviously no good. While a patio umbrella gives you a wide angle of shade to enjoy, you have to also make sure you get a great one so that you’re secure in the knowledge that all the harmful UV rays are being blocked. You’ll also rest easy knowing that you don’t need to play musical chairs just to keep that sense of security intact.
An additional plus: your guests will be thankful that you aren’t sending them home with painful sunburns after a fun day. Give yourself, and your visitors, a chance to lounge outdoors without worrying about how bad the sunburn will feel the next day.
4. Cheap patio umbrellas can warp your opinion; well-crafted umbrellas will become prized possessions that you can’t do without.
One big mistake that consumers often make is cheaping-out on what they buy. If they aren’t certain about the product, they’ll try to minimize cost. This sounds like a good idea; after all, if you don’t like it, you’ll have spent less money on it. You aren’t “wasting” more money than necessary.
However, there’s a downside to this approach. Cheap begets cheap. By electing to buy the cheapest product possible, you’re also electing to buy from a seller that is using the cheapest materials. They’re still trying to make a profit, of course, and the only way you can do that at rock-bottom prices is by cutting costs in the manufacturing process.
This leads to the inevitable: a cheap patio umbrella will fall apart, rattle around, and possibly not even provide you full protection from UV rays and rain due to low-quality polyester fabric. The elements will ravage the umbrella and you’ll walk away deeply unsatisfied when you realize your cheap umbrella is no longer usable after only a season or two.
But there’s no reason to poison the well, so to speak. A patio umbrella is a product where it’s smarter to invest. Not only will the increased cost lead to a better experience (e.g. better aesthetic, higher quality material), but it’ll also lead to a longer lifespan for the product. A high-quality patio umbrella will last you years with minimal care, and it’ll stand up to the scrutiny of inclement weather far better than a cheaper counterpart ever could. Umbrellas made from high-quality fabrics and designed for trendy audiences like Sunbrella make a huge difference, and they’re certain to leave you feeling far more positively about your patio.
Paying a higher cost once will end up being cheaper than paying a lower cost every year, and you’ll have the additional benefit of having a patio umbrella that looks good and doesn’t get that sad, weathered sheen we all know and recognize from dingy, cheap products that have been outdoors too long.
While cheap begets cheap, quality begets quality. Your patio is worth the investment, and you won’t regret making that choice.
5. Patio umbrellas can help you stage different sections of your yard to increase coziness and enhance any hosted event.
Have you ever driven by someone’s house while they’re having an event or party, and stared longingly out the window at just how great their yard looks?
Maybe your neighbors have great gatherings, and you’re never quite sure what the secret is.
It’s possible, even likely, that these people all use their patio umbrella to help stage their yard. A patio umbrella is more than a simple piece of furniture. You could simply shove them in a corner somewhere and call it a day there, but you can also use them as a valuable means of separating parts of your yard and designing a party environment that intuitively steers and manages your guests.
A patio umbrella can serve as a staging area. The shade will be flocked to by patrons fleeing the beating rays of the sun, providing them a temporary reprieve from the heat and allowing them to feel a calm and cooling breeze. Guests will naturally congregate around a patio umbrella, and you can use this to your advantage.
If your gathering involves food, you can help ease the logistics nightmare of catering. Keeping the food out in the sun won’t work. Putting it under the shade of a tree leads to bugs, leaves, and seeds mingling with your salad bar. And putting it indoors? Who’s going to want to constantly go inside to get food? A large patio umbrella solves this problem, and makes it easy to keep the party going.
But let’s go with another example. Maybe you haven’t paid much attention to someone’s yard. Think of your favourite movies instead, the ones with outdoor weddings or the ones that have big parties outdoors. Notice anything?
They all have trendy, beautiful-looking patio umbrellas. Try imagining these scenes without them, and you’ll notice that they lose that sense of oomph it had before. You may not have noticed it in the past, but these umbrellas were essential for the aesthetic of the movie scene, and the same theory applies to parties and gatherings in real life.
A great patio umbrella is a secret weapon in staging scenes and turning an average gathering into one that makes people remember just how good it looked, and how it made them feel fantastic to be a part of.