However, have you priced those roll up shades for patios? The cheap ones ($22) are plastic and come in 8 ft lengths. I need 40 feet so, five of them will do it, but they won't fit to look nice on the patio. To look nice, I need some custom lengths and those are expensive, plus the plastic will last about the same amount of time a tie wrap does wrapped around a pipe in the sun; 6 months or so. That will get me through the summer, but I'll have to replace them next year. If I get a nice polypropylene shade cloth roll up they cost about $100 each in a ten foot length and if I custom order it to fit properly, the price skyrockets.
So, I ordered some shade cloth, got some pulleys, pvc pipe, screws, washers, and clothes line and built my own. I only have one of them done, but it works pretty well and didn't cost me a freaking fortune. Here's what it looks like so far:
And, from the other side:
The distance between the center of each viga on this section is 9 ft 6 in and would have cost me well over $150 to buy. Heh, heh, I did it for around $60 hardware and all. Now, I have to do two more, one 14 ft and the other 15 ft 9 in. This way they'll fit the vigas nicely and will look custom made. Which they actually are, now that I think about it.
There's very little on the web about how to make roll up curtains for outside use and I'll probably discover something I should have done differently. But, hey, it works and looks pretty good. Here's how I used the pulleys to handle the cord for rolling it up and down:
I have three small pulleys, one for each cord held to the frame with an eye screw.
And one large pulley that all three cords feed through to form the combined pull cord for raising and lowering the shade.
I don't have a tie off cleat installed yet, but that will come after another trip to the store for washers. I just wish the local store sold 1" fender washers by the box instead of those stupid little bags of 10.
This shade cloth is 70% shade and should work fine for sheltering the patio while still allowing enough sun to support some plants behind it. The material is polypropylene as is the cord, so they should survive pretty well in the sun. At least three or four times longer than the cheap plastic stuff that I first considered. The color works nicely with the terrain and color of the house and I think I'll be pleased with the result when I finish it.