Patio umbrellas make a welcome addition to any outdoor space. Not only do they provide shade and shelter on a hot, sunny day, but they also add a touch of color and elegance to really pull together your outdoor décor. With so many shapes, sizes, colors and designs to choose from, however, picking the one that’s right for you can be challenging. Let’s take a look at some of the important things to consider when purchasing a new patio umbrella.

Do you want a standalone patio umbrella or a tabletop one? The answer to this lies in how you plan to use the umbrella. If you’d like your umbrella to provide shade while you and your guests enjoy outdoor meals, then a tabletop one should suffice. If you plan on moving the umbrella and using it in other areas, such as to shade you as you lounge by the pool, a standalone would be a better choice.

What kind of space do you have? As mentioned above, patio umbrellas come in a wide variety of sizes, both in terms of height and width. You’ll want to properly measure the area where you plan to use your umbrella most to determine if there are any limitations that you must consider. For instance, if you have an overhang that comes down low, some umbrellas may be too tall for you to use. Likewise, in smaller spaces, umbrellas with larger expanses may be too big or simply look out of place.

What kind of functionality are you looking for? Patio umbrellas can range from simple to complex. While considering your options, it’s a good idea to think about what you’d like your umbrella to be able to do. For example, are you comfortable with a product that does the bear minimum (opens and closes), or would you prefer one that tilts for more flexibility? Understanding your wants and needs upfront can make it easier to narrow down your choices.

What are you envisioning in terms of the look of your umbrella? Take a look around the area where you plan on using it and determine what style would best suit the existing design. You have many choices when it comes to the color, type of fabric, print, shape and even the pole material so take some time and figure out what you really want before making a final decision.

Finally, it’s also important to remember that when it comes to patio umbrellas, you get what you pay for. That bargain brand down at your local discount store may serve its purpose for a few months, but come next year and every year that follows, you’ll likely find yourself dishing out more money on replacements. Investing in a quality patio umbrella may cost a little more (although probably less than you think), but you’ll end up with a sturdy product that will last.

If you’re still having trouble figuring out what patio umbrella would be best, we’d be happy to help. Call our experts at 800-504-6478 to ensure that you’ll have the perfect umbrella just in time for the warmer weather. And, as always….stay cool, my friends.