Large Patio Umbrellas - Big Look

Large Patio Umbrellas - Big Look

One of the really cool trends we've seen over the past couple of years are larger areas needing large patio umbrellas.  The increase in the popularity of bigger patio tables that seat 12 to 16 people in your outdoor area has caused a need for patio umbrellas that measure 11 or 13 feet.

Also fueling this trend is being able to seat or entertain more people under a bigger shade spot.  Larger patio umbrellas really fit the need of shading more area and more people.

Some people just LIKE bigger umbrellas.  Why not?  For a little extra, you can have a great big canopy that has more shade and a bigger decorative impact on your outdoor room.   Most large patio umbrellas carry the some of the same feature as standard sized umbrellas, and the ones that don't offer something very special that you might want to consider.

For those interested in getting a bigger patio umbrella, here are some quick guidelines that might help you with your decision.

  1. First step is to ask yourself if you really need a larger shade?  Larger isn't always better if you don't have the area to support the shade you want.  Watch for walls and greenery.  You might think you have the space and the need for a big shade, but your house's exteriors walls or a hedge or your greenery might make that necessity a mute point.
  2. Tilt or Non-Tilting?  Larger umbrellas can feature a tilt, or not.  The ones that do tilt have a very effective tilting system that supports the weight of the canopy.  A bigger canopy adds a lot of weight to the top of the umbrella, so tilting it might cause it to topple.  Usually, lighter, more standard 11ft patio umbrellas have an efficient tilting system because the weight of the canopy has been controlled because of the amount of aluminum used.  Heavy duty, large commercial patio umbrellas shouldn't tilt because of the weight involved; bigger, thicker ribs and heavier gauge aluminum tends to add a lot of bulk to the frame.
  3. Aluminum or Wood? We've discussed the benefits of each before, and large outdoor umbrellas offer these choices as well.  Both are equally popular, but we have a soft spot for the large wood market umbrellas.  With the popularity of big teak and deluxe hardwood tables, a beautiful 11' market umbrella would really do the trick.
  4. Offset Patio Umbrellas offer a fantastic way to shade larger areas without having to worry about a center pole.  They can go over a table, or shade a seating area, or a larger shade spot.  They are definitely a great choice, and always make an impact on the aesthetics of your decor.  They are a very bold statement.
  5. Placement.  Without a doubt, a larger umbrella can completely change the way your patio or outdoor room looks.  This is not a suggestion, but a fact.  Where a standard sized umbrella can beautifully mix into it's environment, a big umbrella can either be a great addition or STAND OUT.  If your placing a larger umbrella for a shade spot, not over a table, look to the surrounding area.  Foliage, walls or even a hot tub in a large area will suddenly add a clutter affect when a large patio umbrella is placed there.  We always suggest a keeping a minimum of 2 to 3 feet of clearance from the edges of your open umbrella and it's surrounding area.
  6. Management.  A larger umbrella is just that, LARGER.  It's heavier and bulkier, so you should be prepared to have to lug it around or store it when not in use.   Can you or a member of the family close and carry a heavier umbrella?  We always advocate storing your umbrellas when not in use, but a larger umbrella can be one of the exceptions because of it's size.  Regular cleaning and maintenance of a larger umbrella can be done in it's installation spot.  However, if your larger umbrella is for table use, wiping and cleaning it difficult.
  7. Storage.  If you plan to store your umbrella in the Autumn and Winter months, make sure you have a good storage space for it.  Being a bit larger can reduce the choices you have in where you keep your umbrella.

As always, the choice is ultimately yours.  Keep in mind what would make YOU happy when picking out a large market umbrella.

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