Mounting our Single-Track System: Pre and Post Design Options

ShadeFX’s retractable systems utilize our patented design that allows for flexible deployment of sun and rain protection and ease of installation. Most importantly, every retractable product you see in our gallery is custom-designed to adapt to the structure integrated in your outdoor space.

When designing an outdoor area, adding shade to a space can be a critical factor or one that is overlooked. When ShadeFX is scoped into the early stages of the design, there are many integration options available. When it’s overlooked, that’s where ShadeFX adapts.

A common phrase you’ll hear from ShadeFX representatives is: ‘It’s never too early to get started’. First, it’s a custom solution that requires time to design and manufacture. Second, early engagement helps avoid oversight, complications, or limitations that wouldn’t otherwise exist.

As most prospects are primarily focused on the drive type and available color options, another equally important decision is how the track will mount. When ShadeFX is part of the design, it opens up different mounting options that are otherwise likely unavailable once the pergola is built. Here are a few ways to mount the single-track system, dependent on pre- or post-construction of the structure. 

Standard Mounting

The two most common ways the drive beam or track is mounted onto a structure are perpendicular to the rafters or parallel to the rafters. These options often apply to structures already in place.

Mounting Perpendicular

The span between rafters should not exceed 24″ when mounting perpendicular.

If mounting perpendicular, it’s important to note that the span between the rafters should not exceed 24”. The rafters should be located at the same height to prevent a deformed beam. The drive beam should also be level across the entire span and shims can be used to create a flush surface if required.

Mounting Parallel

Straight is key when mounting parallel to the rafters.

When mounting the single-track system parallel to the rafters, it’s important to ensure the drive beam is mounted straight. A curved or misaligned drive beam can affect the way the shade system operates once the canopy is attached.

Flange Mounting

A trending structure design is a simple open box frame. This type of structure has no rafters, lattice, overhang, or corbeled rafter tail. With no rafters to mount onto, an option is to flange mount our patented system to the surrounding beams. There are size limitations for this mounting option due to the weight of the shade.

There are two options when it comes to flange mounting: using only the ShadeFX track system or a track supporting beam.

Flange Mount

Flange mounting is feasible for canopies 12’x12′ and under.

The size and weight of the canopy is the deciding factor for which option is recommended for mounting. For all canopies that are 12’ x 12’ and under, a track-only flange mount is possible. For slightly larger canopies, our engineering team will review the weight of the system to determine if flange mounting is feasible. Choosing a manual versus motor, adding extra wings, and the type of fabric all factor into the weight of the system.

Track Supporting Beam

A track supporting beam helps support the additional weight.

If the system exceeds a certain weight threshold, the track supporting beam comes into play. It helps support the additional weight while still allowing for a flange mounted system. ShadeFX can provide this option in a commercial-grade aluminum to support a canopy size up to 18’ x 18’. Anything larger would have to be manufactured using heavy-gauge steel by a local manufacturer or contractor.

Recessed Beam

When designing a structure, sometimes the height can be limited, and it can have an impact on additions you’d like to make. Great news, our track measures 1.78” wide and 2.52” tall which allows for some additional design options. Whether it be lighting, a fan, or in this case, a retractable shade, there are options to maximize headspace when there isn’t much to work with.

Notching Rafters

Notched rafters mounted within notched areas.

A simple fix is to notch the rafters and mount the track within the notched areas. This will reduce the amount of headspace lost when the retractable shade is added.

Between Rafters

Hiding the track between rafters will also maximize headspace.

If notching rafters isn’t an option or aesthetically appealing, hiding the single-track system between rafters will also maximize headspace. This option works for designs that have the track running parallel to the rafters. It will also give the illusion that the track has disappeared or recessed within the timbers.

Whether your outdoor space just needs the final touch or is on the drawing board, a retractable shade can complete your space. Scope us in at the beginning and have fun customizing your ShadeFX system to uniquely fit your structure.

Planning an outdoor space with retractable shade? Call us today and let’s get started.