Patio Umbrellas are the most popular choice when adding shade and ambience to any outdoor setting. A patio umbrella is an inexpensive and reliable choice when decorating a residential or professional set. These handy umbrellas are available in all shapes and sizes. They are readily available with most patio stores and hundreds of internet retailers touting their own special brands and features.
Patio umbrellas come in two common sizes: nine foot and 11 foot. Purchasing a standard size umbrella will save money at the time of purchase and even years down the road when it comes time to replace a faded or torn canopy. Replacement patio umbrella cover and frames are simple to source as long as the consumer is seeking a popular size and configuration. A replacement top can save many dollars over the cost of an entire umbrella. Umbrella frames will usually last well beyond two or three replacement covers.
Patio umbrellas are available in many shapes. The most popular being either an eight rib umbrella or the hexagonal six rib version. Many dealers offer unique shapes such as square, oval or even rectangle patio umbrellas.
The most common style features a center pole supporting a connecting hub and extending ribs. Some prefer to use what is known as an offset or cantilever patio umbrella. These unique parasols hang the canopy extended from a side post mount with the obvious benefit being the elimination of the center pole. Anchoring these large patio umbrellas is problematic and typically requires using four patio pavers for ballast. This will require an extra trip to your local home and garden store. Many feel that the nuisance of pavers negates the benefit provided by the elimination of the center pole.
All umbrellas, by nature of their design, are parachute-like and will catch wind. They are also top heavy with the majority of their weight being suspended. Therefore, proper anchorage is imperative, especially in a commercial setting. Many umbrellas are used as part of a patio furniture set and can slide through a hole in the table. In this case only a light weight stand is required as the table provides most of the support.
A stand alone patio umbrella requires a more reliable heavy umbrella base for support. These bases typically made out of cast iron and finished with a powder coated color paint. But chipping is common and rust can set in. Other materials such as cast aluminum and even stone and concrete hybrid bases offer a solution to the rusting scenario.
Shipping patio umbrella bases is problematic and expensive due to the excessive weight involved. In many cases shipping costs alone can exceed the cost of the umbrella. An alternative to the heavier stands is found in hollow fill bases which ship empty and can be filled with water, sand or rock upon receipt.
Cheap patio umbrellas can be found at many clearance sites. Some manufacturers and dealers use inferior material such as low density polyester covers to cut corners. It’s up to the consumer to ask questions prior to making any purchase.