Introduction: Low Incline Patio Tarp for Rain and Sun

Patio covers are great to get shade or to keep the rain of your outdoor furniture. In this instructable, I show you a way to mount one with a very light incline.

Materials you need:

  • Tarp One style is only sunproof, the other one is also rain proof.
  • Paracord Great stuff to have anyway.
  • Carabiners Much easier to hang it up and take it down every season.
  • Heavy Duty Eyebolts You would be supprised how easy the small ones bend open.
  • 1/4 Inch Aluminium Plates You can also use Plywood.
  • 80/20 Aluminium Profile 1.5m length

Tools you need:

Step 1: The General Problem.

I installed my tarp to low and chances are, that you did the same. In my situation it was impratical to change the bolt positions, so I went another route. I suspended a aluminium post in the middle of the tarp. That way the tarp gets a pyramid shape and the water drains towards the sides.

Do I need a CNC?

No. You can just cut the aluminium plates with a jigsaw and a metal cutting blade. You can even make the plates out of wood.

Step 2: Installing the Anchors

I was able to screw my anchors into a brick wall and into a wooden beam behind the copper siding. Those are two very secure methods to mount a bolt. I used very big anchors that can also double as hammock supports. Try to position them as steep as you can! That will alow better drainage and less strain on the tarp.

Step 3: Cutting the Plates

You can downloa the Fusion 360 files for the Plates here: "Sail Spider"

I cut the plates on my CNC. That is just much faster and less stressfull for me. However, you can also cut them very easily with a jigsaw. I rounded up the corners with my homemade parts tumbler. A file or some 80 grit sandpaper will do the same.

Step 4: Cutting the Post

I used a 80/20 aluminium profile. The actual type I used was a 20x20mm Bosch Profile Type B. However there are many manufacturers that all make the same product. The nice thing about these is that it is easy to cut a thread into the end. You can cut aluminium fine with any wood cutting tool.

The profile I used is shaped so you can cut an M6 thread into the end.

Step 5: Hang Up the Tarp

The brackets I built have a built in locking function for the paracord. You need qute a lot of rope for this construction. Not only to hang up the tarp, but also 8 long lengths to support the aluminium plates. The exact positioning depends on your geometry. Make sure to leave enough extra material. You can cut it off later. It stretches a lot anyway for the first week.

I added trampolin springs to my mounting points and blocks and pulleys to stretch it. That way I can exert twice the force that I could do normally. The springs are stiff enough to absorb some shock when there is a strong wind.

Step 6: Done!

Enjoy your tarp that keeps you in the shade and your furniture dry. You might end up having to adjust it a little bit in the first two weeks. Everything still stretches, but after that it stays permanently.