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External Shading: What Is It?

External Shading: What Is It?

External shading can be a great addition to any property.

The UK weather is a wondrous thing, isn’t it? It’s pretty unpredictable, from snow in late spring to glorious sunshine in mid-autumn.

Our weird weather means that we can enjoy our outside spaces throughout the year, even during the seasons that we might have previously dismissed.

And why wouldn’t we?

There are so many proven health benefits of being outside, even if it’s just hanging the laundry out or enjoying a cuppa while the world wakes up. More and more people are looking for ways to make their gardens, yards and outside areas more usable all year round. And that’s where external shading comes into play…

What Do We Mean By External Shading?

External shading refers to manufactured shade in exposed areas of the garden or other outside areas. 

What we don’t mean when we say external shading is the naturally occurring shade that comes from trees or other organic structures. (Ever seen sweet peas grown up a bamboo teepee? Very cool, but not external shading).

Solving The Problem Of Exposed Gardens

An exposed garden is a space that features no natural cover or shade. 

While some appreciate the aesthetic of a huge pristine lawn, wide, open spaces like these present several issues, including too much sun and reduced privacy levels from surrounding properties. 

There are several ways to fix these problems. The most common solutions include;


Parasols range in size and function from beach brollies to whopping canter-levered contraptions. 

They are easy to get your hands on, simple to put up and often fairly cheap. However, they only provide shade for a small area of outside space and require repositioning as the sun moves through the sky. Parasols are also prone to weathering and can be disturbed by even a slight breeze. 


Pergolas are more permanent structures that consist of a four-legged framework supporting a roof of beams and rafters. This external shading solution can look pretty grand, especially with climbing plants trained to grow up and over the top.

Pergolas take up a large, solid space, and some feature louvred roofs for more efficient light control. Because they tend to be made from wood, pergolas suffer at the hands of wet UK weather. 


Awnings are another external shading solution that stays put. 

Awnings are strongly attached to the external wall of a property and comprise a fabric panel that extends outwards to provide a roof-like structure. There tends to be a sturdy arm or two in place to support the extension, and the fabric is retractable back into its typically metal cassette. 

Because you can wind the fabric panel in when not in use, it’s easy to protect an awning from the weather, extending its life and preserving its integrity. 

Why Awnings Are The Ultimate External Shading Solution

There are many reasons why an awning is the best way to solve the problem of external shading or improve privacy levels in your outside spaces. 

All-Weather Protection

Awnings are significantly more robust than parasols and pergolas and can be used to shelter from light rain showers and the burning sun. There is nothing quite like staying dry and cosy outside with the pitter-patter of raindrops falling around you.

Awnings aren’t suitable for heavy rain or heavy snow, but we much prefer being tucked up inside then, anyway!

Extends Living Space

Awnings are often installed over patio doors. This makes your patio or garden feel like a true extension of your home because you can leave the doors open and waltz through from one space to the other with ease. 

Prolongs Life Of Garden Furniture

Garden furniture isn’t cheap! And keeping it protected from damage caused by sun and rain is important. No one likes fiddling with furniture covers or remembering to pack away fold-up furniture when the weather turns in a passing shower; by placing your tables and chairs under an awning, you effortlessly extend their life span. 

Additional Shade Inside

Your external shading means you benefit from more internal shading, too. This can be transformational for rooms of the house that experience full sun glare; introducing an awning to the external wall can help to keep rooms cooler and make them more usable.

Patio awning cost

Adds Value

Awnings, when done well, can add appeal to your home for all of the reasons listed above. When your outside spaces are exposed, an awning lets you enjoy your garden or patio more fully. It’s an asset that is a real selling point for a potential buyer when you come to sell your home.

Extra Benefits

Many awnings in the modern market come with an automatic wind sensor, meaning the awning automatically retracts into its cassette if the wind levels are too high. 

All the awnings we fit also come accompanied by LED lights inlaid into the arms, providing a warm glow to your outside evenings, whatever the weather. 

External Shading: The Year-Round Solution

Choosing an awning as your external shading solution doesn’t just protect you from the sun’s rays. Not only do they look fantastic and add value to your property, awnings transform how you use your garden or outside space, meaning you can enjoy fresh air and vitamin D all year round.

Are you looking for a way to enhance your patio area that’s both beautiful and functional? The Scottish Shutter Company are proud to offer a series of luxury outdoor awnings that can be custom-fitted to any sized area, along with various upgrades like lighting and heating.

Download our brochure today for more information.

Picture of David Browne

David Browne

David is Co-Founder and Project Director at the award-winning, Best Family Business 2020 – the Scottish Shutter Company. David has over 35 years’ experience in running and growing small businesses.




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