The Different Types of Shade Structures

Shade can be utilized to increase the usability and safety of a space. Depending on the application, there are a variety of shade structures available to meet your needs. We have outlined several options below, however, please know that we are here to help you choose the right fit for your project. Contact Creative Shade any time for assistance in choosing the right fit for your project.

Below are the most common types of shade structures and their features:


Cantilever Shade Structures are great to minimize the column obstruction and increase the open space. Versatile and customizable options are available and are popular over pools, covered parking, stadium bleachers, school and park playgrounds, and outdoor seating areas. Cantilever shade structures come in a variety of configurations, as well as standard and custom length, width, and entry heights.


Hip Shades provide a clean, straight roofline. This simple and effective shade style is used with two, four, six, and eight column options to support the structure. Many clients find these to be the most economical type of shade structure, especially to cover picnic areas stadium bleachers, pools and rec areas. Hip shades can be essentially flat, or slanted and a “super span” hip structure can be used to cover larger spaces.


Multi-Panel shades use staggered layers of fabric to give a unique and multi-level design—giving the shade structure an enhanced aesthetic. Colors and shapes can be combined to give a fun and unique look perfect for playgrounds, amusement parks and other family-friendly spaces.


Canopy Shades with curtains on 2,3, or 4 sides are a great option for application where privacy and strong sun is a concern. These are great for cabana areas, and are available in square and elongated shapes.


3-Point, 4-Point and 5-Point Sails are available with customizable column heights and connection points. These shade sails are popular and can be used alone or as multiple structures in groups or layers. Varying the heights and attachment points create an interesting look, as does the fabric shape and curvature. Shade sails can be used in pool areas, recreational spaces, amusement parks, schools and playgrounds.

Want to learn more? There are plenty of other options including Shade Wings, Hexagon and Octagon, and T-Style. Check out all the shade style options!