When it was time to buy a patio umbrella for my luxury home I did not have any real background. I remember growing up with that straight umbrella in the center of the outdoor table.
Everyone had to stand back as someone reached in and turned the crank to raise the umbrella for to prepare for the outdoor meal.
But today’s luxury patio umbrellas are often offset and provide far more shading without being as obtrusive as that center table umbrella that I grew up with.
The offset canopy umbrella
One of our favorite umbrella styles is shown in the above photo of the Galtech 11′ Easy Open Offset Umbrella. This style of umbrella functions in a similar manor across all of the brands. The umbrella arm slides up and over to extend over the sitting area. After locking the arm in place you crank the umbrella open in order to open the shading canopy.
The base of this type of umbrella needs to be anchored to the floor because the nature of the design makes the umbrella fall over if extended. If the umbrella is in place temporarily then you can use heavy sand bags to hold the base in place to keep it from falling. You can pick up some 25 pound bags of sand at your local Home Depot or Lowes.
The Center Pole Umbrella
If you have less room or if you just like the style of the center pole patio umbrella then you should look for an umbrella that has the capability to tilt as needed to provide shade at different times of the day. Of course, at high noon, the umbrella can stand straight. As the sun moves, you can tilt the umbrella to maintain your shade.
Other Patio Umbrella Considerations
Believe it or not, but many patio umbrellas are not rain-proof. They are made for sheltering you from the sun. If you are looking for an umbrella that can also keep you dry then you need to make sure that the umbrella you choose specifically works in the rain.
Umbrella Size Matters
Patio umbrellas come in sizes from 8 foot canopies to 14 foot and even larger. Be sure to get the largest umbrella that you can in order to provide maximum comfort and sun protection. You will regret having a small umbrella when the sun begins to move and your guests become uncomfortable in the sun.