Commercial Patio Umbrellas for Business Use

Business owners have a lot of choices to make when running their companies. For businesses that see customers on a daily basis, some of those choices involve how to keep those customers comfortable while they are visiting the business. One option some business owners might consider are commercial patio umbrellas. While they are not suitable for all or even most types of businesses, commercial umbrellas can be indispensable when used correctly.

Businesses that Could Use Patio Umbrellas

One of the biggest categories of businesses that can benefit from patio umbrellas are restaurants. Small cafes along a popular street, large restaurants with their own parking lots, coffee shops, and bars that are open during the day or early evening – all of these and more could successfully use umbrellas. The storefront cafes can make use of their sidewalk space by providing outside dining for their customers, while the larger restaurants have the space for dedicated patios. Alternatively these tables can provide overflow seating while customers are waiting for a table. Having waiting space outside keeps the interior of the restaurant from getting too crowded, and providing seating and shade for your customers keeps them happy while they wait.

Commercial patio umbrellas are also frequently seen at any business where there is swimming. This includes hotels with pools, as well as beach umbrellas at seaside resorts. Since pools and beaches are the most popular when the sun is shining brightly, it is always a good idea to give your customers a place to sit out of the sun when they choose to.

Commercial vs. Personal Patio Umbrellas

A typical commercial patio umbrella differs from a standard backyard umbrella in some significant ways. For one, commercial umbrellas come in larger sizes. While it is not unusual to see the smaller umbrellas used at businesses, it’s also common to see giant 11-13′ or larger umbrellas. The largest umbrellas can cover more than one table at a time, without the inconvenience of multiple umbrella poles.

Another difference is in the construction. Commercial-grade umbrellas are meant to last, and to withstand all sorts of weather conditions as well as use and potential misuse by employees and customers. Heavy-duty fabrics, steel, and quality hardwoods are often used in the manufacture of commercial umbrellas. With these materials comes a far heftier price tag than the average consumer-grade patio umbrella. Commercial umbrellas are also more customizable than their consumer counterparts, so that they can match the logos of the company using them.

Benefits of Commercial Umbrellas

In many ways the benefits of a patio umbrella is the same regardless of where it is used or who owns it. Patio umbrellas, commercial or otherwise, provide shade and protection from light rain. For a business this translates into a better experience for customers, something most businesses aspire to. In addition, for restaurants in particular, adding outdoor seating through the use of patio tables and umbrellas increases the capacity of the restaurant without overcrowding the inside, allowing for more profit potential.

Another benefit of the use of commercial patios outside a storefront occurs only when the umbrellas have been personalized to reflect the company. Using the company name or logo on the umbrellas increases awareness of the business, and can catch the attention of people walking or driving by.

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Cheap Umbrellas For Your Patio

Building a patio can be an expensive process. Even if your home came with a patio already, you could end up spending a lot of money furnishing it with a table, chairs, and accessories. Naturally many people want to save money where they can, and while there are certain things that should not be skimped on, such as the construction of the patio itself, there are other areas where it could be worth it to look for a bargain. One of the things you can search for a good deal on is patio umbrellas. Cheap umbrellas cost less than $100, sometimes less than $50, and are relatively easy to find; the trouble comes with finding inexpensive umbrellas that will last a full season and more.

Where to Find Cheap Patio Umbrellas

As with everything else these days, you can choose to shop for your umbrella online or in person at a store. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method, and it might be worth trying them both before you actually make a purchase.

Shopping online provides immediate access to a far wider variety of umbrellas than you could find in any one store. You can choose from round or rectangular patio umbrellas; table or offset umbrellas like a cantilever umbrella; umbrellas with or without umbrella lights; red patio umbrellas or a multitude of other colors and designs; 9′ umbrellas or 10+; as well as from several different operating mechanisms, including strings and cranks. One of the main advantages of looking online is the ability to search across several different stores to find the best prices. This is particularly handy if you are looking for a specific type of umbrella, since you can enter your search parameters and find price comparisons.

