Backyards that are open to the sun's strongest rays need the protection of a patio umbrella. At some point throughout the day, most spaces need a little shade. Patio umbrellas can be simple or elaborate. Like a rain umbrella, basic patio umbrellas have a straight pole and a crank to raise and lower the cover. More elaborate umbrellas include a tilt mechanism so you can change the angle of the cover. Both need a heavy base to keep the umbrella pole upright.
An offset patio umbrella places the support pole off to the side. These include a support footing to prevent the umbrella from tipping. Offset patio umbrellas are ideal for shading seating areas without obstructing your view. You can tilt and rotate them as the sun moves. Patio umbrellas are available in a wide range of sizes. They can be enormous or small enough to set on a deck chair for shading a single person. Look for the ideal size and shape to keep your family safe from the sun.