How to Build a Shade Cover

Why did I build a shade cover structure?

     I now live in Phoenix, Arizona and the sun is intense even during days with lower temperatures. To protect my succies year round I built a shade cover structure using PVC pipes and a woven shade cover. Below are the materials and steps you will need to build this structure at any size that you prefer.

Biggest tip before buying pipes or building:

PVC pipes are sold at 10 feet in length so draft out your design with the that length in mind. Think about the cuts you’ll make and how you’ll use the most pipe as possible to stretch your dollar. Example, eight of my 10 foot pipes, I cut them down to have a 4 foot pipe and a 6 foot pipe. The 4 foot pipe is for a horizontal section and the 6 foot pipe is for a vertical section. But for four of my 10 foot pipes I had to cut two 4 foot pipes leaving me with 2 feet of scraps I did not need.


• 1 inch x 10 feet PVC pipes - Home Depot

     – I used 1 inch for stability

     – I bought 13 pipes but only needed 12 (one was a backup)

• 30% shade cover - Amazon

     – 30 feet by 10 feet

    – I didn’t need it this big but I cut it down

• 1 inch PVC tee connector - Home Depot

     – inch size based on the size of pipe

     – I bought eight

• 1 inch PVC three way connector - Home Depot

     – inch size based on the size of pipe

     – I bought eight

• 1/8th inch paracord - Home Depot

     – I bought a 50 foot spool and it was enough

• PVC cement - Home Depot

     – there are different colors, I bought clear

• PVC pipe cutters - Home Depot

     – cutters will fit a range of pipe sizes

• 1 inch clamps - Home Depot

     – size of clamp based on size of pipe

     – buy enough to securely clamp down the cloth

     – I bought 15

• Metal stakes - Home Depot

     – garden/tent stakes

     – I bought a pack of 10 but only needed four

• Hammer - any hardware store

     – you should already own one

• Notebook for drafting - any paper will do the job

     – I needed to draft three structures before I got one that would work

     – I misjudged spacing and materials but I got it to work

• Measuring tape - any hardware store

     – anything long enough to measure your longest cut piece

How to build:

Measure pipes to correct lengths

Cut with PVC pipe cutters

Apply PVC cement inside connectors and build your structure

Wrap shade cover around poles and clamp down

The tighter you pull the better the tension

Cut down to true size or roll up and clamp extra shade cover

Hammer in stakes and tie down each corner of structure

And there you go,

you're done. HOLLA!

All of these images are from an Instagram video that can be seen by clicking the button here.