There are some things to beware of when shopping online, however. The first is shipping fees. Patio umbrellas are usually fairly large and heavy, so shipping can end up being more expensive than you expect. This obviously cuts into any deal you were getting by finding an umbrella for a cheaper price. Make sure you are aware of all shipping fees before finalizing a purchase, and if you can buy from a website that is having a special deal on shipping.

Generally speaking, if you are looking for an average, run-of-the-mill patio umbrella you are likely to find a better price on them in an actual store than online. The best time to buy one is usually during a store sale or at the end of the summer when stores are having clearance discounts. While you can of course find umbrellas at stores like Wal-Mart, your local dollar store or hardware store might also have some very reasonably priced models in stock, though these are not likely to last till the end-of-season sales.

Besides getting a good price, another advantage of shopping in person means you have a chance to see the umbrella close-up before paying. You can inspect it for the quality of the materials, and make sure there are no issues that would require you to ship the umbrella back if you had purchased online.

Advantages and Disadvantages to Cheap Umbrellas

The main reason to get a cheap patio umbrella is the price. Cheap does not always mean poor quality, but you are taking a risk by buying the cheapest patio umbrella you can find. Of course, the opposite is also true: an expensive umbrella is not necessary of better quality than the cheap dollar store varieties. And regardless of the quality of an umbrella, some particularly bad weather could destroy it unexpectedly a week, a month or a year after you bought it. This is something to consider before you spend a lot of money on a patio table umbrella, when a cheap umbrella might end up lasting just as long.

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Cantilever Umbrella Prices

A cantilever umbrella is an offset umbrella that typically has a stylish curved beam to hold up the umbrella canvas. It has its own stand and is movable, meaning it can be used as a deck or patio umbrella or anywhere in the yard that shade is needed. These umbrellas are often fairly heavy in order to be sturdy, and many need to be further anchored by stone blocks or other weights. These two factors mean that although the umbrellas can be set up anywhere, you are not likely to want to move them around every day. Still, the cantilever design allows for significant mobility of the umbrella canvas without needing to move the stand at all. Most have two or three different tilt angles, and can be rotated up to 360 degrees.

Pricing for cantilever umbrellas varies depending on the size of the umbrella, as well as the materials, features, and overall quality. On the cheaper end, you can find umbrellas for less than $100, but you will be sacrificing some level of quality. The materials in the least expensive umbrellas do not usually stand up to weather over the long term as well as higher-end models. This could result in the canvas color fading, or in water passing through the material when it rains. The mechanisms used for opening and closing the umbrella could deteriorate or break, making the umbrella virtually useless unless you can replace them. The price alone could make one of these cheap umbrellas worth purchasing, but be sure to know what you’re getting yourself into beforehand. User reviews are very helpful in this situation.

A mid-range price to pay for a decent patio cantilever umbrella is between $100 and $300. At this price you have a better chance of getting a quality umbrella that won’t fall apart and make you regret the purchase within a year. There is some variety available within this range; you can find 9′ or 10′ umbrellas, as well as different colors. Even though you are less likely to get a sub-par umbrella if you spend more money, it is still wise to do your research and ensure the brand you choose is reputable and the model is going to last.

At the high end of cantilever umbrellas are the extra-large umbrellas and the heavy-duty commercial models, some of which can be used in home settings as well. These bigger, tougher umbrellas can easily cost $500, $1000 or more. Most homeowners will not need such an expensive umbrella, unless you have a huge outdoor entertainment area. When spending this much on a patio umbrella, you should be absolutely sure you’re getting what you pay for by researching the brand, the model, and the company selling it.

As you can see, there are cantilever umbrellas available at any price point, making it easy to transform your sunny backyard into a cool and relaxing shaded area.

