How to Build a Frame for Shade

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Shade protects plants, animals and people from the scorching heat of the sun. Even plants that love full sun exposure may need shade when there is a heat wave. Not all shade structures need to provide permanent shade. Moveable shade constructions give the advantage of shade on an as-needed basis.

Things You'll Need

  • PVC pipe, 1-inch diameter
  • Permanent marker
  • PVC cutter
  • 4 elbow joints
  • 28 short screws
  • Electric screwdriver
  • Two T-joints
  • Shade cloth
  • Staples
  • Staple gun
  • Wooden stakes
  • Hammer
  • Measure the 1-inch diameter PVC pipes, and mark the measurement lines with a permanent marker. The frame will be a rectangle when finished. Measure two end pieces. Next, measure the two side pieces to the desired length. Draw a dividing line in the middle of the two side pieces. Measure two leg pipes to the desired height of the shade structure.

  • Cut each of the pipes with a PVC cutter. Lay the pipes out on the ground. There should be two end pieces, four side pieces and two leg pieces. Slide an elbow joint on one of the end pieces. Be sure that all the joint pieces are slip joints, not threaded, which have grooves on the inside and twist on a pipe.

  • Secure the joint with a short screw by screwing it in with an electric screwdriver. The screw needs to be long enough to go through both pipes. Place a screw in the opposite side of the joint. Slide and secure the rest of the elbow joints on the end pieces. Slide one of the side pipes into the elbow joints, and secure with screws.

  • Place the free ends of the side pieces into the top part of the T-joints. Secure each side of the T-joint with screws. Slide the leg pieces into the bottom part of the T-joints, and then secure them. The frame now looks like a large rectangle on two legs.

  • Wrap the end of the shade cloth around the PVC pipe, and staple with a staple gun. Stretch the cloth tight, and staple the other end of the cloth to the opposite PVC pipe. Drive two 24-inch wooden stakes into the ground 12 inches deep with a hammer at the same spacing of the legs. Slide the leg pipes over the stakes to erect the shade structure.

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  • Photo Credit Andy Sotiriou/Photodisc/Getty Images
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