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“Out on the patio we’d sit,
And the humidity we’d breathe,
We’d watch the lightning crack over canefields
Laugh and think, this is Australia…”
We bet a lot of our readers remember this chorus from the hit song Sounds of Then (This is Australia) from the 1990s. Although, the song invoked and celebrated many images belonging to the Aussie way of life, we were truly amused at the way it also captured Australia’s temperamental weather.
Australian weather is known to be harsh and unpredictable. Whether its sun, rain, wind or snow, we receive all of it in plenty. However, none of it has the power to overcome our outdoorsy spirit. Aussies love to be outdoor even if the weather is unpredictable. So, it makes sense that we are always looking for shade solutions to protect us from various weather elements, when we are spending time outdoors.
And do you know what’s the most popular choice as shade solution in our country? It’s – drum rolls please! – Outdoor umbrellas.
Plain, striped or custom-printed with your choice of pattern, the many colours of these outdoor umbrellas also reflect the many colourful cultures that make up our beautiful country. Now, as we sit out on the patio and laugh and think this is Australia, more often than not, there is an outdoor umbrella or a small marquee over our heads.
Whether you are looking to buy an outdoor umbrella for the first time or you are a repeat buyer looking for a new product, it is always better to list out your requirements and making a choice accordingly. However, it can get a little troublesome trying to figure out all details. This is also, probably, why most of you are reading this.
So, we decided to list out the whole process and factors to consider when purchasing an outdoor commercial umbrella. We ended up with a 7 step process for choosing the best outdoor umbrella in Australia. So, let us begin with the steps without further ado.
7 Steps to Consider When Buying an Outdoor Umbrella in Australia
Step 1: Making an Assessment of Your Weather and Climatic Conditions
The first thing that you must consider, even before looking for a product, is to take note of the dominant weather conditions in the region that you stay. Australia is a big country and different regions have different types of climates. Therefore, it is important to assess which are the key weather elements you need protection for. In other words, you should assess whether your outdoor umbrella needs to provide more protection from sun or will the wind be a bigger factor to consider. You must keep this observation in mind, when making a choice.
Step 2: Choose The Area Where You Wish to Use Them
Industrial outdoor umbrellas are versatile products and can be used in a variety of locations. However, different types of locations will require diverse types of outdoor umbrellas. For instance, a cantilever umbrella would be a better choice for a pool-side shade as compared to centre pole umbrellas which will work better for a set-up with a centre-table on the patio. Similarly, if you are getting an umbrella for the beach, you must look for a lightweight portable outdoor umbrella; while on the other hand, if you are planning to get it mounted in one place, you will need a heavier outdoor umbrella which offers more stability. Therefore, before finding out which umbrella is best for you, it is better if you know exactly where will you be using the outdoor umbrella?
Step 3: Choose The Outdoor Umbrella That Is Compatible
Once you have taken note of the first two requirements, you can move forward and look for products. The most important aspects that you need to consider in this step are frame and fabric material quality.
The structural integrity, stability and strength of your outdoor umbrella is dependent on your frame material. Outdoor umbrellas are available in various materials like – plastic, wood, fibreglass and metals like steel and aluminium. We do not suggest our readers to buy either plastic or wooden outdoor umbrellas. Plastic umbrellas hardly last and wooden ones are susceptible to weather elements and very difficult to maintain. Fibreglass umbrellas are really great, but they are so expensive that its often not worth getting one. The best option is to opt for outdoor umbrella frames made of metals particularly aluminium or stainless steel.
There are also a lot of options in the market when it comes to choice of fabric for an umbrella canopy. However, you must make a choice based on your requirements. Make sure that the fabric provides UV protection and is waterproof. Some of the fabrics that are great for umbrella canopy include acrylic fabrics like Spanish acrylic and Tempotest, synthetic fabrics like Olefin, Polyester and PVC.
Step 4: Determine The Size
After deciding the frame and fabric material, you must decide which size outdoor umbrella would be suitable for your requirement. The decision will be based on the area where you wish to use them (Step 2) as well as how you are planning to use the shaded area? For instance, if you are buying an umbrella for your patio, then calculate the area that requires shade and get an outdoor umbrella which is slightly bigger in size for maximum coverage.
Step 5: Decide On Whether You Want a Permanent Umbrella or A Mobile Outdoor Umbrella
The next step is to figure out whether you want an umbrella which is mounted on a permanent spot or you wish to keep an umbrella which can be moved around. You should also get a base for your outdoor umbrella, based on this assessment. A mobile umbrella would require a heavy weight base, but with a mechanism which can be moved easily. On the other hand, a permanent umbrella would require a mount that can be fitted into a wall or drilled into the ground.
Step 6: Figure Out Your Customisation Requirements
If you are looking for an umbrella for recreational purposes, you can choose to skip this step. However, if you are purchasing an outdoor café umbrella, a market umbrella or any other type of umbrella for business purposes; then you must definitely check for customisation options. Custom-printed umbrellas are also used as promotional products. You can get your company logo and other marketing details printed on your umbrella and you have a re-usable promotional product which can be a great addition to your outdoor marketing kit.
Step 7: Look for Advanced Features
Premium umbrella manufacturers in Australia have been putting in a lot of efforts to develop more advanced features that enhances the usability of their products. It is always better to check what advanced features are being offered by brands before making a final choice. For instance, if you are purchasing a cantilever outdoor umbrella, you must look for tilt and rotational features and assembly options with advanced mechanisms which makes operating them easier. These days, some high-end models are also enabled with smart technology. It’s better to assess what all is out there before getting a product, than to find out and regret later.
Once you have been through all these steps, we are sure you will end up with a bunch of choices that suit your requirements on your final list. The last step is to sort them out, choose one, talk to the support staff of your brand of choice and make the final purchase.
A last word of advice: if you are buying an outdoor umbrella in Australia, look for online brands which are based in the country. Manufacturers and retailers who are based in Australia have a better understanding of the requirements according to the needs of our country’s weather and our people’s usage patterns. These products would serve you better as compared to international brands that design products according to global market.
This brings us to the end. This is all that we wanted to tell you about outdoor umbrellas. We hope you find the best outdoor umbrella for your use. And the next time you are singing “laugh and think, this is Australia”, you are well protected from the sun and rain under your outdoor umbrella.
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