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Enjoy The Summer In The Shade

Many people move to Arizona from rainy, gray, dismal climates to enjoy the blue skies, mild winter temperatures, and extended outdoor living. Then they get settled and experience their first summer. And boy, aren’t they surprised! Not only is it hot, but shade is also at a premium.

If your patio faces south, west, or even worse, southwest, how can you enjoy it during the hottest and longest daylight hours of the year? Is it possible to grill outside without cooking yourself in the sun?


Rosie-Certified Partner, Booth Built Patio Products has a solution — Alumawood® Shade Structures.

These structures can be placed over an existing barbecue or anywhere in the yard.

The embossed surface of an Alumawood® Shade Structure offers the beauty of a richly textured wood grain finish — with a fraction of the maintenance and upkeep. Unlike wood, it won’t crack, peel, warp, or rot. It’s also termite-proof, won’t burn, and never needs painting. Low maintenance means more time to play!

Homeowners have options to help achieve the result they are looking for:

Select from two product lines:

  • Laguna Lattice reduces exposure to the sun by 40-60% without screening out fresh air.
  • Newport Solid Roof shade structures provide maximum protection from the sun, rain, and other elements.

Note: Both product lines are coated with Aluma-ShieldSM paint system with TEFLON®. This surface protector repels dust, dirt, oil, and stains, making it easy to keep the structure looking pristine and new. It significantly reduces corrosion from the sun, pollution, and other elements.

Insulated vs. Non-Insulated

  • An insulated shade structure is constructed with three inches of Styrofoam and interlocking panels. The top side takes a beating from the sun while keeping the bottom side cool. It also becomes another outside insulated space. This greatly enhances the comfort level of the shaded area.
  • A non-insulated structure has one sheet of aluminum. In Rosie’s experience the single sheet can act as a heat radiator above your head. Ugh! In that case your shade structure becomes very warm. He does not recommend this option.


Sunroom additions rank in the top seven home improvement projects, according to a recent Remodelers Council report. It adds more space to the home and increases its curb appeal on resale. This extra space can be used for just about anything:

  • A relaxation and reading room
  • Alfresco dining
  • A playroom
  • Holidays and Birthdays
  • Workout room
  • Protected and comfortable space for pets
  • Space to grow your plants
  • Office space
  • Entertainment

If not done correctly, a sunroom can make for a very hot hangout. Choose quality materials and take the time to do it right. Ceiling fans can be installed for added comfort and low voltage lighting can increase time spent to the evening hours.

Another option for pergolas and sunrooms is the louvered roof, also known as an opening roofadjustable patio cover, or motorized pergola. This roof can be opened and closed to provide the amount of sun or shade you want. It can open at different angles or be closed completely. Some louvered roof systems integrate technology that utilizes a wind and rain sensor. For example, if the humidity or barometric pressure changes indicate rain, the system will close on its own.

Permits & HOAs & Setbacks

If you live in a community with a homeowners’ association (HOA) you will need approval before the structure is built.

If the shade structure will be attached to the house, a building permit from your city may be required. If the structure will be free-standing and isn’t attached, you might not need a permit — provided the structure only covers 200 square feet of space or less. Check with your municipality before construction.

In general, shade structures must conform to rules for setbacks from lot lines and similar regulations.

Shade Structures Are Cool

Regardless of the direction your patio faces, the shade will alleviate some of the discomforts from the sun. In addition to enjoying the patio, you may save money on your energy bill particularly, if your house has many glass windows or a west wall that absorbs the summer heat.

Shade structures protect outdoor and indoor furniture, and wall and floor coverings that are near windows facing the sun.

Any time you can keep the sun directly off you and patio surfaces, you are ahead of the game.


Homeowner Handbook | #SummerShade


Be sure to check your roof before the monsoon rains fall. Plus, Most Asked Question Of The Week on the pros and cons of cool deck, acrylic deck and pavers. We cover the Weekly To Do on Summer Shade with a pergola structure. And a Rosie On The House Staycation winner talks about their trip to Prescott.

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