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Beach Umbrella Buying Guide

A beach umbrella and a typical patio umbrella have a lot in common, since they exist for the same general purpose: to provide shade. However, there are also some significant differences between these two types of umbrellas. Beach umbrellas are made to stick into the sand at a beach, unlike table patio umbrellas or freestanding umbrellas, which come with their own stand and can be placed anywhere. While there are rectangular patio umbrellas, beach umbrellas are almost always round, with or without fabric flaps for extra protection. Beach umbrellas often use SPF or UPF fabric, are available in a wide variety of colors and designs, and usually have a carrying case.


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Restoring a Faded Red Patio Umbrella

A red patio umbrella that has been exposed to the sun for a long period of time often becomes faded. The length of time your umbrella will retain its original color depends on many factors, including the type of material the umbrella is made of as well as how long it is in the sunlight each day. The shape of the umbrella only matters so far as how much of the umbrella is exposed to the sun; all other things being equal, a rectangular patio umbrella will fade just as quickly as a round one. While some brands of patio umbrella claim to be more fade-resistant than others, you may find that after a year or two of use even your expensive, top-of-the-line umbrella has faded from bright red to a duller pink color.

At that point, what are your options? You could just live with the color, which is the easiest way to deal with the problem. However, if the rest of your patio d├ęcor is red, or you just do not like the faded pink color this option will probably not be appealing. You can of course just buy a new umbrella, which is a quick and simple solution but also the most expensive and wasteful. Between these two extremes is the possibility of restoring your umbrella to its original color, using dye or paint.

Whether it is possible to dye a faded red patio umbrella depends on what material the umbrella is made from. Natural fibers, such as canvas, can be dyed, while synthetic fibers such as nylon will prove more of a problem. Many patio umbrellas are made with synthetic fibers so as to be water-resistant, making dying them a time-consuming and difficult, if not outright impossible, task. If you have a natural canvas umbrella, you will need to find the correct dye to use. Craft stores are a good place to find what you need, and they can help you choose your dye as well as explain the procedure to use it.

For synthetic fibers, you will need to paint your umbrella to restore its color. This can be done either with spray paint or fabric paint. Spray paint is the quicker option, but fabric paint allows more design and color choices. In either case it is important to choose a paint that will not only adhere to the fabric, but can also stand up to different weather conditions. Painting your red patio umbrella, whether it is made of synthetic or natural fibers, allows the opportunity to make your umbrella more personalized, by painting stripes or other simple designs instead of a solid color. You can even choose to use parts of the faded color in the design.

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Options for Outdoor Umbrella Lights

Lighting for your outdoor areas is just as important as for indoor areas. If you have a patio, deck or backyard with an outdoor umbrella, letting the umbrella double as a light source is both practical and stylish. There are several options for outdoor umbrella lights, so no matter what your needs or preferences you can find something that will suit you.

One of the most popular types of patio umbrella lights are string lights. These are available in a variety of colors, and attach to the underside of patio umbrellas. While this type of outdoor umbrella lighting may not provide as much light as some of the other choices, these have the added bonus of making your outdoor entertainment area just as festive at night as it is during the day. Because of this they are especially suited to homes that have outdoor parties during the evening.

Another option is an outdoor umbrella light that attaches to the pole of your umbrella. A stylish look is afforded by lamp lights. These usually consist of anywhere from one to four lights arranged around a center ring that is situated on the umbrella pole. Although these lamps can add some major style to your patio or deck, because they stick out from the pole they can get in the way of closing your umbrella. You have to decide whether the style is worth the inconvenience.

If you would like a center light around your umbrella pole, you can also choose a sphere light. These look like discs, with lights around the outer edge and a hole in the middle to fit the umbrella pole through. These can be set at any height on the pole, and should not impede the functionality of your umbrella like the lamp lights do.

If you are environmentally concerned or just want to keep your energy bill low, you can also choose solar outdoor patio umbrella lights. These work like other outdoor solar lights, in that during the day they absorb solar energy so they can function at night. A downside of these lights is that if the day is overcast, they may not absorb enough energy to provide a decent amount of light in the evening.

