by Lindsay Wilcox
Protect your guests from the sun and entertain stylishly when you buy patio umbrellas for your backyard. Whether you're looking for a solar patio umbrella that provides light for twilight parties or an offset patio umbrella to shade your entire patio area, the following tips will help you find an umbrella that works for your space. Read on for tips on buying a patio umbrella.
Find the right size of patio umbrella for your space. If you'll be using an outdoor patio umbrella to shade a patio table, you'll want to make sure that the diameter of your umbrella is larger than the diameter of the table, but not so large that it dwarfs your patio. An outdoor patio umbrella that is too small for your table will look out of place. If you can't find an umbrella that matches your table, you might want to buy a patio umbrella table instead. These stylish tables have a hole drilled in the center to accommodate an included outdoor umbrella. Buying a patio umbrella table can also be convenient if you're not sure which style of umbrella works best for your existing table.
Look for an umbrella style that works in your climate. Make sure to purchase a waterproof outdoor umbrella if you live in an area that receives a lot of rain, as typical outdoor sun umbrellas made of plastic or lightweight fabrics may not hold up well in this type of weather. You may also need to look for durable sun umbrellas made to withstand high winds if you live in a windy climate; these umbrellas often have fiberglass ribs to protect the frame from bending. Finally, make sure to look for a patio umbrella that won't fade in the sun. Many umbrellas are made from durable canvas or vinyl that resists fading. You can take advantage of a particularly sunny climate, however, and buy a solar patio umbrella that absorbs the sun's rays during the day and then lights your patio at night.
Buy an umbrella that gives you plenty of shade. If you're looking for an umbrella style that can shade lounge chairs or even a swimming pool, try an offset patio umbrella, which features a canopy that hangs from a pole and extends farther than a traditional outdoor umbrella. Offset umbrellas are particularly useful for shading benches and chairs that don't belong to a matching patio table. You can also buy several offset umbrellas to create an expansive canopy for special events, such as weddings or other outdoor celebrations.