How to Install Posts for Sun Sails


Sun sails are a great way to provide a minimally invasive area of shade to your yard. For these sails to be safe you need to be install them in a secure and sturdy way. Vertical sun sails often catch the wind and horizontal shades offer little aesthetic appeal. Thus the best way to install a sun sail is in a three- or four-post combination with two different heights of securing poles.

Things You'll Need

  • 4-by-4-inch wood or metal posts, 3 or 4
  • Gravel
  • Cement
  • Posthole digger or auger
  • Circular saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Stakes
  • Level
  • Lay out your sail on the ground where you want it to be positioned.

  • Measure out 1 foot diagonally from each corner of the sail and mark the spot with a stake.

  • Dig out a hole 5 inches in diameter and at least 6 inches below the frost line for your area, using the stakes as the centerpoint of the hole.

  • Fill in the bottom 3/4 of an inch of each hole with gravel.

  • Insert one post into a hole. Level it using the level. Pour in cement mixture.

  • Insert another full pole into the hole diagonal from the post already leveled and cemented If you are planning a triangular sail use the hole closest to the one you have leveled. Level and cement this pole as well.

  • Cut 3 1/2 feet from the remaining posts with the circular saw. If you are using metal posts you will need a carbine blade for this step.

  • Install both of these posts in the same way you did the first two. Make sure they are level before you cement them in.

  • Let the posts sit overnight before attaching any anchors or attempting to put up the sail.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make the cement in your footings come up above ground at least 3 inches to keep moisture from entering the wood beams from above.
  • Don't use grills or open flame Tiki torches near your sail. Most sails are flammable.


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