No matter what type of outdoor umbrella lights you choose, you are sure to find them incredibly useful. Even if you never considered nighttime outdoor entertaining before purchasing your lights, once you see them in action you may start planning a party before you know it.

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Installing String Patio Umbrella Lights

Attaching patio umbrella lights to your deck or patio umbrella can give both aesthetic and practical benefits to your outdoor entertainment area. At night a patio umbrella with lights can provide an ambient glow while also making it easier to see in the dark, so you can relax safely on your patio no matter what time it is. There are two main types of patio umbrella lighting: a single patio umbrella light which attaches to the pole of the umbrella and can be adjusted for height, and the popular string outdoor umbrella lights which provide for more decorative, but still useful, lighting.

String lights attach to the ribs of your umbrella and around the rim. Often they are LED lights, and will not attract as many flying insects as most other lights will. They come in many colors, and can either be battery powered or require an extension cord. Setting up string lights can take some time and effort, but since they are designed so that the umbrella can still be lowered while the lights are attached once they are installed they do not have to be taken down again. Just as when you buy Christmas lights, it is important to make sure when purchasing your umbrella lights that the entire string will not be affected by a single bulb burning out. Having to remove and reinstall lights is a hassle, and undermines their convenience and usefulness. In addition, since most umbrellas are round, if you have a rectangular patio umbrella you will want to check that the lights can be used on those as well.

To install string lights on your patio umbrella:

1. Open the umbrella fully while it is held securely in its stand.

2. Make sure the lights are not tangled up, which they may be when you remove them from their packaging. Then, following the instructions given on the lights, attach the strings to the ribs of the umbrella underneath the fabric cover and to the outer rim of the umbrella.

3. If your lights are battery powered, the battery will attach to the umbrella pole. Otherwise run an extension cord to the pole to plug in the lights.

It may take longer than expected to install your lights, but the finished result will be worth it. A lighted patio umbrella does double duty, proving shade from the sun during the daytime and a festive source of light at night. While you could always use more conventional lighting for your patio instead, having patio umbrella lights will add an extra flair to your nighttime parties. Your guests may be so impressed that they decide they need to have lights on their own patio umbrellas as well!

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Choosing the Right Size Rectangular Patio Umbrella

When buying a rectangular patio umbrella, one of the first things you need to consider is how big your umbrella needs to be. For this, you have to know what your umbrella will be covering. Is it going to fit in a table? Or is it going to be freestanding? Do you want an offset patio umbrella? These are all questions that must be answered, in addition to maybe the most important one: how much space do you have?

If your rectangular umbrella is going to fit on a balcony, deck or patio, or even in some lawns, there are going to be space restrictions. If your balcony is 8′ x 8′, you can’t buy an umbrella that’s twelve feet long on one side. So, unless the umbrella is going to be in a wide open area with nothing for many yards in any direction, you will need to measure the space where you plan to put the umbrella before you buy it. This will save you from any unpleasant surprises when you try setting up your umbrella only to realize it hits a wall or tree when you open it. When measuring, remember to leave at least six inches on each side to be sure that the umbrella can open and close fully, without snagging on anything.

The next measurements to consider are what you are going to be shading with your rectangular outdoor umbrella. If the umbrella will be sitting in a table, you definitely want it to be big enough to cover the table. If it will be freestanding, measure the approximate area you would like for it to shade. In either case, remember that the sun will not be directly overhead for the majority of the day, so you need to add extra space on all sides to determine the true size to buy. If you are planning to purchase an offset umbrella, the umbrella does not necessarily have to be quite as large, since you can move it according to the position of the sun.

One last consideration to make is for the umbrella’s pole size, if it will be set into a table. Make sure to measure the hole in the table, and only buy a rectangular patio umbrella with a pole diameter that will fit. Rectangular patio umbrellas are a great choice because they are stylish and can fit longer, rectangular outside dining tables. For rectangular umbrellas to serve their purpose, however, they have to be the right size, so if you have any trouble determining the correct size for your umbrella be sure to contact a salesperson for help before you buy.

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