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How long does it take to install a shade sail?

Once of the first questions we get asked when clients are looking to move ahead with a project is, how long will it take to install my shade sail?

The short answer is that from the day you sign, through to the day you get to use your new space, you should allow approximately 8-10 weeks.

In this article we outline what happens in these 8-10 weeks, and what factors can impact these timeframes.

1. Sign the Contract

The first thing you’ll do once you’ve chosen your contractor is sign on the dotted line so your project can get underway! In this stage you will agree on contract terms and finalise the selection of colours (both steel coating and fabric colours), as well as discuss timeframes for completion and when installation will work best for you.

Typical time taken: 1 week.

2. Architectural Drawings

The next stage is architectural drawings. These drawings will be created by your contractor to give you a graphical representation of the scope of works that you have agreed to in the contract, and will be sent to you for approval. Architectural drawings include detailed set out dimensions, structure dimensions, and elevations/heights. 

Typical time taken: 1 week.

3. Engineering design

An engineer analyses the design to find the correct post sizing and connection details. Greenline uses a third-party engineer, so you can have peace of mind that it is structurally sound and suited to your site conditions. 

Typical time taken: 1 week.

4. External approvals (if necessary)

Depending on where your project is located, and the type of project it is, this stage may or may not apply. The most common permits needed are:

  • NSW: a construction certificate
  • VIC: a building permit
  • ACT: building approval

You can look after these approvals yourself, or you may have this as part of your scope of works in the contract.

Typical time taken: 1-1.5 weeks.

5. Metal fabrication 

In this phase, your physical project gets underway! Metal fabrication refers to taking the raw lengths of steel and processing it to create your shade sail posts. 

Typical time taken: 1 week.

6. Surface Coating:

The next stage is the surface coating of your steelwork which protects it from corrosion. There are a few options for this including hot dip galvanising, power coating, and two pack paint.

Typical time taken: 1 week

7. Foundations and post installation

Your shade sail is taking shape! The area will be fenced off while foundations are excavated, the posts are placed, and concrete is poured. The concrete will take around two weeks to cure (set). 

Expected time taken: 1-2 days onsite 

8. Sail manufacture

Once your posts have been installed, the exact measurements from post to post are taken and your sail is patterned and manufactured to fit.

Expected time taken: this will happen during the 2 weeks that the concrete is curing.

9. Sail install

The final step is the installation of your fabric sail. The sail is brought onsite and tensioned in place.

Expected time taken: 1-2 days onsite

Here are some of the most common factors that can impact your project timeline:

  • Supply Shortages – some materials or labour may take longer to procure than expected. This can impact both the fabrication and installation stages.
  • Inclement weather – unfortunately windy or rainy weather will stop shade sails being installed. Typically, this would only move the install dates by a few days.
  • Contaminated soil – when contractors come onsite to dig the foundations, contaminated soil can extend this process, and typically has additional costs associated with disposal.
  • Specific requests for installation dates – if you request a particular time (for example a weekend or holiday period) this will most likely increase the timeline of your project as they are often popular times to choose for install.

The prefabricated approach is the most effective way to reduce the time the contractor spends onsite. By minimising time on site, we also minimise the disruption to your space. You can be assured that even when you choose an install date during relatively high use time, you will only lose access to it for around 4 days (2 for post install, and 2 for sail install).


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Greenline worked to our time line and delivered as per the spec. Their work was what was expected.

MBS PTY LTD - Mark Conroy

Friendly, professional communications and extensive help provided in the grant application process as well as excellent execution of the project.

Barnawartha Primary School - Bernadette Kelly

Extremely easy to deal with. Professional service. Very happy with the completed job.

Echuca East Primary School, Jodi Boal

I find engaging with Greenline completely professional. The customer service is exemplary and the three projects I have been involved in with Greenline gives me confidence in their communication, ability to meet deadlines and appease a customer, quality of work, competency in meeting regulations and OHS measures

I have great confidence in this team/company.

Wodonga Primary School - Damian Duncan - Principal

I have used Greenline for a number of years now as I have always found them to provide excellent customer service, great quality and reliability. Our most recent project was a covered walkway to provide extra shelter for our students.

From day one, the walkway was such a big hit, with so many students using it that we actually had to provide extra staff in the area for additional student supervision. Thank you Greenline.

Wyndham Central College - Bryan Wollard - Assistant Principal

From my first meeting with a Greenline representative I was very impressed with the professional presentation about the company.

The process relating to construction was very well explained with timelines, contractors details and

Overall, the finished product is absolutely great. It has exceeded all our expectations and is now a real asset for the school.

Greenline did a great job here and I would recommend them to any school wanting to develop a COLA.

Ardeer Primary School - Graham Miller - Principal

Greenline were a pleasure to deal with. Their communication was excellent and we are thrilled with the end product.

Mount Waverley Heights Primary School - Sharon Reiss-Stone - Principal

A huge thank you and congratulations to the team at Greenline for delivering BIG TIME our outdoor shade shelter. The shelter, which covers one of our outdoor basketball courts, gives our students a chance to play through all weather conditions and looks great. Their post project support has been fantastic with quick follow-ups and service to the school.

Croydon Hills Primary School - Christian Holdsworth - Principal

We found Greenline to be professional throughout our entire business relationship, from our initial communications through to the completion of our project. Their friendly, helpful advice was offered with constant consideration of our needs. Greenline were able to meet all deadlines with competency, completing our project with the highest quality of work.

Bundoora Primary School - Lee Pollard - Principal

Greenline were a professional and well organised company to work with. The finished product was of a high standard and met the school’s requirements.

Wiley Park Public School - logo

Wiley Park Public School - Rene Demos - Principal