How To Install A Shade Sail

Project Overview

You can beat the summer sun by putting up a sunshade. This simple step-by-step article will show you how.


Always remember to keep the kids well away from hand and power tools, and read the instructions before starting your project.


  • Shade sail (size depending on chosen area)
  • Rapid set concrete
  • Water
  • Turnbuckles 3
  • Eye bolt 3


  • Tape measure
  • Ladder
  • Drill and bits to match eye bolts
  • Crowbar

Step by Step Instructions

1 Measurements
2 Lay out your sail
3 Dig your holes
4 Concrete the posts
5 Let your concrete cure
6 Put up your sail
  • Step 1. Measurements

    Work out the areas that need protection from the sun and measure them out. When you do, think about:

    • the size of the shade sail
    • the strength of the anchor points you plan on using to attach your sail
    • the potential for fixing posts
    • the sun’s direction
  • Step 2. Lay out your sail

    Once you have chosen your shade sail, lay it out where you want to put it up. Attach the fully extended turnbuckles (see Fig 2) to the sail ends and mark out the end points. Remember to subtract 100mm from the turnbuckle end point to allow for a 10° lean for the sail to handle the tension.
  • Step 3. Dig your holes

    If you're not using a building or fence as an anchor point, dig three post holes to about 900mm deep (see Fig 3). When placing the order for your post lengths, allow for the height of your sail plus the depth of your footings. Most sails sit 2500mm off the ground, so buy posts 3600mm long. This gives you some extra post length if you need it.
  • Step 4. Concrete the posts

    Place your posts in the holes, allowing for the 10° lean. Half-fill the holes with water, pour in the quick-set concrete and mix. The tension of your sail is important, so as you position each post, make sure the post is not leaning too far away from the turnbuckle ends.
  • Step 5. Let your concrete cure

    The concrete should start to set in 15 minutes but leave it overnight to cure.
  • Step 6. Put up your sail

    Drill holes to fix your eye bolts in each post, keeping in mind the height you want. Fasten the eye bolts to the posts, hook the sail up and tighten the turnbuckles until the sail is tight.

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions which came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings team member.

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