There are many different umbrellas for sale in the UK, we try to explain the differences.
If you are looking to purchase one, or several umbrellas for either commercial or domestic use outside then the current choice in the UK is enormous, and also quite daunting, as the price ranges are also dramatically different for the same size of umbrella, whether it be square, octagonal, rectangular or oval. So why is there such a large difference in price?
If you were able to see, touch and try all the various umbrellas the question of price might well be answered by itself, as it is the same as with most products – the quality of materials and general construction. With many products it is possible to obtain perfectly acceptable standards and suitability for use with a lower specification, and usually lower price. The trouble with a product like an umbrella is that any sort of compromise in the component quality and strength will always manifest itself in the early failure of the product, as, by the nature of an umbrella, it is subjected to extremely variable weather conditions and sometimes extreme forces from gusts of wind. The problem also exaggerates itself as the umbrella size gets larger, as the larger the umbrella is the more it will be affected by wind and rainfall. So, the simple recommendation is to be very sure that is you are buying an umbrella, particularly for commercial use, that it is going to perform in the environment it is to be used in. Make sure the base or ground insert is heavy or strong enough, make sure the fabric is of a suitable high quality and thickness to withstand the assault from the sun, wind and rain effects, and make sure the support pole and struts are all constructed in a way which ensures stability, as the slightest weakness will soon become an issue in windy conditions.
The quality of the fabric is a huge consideration with a large umbrella and makes the biggest difference over the intended years of use. There are big differences in the thickness of material and types of fabric used, so check carefully as this is where lower priced umbrellas will have one of the biggest differences and disadvantages..
Whether the umbrella is side mounted, cantilevered or centre pole supported will make a huge difference to the wind rating and possible usage.
A side mounted umbrella system like the Paraflex is a good system as the largest umbrella is only 2.7m in diameter so management is relatively easy in domestic or commercial applications. The umbrella is supported by a unique aluminium horizontal arm intended to be fixed to either a solid wall or a pole support, also supplied as an optional part. The Paraflex arm is like a double jointed arm and can be moved in almost any position during use and locked into position by a simple lever system. This is probably one of the best systems available for flexible sun shading as the umbrellas can be repositioned as the sun moves to suit personal preferences. The optional aluminium pole provides support for up to 5 umbrellas at once!! 5 times 2.7m diameter umbrellas all with adjustable arms will provide fantastic sun shading. The pole has many options for fixing into or onto the ground surface meaning it can be independent from the wall.
The cantilever umbrella systems we offer from May and ShadeMaker are capable of far larger size covers, up to 5m diameter in an octagonal shape or 4m square. The mechanics on some cantilever models are vert clever indeed allowing a full 360 degree turning of the umbrella as well as tilting to almost any angle and the extension of the supporting arm, again to move the umbrella to a suitable position to shade effectively. Like the side mounted umbrellas the cantilever type will not be particularly stable in windy conditions so it is perfect really only for sun shading and very light winds.
The centre pole supported umbrella is the most stable type of umbrella by far, and also has the most choice of sizes in our ranges. From traditional wooden pole parasols through to stainless steel poles we have every option, and the sizes can go up to a massive 9m x 5m in a rectangular shape!! The Vortex umbrella is the ultimate in terms of strength and is constructed from a high quality stainless steel framework with a super tough fabric cover, available in many colour options. This umbrella installed correctly is capable of withstanding winds of over 100km per hour. No other umbrella can perform like this, and this also means it rarely needs closing down. With its presence in height it is also like many large umbrellas perfect for advertising your business as well as defining areas outside for your customers.
Samson Awnings offer a complete range of umbrellas starting from around £400 plus VAT for commercial and domestic applications, call now on (01933) 274276