When it comes to enhancing your outdoor living space, the choices are vast and varied. Two popular options that often stand out are pergolas and shade sails. These alfresco shade structures not only provide respite from the hot Australian sun but also contribute to the overall aesthetic of your outdoor oasis. If you need additional shade in your backyard, read on as we delve into the unique features of pergolas and shade sails, helping you to make a more informed decision.


Pergolas, with their timeless charm and sturdy frames, evoke a sense of traditional grace. They can stand as architectural landmarks in outdoor spaces, often showcasing intricate designs and ornate details that complement the existing architecture.

Shade sail structures capture the essence of modern elegance with their clean lines and flowing fabric. These structures introduce a touch of contemporary artistry to your outdoor haven and can create a real style statement.

Both pergolas and shade sails can add a tonne of visual appeal to your property whilst being incredibly functional.

Design Flexibility

From the type of wood or metal used to the style of the roof, pergolas offer a plethora of customisation options. This flexibility allows you to tailor the structure to complement your home’s architecture and your personal style.

Shade sail structures also provide unparalleled design flexibility. The fabric can be creatively tensioned to form unique shapes and angles, allowing for a dynamic and completely bespoke aesthetic.

Both options offer incredible flexibility when it comes to design, however shade sails really allow you to unleash your creativity, think outside the box, and create a shade structure that is truly unique.


When metal or tiled roofing is incorporated, pergolas provide very reliable shelter, shielding against the sun and rain. When professional built, you can be sure that you will experience excellent weather protection.

When waterproof fabrics are chosen, shade sail structures also offer very effective protection against both the harsh glare of the sun and unexpected rainfall, ensuring your outdoor space remains comfortable in various weather conditions.


Pergolas, being more permanent and rigid structures, often require plans and council approvals, extensive construction time and professional expertise. The building process will always be more intricate and time-consuming.

Want to set sail for simplicity? Shade sail structures are known for their straightforward and efficient installation. With no approvals needed and minimal components, they can be suspended from existing structures or supported by poles, allowing you to start enjoying your outdoor retreat sooner rather than later. Shade sails offer a quicker and more cost-effective solution for those looking to upgrade their outdoor space without a major construction project.


While pergolas offer a solid investment in your outdoor space, the planning and design process, along with the materials, and significant professional labour required will almost always lead to a higher cost.

Shade sail structures are a very cost-effective alternative that won’t compromise on style or functionality. They allow you to enjoy the benefits of a chic and usable outdoor alfresco without breaking the bank. Sail into budget-friendly waters with high-quality shade sails today.

Making Your Decision

The choice between pergolas and shade sails ultimately depends on your aesthetic preferences, the intended use of the space, your taste, and your budget. If you’re drawn to the classic and substantial appeal of pergolas, and you have the time and resources for a more significant project, this option might be the perfect fit. On the other hand, if you seek a contemporary and flexible solution that can be easily installed and adjusted, shade sails will be the ideal choice.

If you are looking for alfresco shade sails, carport shade sails, or a shade structure for a commercial premises, get in touch with Supreme Shades today. Builders, architects, councils, schools, homeowners and families all turn to us for superior shade sail solutionsenquire online or call 08 9405 4310 today.