This back yard was a disaster when we moved in. The picture below is from the listing, but it basically looked like this when we moved in. Some of the yard had been trimmed, and they left a pile of yard waste in the middle of the dried back lawn.
This what the yard looked like before the sun sail project. We added the gazebo shortly after we moved in because it helps to shade the master bedroom which is west facing, and is not tied into the central air so it can get quite toasty in the summer. We also did a ton of pruning and weeding. We took down a lot of the white lattice work too. We have a plan for that wall, which is to eventually do horizontal boards across.
DIY Sun Sail
1″ Electrical conduit pole
conduit mounting pieces… I don’t know what they are called but you can see them in the base support we built.
Small and large rocks (sand too) | I used one bag gravel and two bags decorative rocks.
eye bolts for mounting | I needed one for the conduit pole and two for mounting to the house
wood scraps to built base support
pot or container to mount pole in (drill drain holes if you can)
sun sail | I chose a 12 x 12 x 12 , but measure your space to find the best fit.
hack saw, jig saw, cordless drill, clamps, screwdriver, wood glue, ruler/ triangle, pencil
Building the base support:
We wanted the base support for the pole to be really sturdy so we built this brace piece to help support it. We cut two circles the same size and drilled holes in the middle (one hole slightly larger) to accommodate the conduit pole and mounting hardware. We glued the circles together and fastened the conduit pole pieces. We also made a rectangular base using scrap 2×4’s and drilled a hole in one to fit the pole.
Rigging the conduit pole:
The pole we bought was 10 feet tall, way too tall for the yard so we knew we had to trim it down. But first, we drilled the hole where we wanted the eye bolt to go. Pre-drill with a smaller drill bit first, then match the size of the bolt and drill. Use a hack saw to cut off the excess, in our case, we went with an 8ft pole. Sand down the pole to get rid of the rough bits.
Filling the base:
We placed a couple of cinder block and brick scraps in the base first. Here is where we think sand would be nice too. Didn’t think of it until after we had filled the base but the sand would really help fill in the smaller cracks. Use small construction gravel first and decorative river rocks on top of that.
Raising the sail:
The sail I bought came with some rope that we used initially to raise the sail, however we went with carabiner clips in the end to hold up the sail. Pre-drill holes with a drill bit and then install the eye bolts. Tie temporary into place to get the sail up and then make adjustments. When you are satisfied with the placement, use the carabiner clips to secure the sail.
pro tip: use a screw driver to help screw in the eye bolt.