Fun In The (Partial) Sun -- 5 Ways To Shade A Pool On Any Budget

18 November 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Enjoying your pool usually means enjoying the sun as well. But there are times in the hot summer months when you want a little more shade and a little less direct sun. Adding a little shade to your pool area helps reduce unwanted UV exposure and sunburns as well as providing a way to cool off in order to enjoy the pool longer. 

Here are 5 ways to bring some shade to your pool no matter what your budget.  

Trees and Landscaping

Nature can help provide some shade to your pool if you use it right. Trees planted between the pool and where the sun is during the hottest part of the day can bring natural and effortless shade to a section of the pool. There are some challenges to using trees or even tall shrubs: fallen leaves, time needed to grow to a good height and potentially-damaging root systems. For the best result, consult with a pool professional or a landscape contractor before choosing which trees to plant. Or, you could skip trees and instead build up that section with a berm, shrubs and large boulders that can provide natural shade for that side of the pool. 

Natural Placement

If you haven't yet built your pool, you may be able to add some shade by placing the pool in the right location. Working with your pool contractor, consider the way the sun falls on potential spots where you're going to place the pool. If you can take advantage of existing shade such as that thrown by fencing, the house, trees or outbuildings, you may be able to cool off without adding any further expense. 

Shade Sails

Shade sails are gaining popularity as a unique and stunning architectural element that also serves a functional purpose. Shade sails stretch across the pool or spa areas and are attached to poles set into the yard or patio. They can be very striking while offering both diffused light and extra UV protection. If you live in an area with a lot of wind or frequent storms, shade sails may need taken down a lot, so be sure your system is easy to detach and store. 


While it may seem like a cheap but unattractive option, using umbrellas for pool shade doesn't have to be an ugly alternative. Modern, freestanding umbrellas can be moved around to provide shade only where it's needed most. They can also be placed in built-in umbrella sleeves in the pool's shallow end to allow you to control when you need shade and when you don't. A single umbrella can cover a tanning ledge or walk-in pool section, for example, so that children can play without being exposed to the sun. A row of offset umbrellas placed on the pool's edge is a beautiful way to throw some shade over the water while still providing a tropical or artistic element for the area. 


A pergola is a solid structure that uses cross beams to create an arbor that shades whatever is below it. Pergolas provide a combination of shade and sun that can be perfect for pools. Because it has a solid roof, a pergola doesn't require the same maintenance or adjustment as some other shade options. You can place it alongside the pool to provide both a little coverage for the water and a covered lounge area or spa as well. 

Choosing what's right for your pool may include a lot of considerations, so it's wise to consult with experienced pool professionals such as those at Blue Haven KC before beginning any projects. But finding the right combination of sun and shade can help create a pool and spa that can be enjoyed no matter what the weather is.