When you decide that your commercial space needs shade, it is important to determine which type of shade structure is right for your space. Where do you start and what are all of the different types of structures and what are their benefits? At Creative Shade Solutions, we offer a wide variety of shade structures and custom configuration options, installation methods, materials, and colors so you can bring your commercial shade vision to life. Here are the different types of structures and some of the benefits each style can offer to your project.

Shade Sails

Shade sails are a fabric shade structure designed with curves (or gores) that can be tensioned between anchor points. They are a popular choice due to their design flexibility and seemingly endless configuration options. They also offer visually-interesting shade at a cost-effective price point.

Hip Roof

Four-post hip roof structures are one of our best-selling structures – and for good reason! A hip roof is a type of structure defined by all the sides gently sloped downwards towards the sides of the structure. The rectangular or square design of the hip roof is perfect for many types of recreational areas and businesses. Our hip roof shade structures are able to be free-standing or partially attached to a building, and can also vary greatly in size from a small area such as 10′ x 10′ to much larger scales such as 50’x50′.


Cantilevered shade structures are affixed horizontally with the load carried by beams from one end. The primary benefit of using this style of shade structure is to minimize visual obstructions. Cantilevered shade structures are a perfect solution where clear space is required for safety or enjoyment, such as pools, shooting ranges, car ports and drive-thrus.

Mega Span

Mega span shade structures are just like they sound and are an ideal solution for any oversized area requiring ample shade from the hot sun. Parking lots, storage areas, basketball courts and other outdoor sports and recreational facilities are just a few examples of where this type of structure could be your best choice. Our team of designers and engineers are able to build mega span shade structures up to 60 feet wide and are unlimited in length. Typically a mega span structure will have 6 posts.

Hexagon & Octagon

Six-sided and eight-sided shade structures are a great solution for medium and large circular areas such as splash pads and amusement park attractions. These structures do not require a center post for support, instead relying only on outer support posts and heavy duty roof construction. Hexagon and octagon shade structures add visually-interesting shade to any environment and offer excellent durability and stability.

Shade Kites

The primary benefit of opting for a shade kite is creating targeted sun protection from one angle or during a certain time of the day. This type of shade sail canopy is tensioned in a hyperbolic structure with one post being nearly twice the height of the others, and is perfect for open spaces.


Also known as T-Style Canti, this type of structure offers a cost-effective shade solution for tight spaces. Designed with two “T” posts instead of the traditional four-posts, these structures provide fantastic shade without blocking the view.

Shade Umbrellas

Single post umbrellas are a simple, affordable and effective shade option for small spaces and can provide shade coverage for up to 400 square feet! The single post design can be in the center of the umbrella or off-set cantilever style. Shade umbrellas are a perfect solution for pool-side shade, food courts, picnic areas, and more.

Shade Wings

Shade wing structures are another great choice when you need both shade and an unobstructed view of the area. This type of structure features a flat shade sail and tilted roof design, perfect for protection from both the sun and rain water run-off. Shade wings are a perfect fit for transit waiting/seating areas and community walkways.

Custom Shade Structures

Our designers and architects at Creative Shade Solutions can create a one-of-a-kind customized shade solution, limited only by your imagination (and engineering limits, of course!) Have an idea that combines the aesthetics and performance of any of the above types of structures? Maybe it’s something new and out-of-the-box and you need help designing a visually-arresting and structurally-sound shade structure? Bring your design concept to us. We love helping you make your space stand out from the rest!