Frequently Asked Questions about Shade

At Superior Shade, we provide standard and custom shade structures for nearly every outdoor location. From questions about the types of shade we offer to questions about permits and maintenance, check out our answers below. 

Table of Contents

General Questions

No, Superior Shade manufactures commercial-grade shade structures. Residential shade is typically available online or by awning manufacturers and include a canopy with a D-ring attachment. The canopy can be tensioned using hardware or other means such as rope and is secured as desired by the end-user, as opposed to commercial shade structures, which will require an engineered footing to support the structure.

Our shade structures are proudly made in the USA. Our shade manufacturing facility is located in Carrollton, Ga.

The answer for this can vary by the type of structure and the complexity of the design. There are two main processes that take place to create and deliver shade structures: engineering and production. The simple answer is 2 to 3 weeks for engineering and 4-5 weeks for production, but read on if you'd like a more in-depth explanation.

Engineering Process: On custom shade orders without sealed drawings, it typically takes 2-3 weeks to produce shop drawings/BOMs and workloads for the shop. Once that is complete, the order is scheduled for production. The estimated shipping date will be available to allow for installation planning. 

Production Process: At the time your order is scheduled for production, we typically have 3 weeks of other shade orders already on the schedule. A typical order will require one week to build and ship. In total, your shipping date will most likely be 4-5 weeks after the engineering process is complete. Certain orders containing custom aspects, such as custom powder coat colors that carry longer lead times from our vendors, may affect these dates.

Keeping the entry height as low as possible and utilizing the largest shade structure that can fit in your space are two of the simplest ways to maximize shade for your area.

Here are three great reasons to choose Superior Shade:

  • Superior Shade offers over 1,000 standard shade structures at very affordable prices.
  • We're proudly manufactured in the USA.
  • We have the ability to create custom shade structures for nearly any unique space.

The minimum requirement is normally 84 inches above the standing surface. In areas where vandalism is more prevalent, consider adding approximately one foot or more.

For a coastal environment where salt spray is prevalent, a galvanized frame is recommended. In a coastal location, there can be cosmetic maintenance requirements to ensure that a shade structure maintains its coating. If a galvanized coating is not possible, a traditional powder-coated frame can be installed, but some annual touchup paint and rust inhibiter primer may be applied as needed. In a freshwater beach environment, a traditional powder coating option should suffice.

Installation and Building Code Questions

Yes, Superior Shade structures can be engineered to meet local wind requirements upon request should they exceed the standard design.

The amount of concrete required for the shade structure depends on:

  • Type of structure
  • Size of the structure
  • Location
  • Elevation
Larger structures or structures with higher entry heights can expect to have larger foundation requirements due to the additional loads put upon the frame. Foundations for your structure can be designed to meet your preferred method of installation be it a spread footer or pier footing style.

Depending on where the permitting will take place, the structure may need to meet the building code specified by either the city or the county. When engineering a structure, Superior will request information regarding the installation location of the shade structure to ensure the structure and foundations are engineered to meet local building code.

Permitting requirements are often determined by the end-user. Traditionally HOAs, churches, and multi-housing applications will not require permitting unless done as part of an in-house procedure. City projects will normally require permitting. The process for this consists of obtaining stamped drawings for applying for a local permit that adheres to the required building codes at the local permitting office.

With the fabric on, our standard shade structures are engineered and designed to withstand 75 mph sustained winds and 90 mph winds for 3-second gusts. With the shade fabric removed, our shade’s frame can withstand winds up to 150 mph. Our structures can be engineered to meet higher wind loads upon request.

Fabric Questions

Our traditional style fabric is neither fireproof nor waterproof.  All the traditional fabric we use is fire retardant and passes the NFPA 701 or ASTM E84 tests. The majority of the fabric we use is also California Fire Marshal certified (with the exception of a few specific colors). Approximately 80% of water will shed off a shade structure with the rest coming through as a fine mist.

In addition to traditional fabric, we also offer waterproof shade fabric that’s available for certain models. 

Superior Shade fabrics carry a ten-year limited manufacturer’s warranty from the date of delivery against failure from significant fading, deterioration, breakdown, outdoor heat, cold, or discoloration. Should the fabric need to be replaced under the warranty, Superior Shade will manufacture and ship a new fabric at no charge for the first six years, thereafter pro-rated at 18% per annum over the last four years.

Yes. As with many outdoor products, you can expect to see more significant fading with the colors yellow and red. Most manufacturers, including Superior Shade, actually carry a separate warranty against fading specifically for those colors for a shorter duration of about two years.

The canopy itself requires very little maintenance over the course of its life. The most important aspect of maintenance is ensuring the canopy cable remains properly tensioned over time. This may require the replacement of a cable every 5 years. Additionally, northern and coastal customers should remove the canopy during inclement weather such as snow and hurricanes.

This varies by color and fabric type. See our Shade Color Options for additional information.

Need some help getting started?

Your local Superior Shade representative is here to help. They’ll work with you from initial consultation to final installation to get your space feeling and looking cool.