Installing shade sails is a great and economical way to reduce heat and block UV rays from the sun. But it’s critical that you take the time to make the proper measurements. Whether you are looking for a custom designed or DIY shade sail, measuring from the wrong points or incorrectly measuring could be the difference in a shade sail that perfectly fits, and one that does not and has the incorrect amount of tension.

If you have already identified the location for your shade, chosen your anchor points and made sure they are structurally sound, we recommend you measure from the attachment point of the shade sail for the most accurate measurements.


Get Some Help

Measuring will typically require a couple of people, so grab a co-worker or friend and your tape measure and head out to the location.  You’ll also want to grab a piece of paper or measuring sheet to mark down your measurements. Also, depending on the height of your post you may need a ladder to reach the anchor point.

Keep Your Measurements Organized

The number of measurements you need to take will depend on the type of sail and how many sides it has and it’s important to keep your measurement ordered correctly, so you don’t mix up the numbers.  This is where your measuring sheet will come in handy.  The measuring sheet will have the rough shape of the sail and letters (ex. a,b,c,d) that identify each post and anchor point to keep you organized. You can also draw a similar configuration and label the post yourself.

Measure the Height of Each Attachment Point

Grab your ladder (if necessary) and measure from the ground to the center of the attachment point. Record your measurements.

Measure Distance from Corner to Corner

To measure accurately go the anchor point of your first attachment point and pull the tape measure to the attachment point of the next post.  Record your measurement on your measuring sheet and do the same for every corner. Additionally, take diagonal measurements as well. Making sure to pull the tape measure tightly for an accurate reading.

Remember, it is important to measure from the anchor point and not from the post on the ground. This will yield different measurements and improper fitting.

Double Check Measurements

Once you have completed the measurements, it’s best to double check your work and measure again. It is critical the measurement is correct for a proper fit and the correct tension at each anchor point. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

What if you don’t have your attachments points installed?

If you don’t have your attachment points installed yet, but still want a quote, you can estimate where the attachment will be, but in order to accurately fabricate the shade sail, the exact dimension will be needed.