Backyard Renovation Journey with ShadeFX

It’s no secret that most renovation projects take time to complete. How much time depends on a series of factors including budget, design style, contractor availability and even sourcing the desired materials. As a homeowner, there is a sequence of steps to ensure the best results that cater to your outdoor needs and interests. In essence, achieving perfection takes time.

Case in point: The Frosts. Owners of a beautiful home in Glendale, California, they renovated the pool deck area of their backyard. The process took almost two years to complete. The result? A modern, relaxing, and fully shaded space that takes advantage of the home’s surrounding views.

Over several months, the Frosts went through a number of steps to create the backyard of their dreams. While every journey may be different, most will follow a similar path when taking on a renovation.

Let’s follow the Frosts on their journey to a beautiful and inviting shaded poolside retreat.


The Frosts’ backyard before renovation.

Research is good. It is important that homeowners find a solution to fit their needs and budget. Searching online for shade, one will quickly realize that there are many options available. The Frosts researched various companies, comparing price, performance, and quality.

“I was quoted a price for these other shades which were about 60% less. The price was very attractive, but we would have received a product that never rivaled the quality of ShadeFX.  Please express to your engineers and designers that their work is impeccable . . . and greatly appreciated!”

In the end, performance and quality won over price.

Want to compare ShadeFX to alternative retractable shade solutions? Read more.

Hiring a Contractor

Searching for a contractor can be a long and tedious task. Finding someone close to home, who is reliable and trustworthy is important.

Here are five tips for selecting a contractor.

The Frosts narrowed down their search and selected local contractor Neal Franson of Decks LA Inc. The California contractor has over 30 years of experience designing and building decks, patio covers, gates, fences, and structures.

Site Preparation & Build

With the design finalised and the contractor selected, the next step is site prep. The homeowners completely gutted the space, removing the old deck and replacing it with new hardwood. The contractor then liaised with ShadeFX to build a modern structure to fit the retractable shades.

“Neal Franson was our contractor, and he built such a phenomenally sturdy, well built, PLUMB, beautiful and elegant deck and pergola that I cannot be more deeply satisfied and pleased!”

Determining Canopy Operation

Deciding on the drive type is the first step to configuring your custom retractable solution. There are three types of drive types that mechanically serve the same purpose – to open and close the shade. We offer manual, motor, and rope drive options.

The important factors to consider when deciding on which drive type works for you, is your budget, ease of operation, and overall look. After exploring the drive options the Frosts opted for the cost-effective manual operation since they didn’t intend to close the shades that often.

Learn more about the drive types.

Selecting Fabric Type and Colour

Selecting the fabric is usually the most exciting part of the process. It’s the opportunity to impart your own personal touch on the project. Whether you go for a neutral tone or a bright vivid fabric, the final choice transforms the look and feel of any outdoor space. ShadeFX’s four main fabric lines are available in hundreds of colours and offer different features such as breathability, fire retardancy, UV protection, and different levels of rain protection.

Learn more about fabric types.

In keeping with the clean modern look, the Frosts chose Sunbrella Ally Dune to complement the darker hues of the deck and structure. Sunbrella is breathable, as well as water-resistant. It has a lighter look and feel than the other fabric lines.


The retractable shades are fully installed.

Your retractable shade is ready to be installed with the helping hand of a friend or by the contractors you hired.

“Neal installed the track and shades. In word, the ShadeFX shades are incredible! They are incredibly designed, and beautifully manufactured. I so appreciate looking at the seams in which the metal “wings” are made, the material, the track on which the shades slide, the attachment mechanism between the shades and the track, the stabilizers on both sides of the shades which will keep the shades hanging perfectly! WOW!”

Relax and Enjoy

An overview of the entire space.

Now that the new shades are installed, it’s time to enjoy the space.

“I have always, always, always been so deeply grateful for being able to work with David Francis (who I thought has the patience of a saint!) and picking his brain about ShadeFX, its solidly and precision-made, long-lasting shades. It was money extremely well spent!  We have always enjoyed and appreciated the shades. They are so easy to put up and takedown. They look and perform beautifully! And, they are elegant in their design and simplicity! I cannot thank ShadeFX enough.”

Additional photos and details of the final project can be seen in our gallery here. It took almost two years from concept to completion, but the homeowners’ patience in trusting the process has resulted in the backyard of their dreams and ShadeFX is thrilled to be part of the entire journey.

Need shade for your backyard renovation? Let’s plan your project together.

Retractable Solutions for Outdoor Spaces

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