Building Attachment Points
Many structures can support a shade sail bracket. A rafter bracket or wall plate is much easier and less expensive to install than a post.
It is critical that your attachment points are properly installed or the sail may become loose or detach completely during high winds. When attaching a Bracket or Wall Plate, you must be sure that the area you are attaching to is strong and sturdy (i.e. no eaves or fascia boards without solid reinforcement). Always consult an engineer or contractor if you are unsure.
Here is a list of the common brackets:
A wall plate is a flat plate with 4 holes and a loop. It’s used on a wall or flat surface where there is enough support behind it to anchor all 4 lag screws.
Wall plates work well on concrete tilt-up walls or headers over windows and doors.
Don’t use a wall plate where all 4 lag screws aren’t securely anchored or where the wall itself is not strong enough to support the bracket like a brick wall, stucco with Styrofoam backing, or fascia boards.
A pad eye is a smaller version of a wall plate. You have the same 4 anchor screws and loop but in a smaller 1 ½” x 2” size.
Pad eyes work well attaching to a 4x4 beam on a pergola or in the same applications as a wall plate where there is not enough room for the larger size of the wall plate.
Don’t use a pad eye on a large sail. The smaller size anchor screws and their compact location is not a good substitute for a larger wall plate.
A rafter bracket attaches to rafters with two bolts and includes a threaded rod extending through the fascia to support an eye nut. They work great when a wall plate would be too low and a roof attachment is not possible.
Do not use a rafter bracket if the sail will have a sideways pull. The threaded rod will bend enlarging the hole through the fascia and possibly fail. Do not use the rafter bracket in any application with a sideways pulling force.
Outside/Inside Corner Bracket
This bracket anchors to what is usually the strongest part of a structure, the corner. An outside corner bracket has the same lag screw considerations as a wall plate, there must be enough room and secure backing for all 4 screws.
Don’t use a corner bracket where all 4 lag screws aren’t securely anchored or where the corner itself is not strong enough to support the bracket like a brick wall, stucco with Styrofoam backing, or fascia boards.
The Inside is the same as an outside corner bracket but for an inside corner.
Eye bolts work well in posts, beams, and as part of a custom bracket. Use an eye bolt where the nut/washer combo will not pull through the post or beam and where the forces are focused on the eye and not the bolt.
Never use eye bolts that do not have the loop welded closed. Don’t use an eye bolt as an extension where you rely on the strength of the threaded rod.
Lifting Eye Nut
Lifting eyes can often be found with stronger ratings than eye bolts. Just like eye bolts they are not as strong when pulled from the side as they are when pulled straight.
Weld tabs can be any size or shape piece of metal welded to a post or bracket with a hole for a shackle. Weld tabs are usually used on custom brackets or where high strength attachments are required. Weld tabs tend to rust around the contact points with the shackle.
Make sure that your connecting hardware will fit your weld tab before fabrication. If the tab itself is too thick or if the hole is too far in from the edge your hardware won’t fit.
Roof attachments are risky because they can leak if not installed properly and for this reason we don’t offer them.
We’ve heard many success stories from people ordering roof brackets from Australia. If there is no other option and you want to give it a go, then that may be the best option for you. In my experience, I’ve been able to work around the need for roof brackets.
They work well to span through a tree or bush, to clear corners, and when you are trying to shorten a long skinny triangle.
Extension cables can only pull, you can’t push a cable. This means that you have to get the angle correct when making the sail. We ask for dimensions to the actual attachment point rather than to the end of the extension cable, along with your desired length of the extension cable. We will perform the calculations to make the sail fit properly.
An odd attachment point may require a custom bracket. We do not make custom brackets here at Wholesale Shade, however, you may be able to have one fabricated at your local metal supply.