The Natural Home Building Source
The Natural Home Building Source
The Natural Home Building Source

Installation guidelines, design suggestions, shade trellis examples, ordering tips, and how to install outdoor knitted shade fabric used as pergola cover, plant shading, patio cover, shade canopy, playground shading, lanai cover, water treatment plant algae control, privacy screen, snow fencing, dust and windscreen.

How to install a knit shade pergola trellis panel and extend longevity of patio shade covers. In practice, you can expect 8-10 years of service from a knit shade panel with proper installation. Especially with removal and storage of pergola cover in the winter months when not needed for cooling. Abrasion from rubbing against structure is what degrades a panel in the long run, not simple exposure to sunlight, so always install patio covers laced taut. Our knitted shade materials are pre-treated to limit shrinkage in the hot sun, but you should always store in a cool, dry shaded place until ready to install. Take panel out of box, unroll, and allow to relax to prevent wrinkling from being packaged during shipment. Knitted fabrics may stretch a little during installation, but they also contract/tighten/shrink a bit too, so there is normally a net-zero change when installed properly under tension. Keep your panel out of the hot sun until you are ready to install and you will do fine. Rinse the panel off occasionally to prevent grit from building up and flip 'show side' yearly to increase longevity. Store dry panels rolled up on four inch diameter tube, rather than folded. With proper installation, we trust your panel serves you well for years to come. Click here for our knit shade material engineering specifications and fabric MSDS sheet.

panels are normally ordered 6 to 8 inches smaller than frame and laced with rope

Wind can whip a loose patio cover, shade canopy, or lanai cover, causing damage. That's why we install grommets on one foot centers with double grommeted corners standard at no extra charge so you can properly lace with rope. NEVER attempt to pull a panel from the four corners only,
especially not with a fixed fastener like a screw through the grommet hole or D ring. Always lace all four sides to the structure or cable using rope from every grommet to spread stress evenly. Anchoring panels with fixed 'static' fasteners like screws, nail, wire, zip-tie, or chain link, instead of rope, presents an undue amount of stress on some of the grommets and not enough 'give'. The more evenly tensioned and supported, the stronger the installation. Shade panels have the best longevity when laced to a framework or tied with rope to stainless steel cables. It is not suggested to order panels without any grommets and staple or nail directly through the reinforced hem into a wooden structure. There is always the chance custom sized panels may be off by a couple of inches when tensioned and not hit the edge narrow pergola beam or rafter. Best practice is to order shade panels at least 6 to 8 inches smaller than the interior of framework and then lace in place with rope, trampoline-style.

Tan&Black 80% knit shade panel laced to wood structure with 3/8 rope

best practice is to hang panels underneath, not stretch atop pergola or trellis

Abrasion, from rubbing against the structure, is what degrades a panel over time, not simple exposure to the sun. Hanging a panel, by lacing it underneath, rather than stretching atop, helps avoid friction and rubbing damage.
When not lacing around the structure itself, a pipe, board or fasteners (horseshoe nails or eyelet screws) can be installed on structure and then the panel laced to it. Instead of horseshoe nails or eyelet screws, it is common to simply install deck screws at an angle into top of wood pergola (leave about an inch exposed) and then lace panel from grommets to exposed, angled screw shanks. When removing panel seasonally, consider using screw hooks (not eyes) with boating cleats in the corners to make rope removal much easier. Grommeted pinch pleats are added to create a much stronger, more stable panel by keeping the center from lofting and sailing in the wind and rubbing against the pergola. Same installation examples shown with lacing onto metal pipe structure applies to a wood frame pergola or patio trellis. We only sell the knit shade panels, not any of the pipe, rope, cable, turnbuckles, horseshoe nails, or eyelet screws. Such hardware is commonly available at any building supply center.

Tan&Black 80% knit shade panel with grommeted pinch pleat supported by cable and rope on wood trellis
Grommeted pinch pleat detail for shade panel

Grommeted pinch pleats are folded reinforced hems with brass grommets every foot, just like the perimeter hem but sewn across the middle or down the center of a panel. GPP provide a great deal of additional engineering strength and stability to any size panel even when not laced to structure and only supported by stainless steel cable. We MOST HIGHLY recommend adding a center grommeted pinch pleat to any size panel.

Green 60% knit shade panel with grommeted pinch pleat laced to pipe frame

stainless steel cable considerations, engineering specs, and MSDS sheet

Regardless of cable quality, smaller projects can make due with nearly any 3/16 inch diameter galvanized or stainless steel braided cable. Better cables are rated for higher 'breaking strength' and advertised as commercial quality aircraft grade making some 1/8 inch diameter cables stronger than 1/4 inch cables. Type 316 stainless steel has a greater corrosion resistance than type 302/304. Do not use vinyl coated galvanized steel cables, as the vinyl coating turns yellow and cracks, needing replaced long before the cable fails. One larger commercial projects with lots of tension on cables, use 'forged' eye screws or weld anchor eyelet closed so it cannot bend open. Stress placed on anchor points in a long cable installation can easily bend poorly-made eyelet screws and bolts open. If you are stringing cable between posts, we recommend using at least Sch40, if not Sch80 metal pipe in 4 inch diameter and bedding base of pipe at least 1/4 of total length in concrete. We do not supply any engineering services and cannot offer any local referrals for structural design assistance. Knit shade material weighs less than half an ounce per square foot, so weight is not the issue, but rather loft and sail in the wind. Click here for our knit shade material engineering specifications and fabric MSDS sheet.

Stainless steel cables with turnbuckles prior to installation of shade panel

a host of GOOD, BETTER, BEST installation choices... just like any project

There are more ways to install a shade panel than there are installers, so installation tips are always presented with Good, Better, Best choices. Best installation practice is lacing with rope from each grommet to structure or stainless steel cable.
Best quality ropes are climbing and marine grade for sail rigging, but avoid 'shock cord', which can allow too much flex on a larger, several hundred square foot panels. Better ropes will advertise their UV stabilized qualities for outdoor use. Large 3/8 inch diameter braided poly best displaces "loft and sail wind-load" evenly onto all perimeter grommets. We recommend using 3/8 inch diameter braided soft pliable rope to lace panel, not thinner gauge parachute cord, hemp cordage, wire, zip ties, or stiff nylon twine that put undue stress on limited area of grommet. Always lace in a zig-zag 'trampoline-style' pattern using all the grommets. Rope goes through grommet and then around the framework (or fastener in frame or cable) and then back through the next grommet in-line. Never lace a panel such that the rope stretches horizontally between two grommets, since this will cause damage to the un-sewn hem tape surrounding the grommet and void your warranty. Avoid using bungee balls or bungee rope as they degrade in the sunlight too fast and allow the panel to flex too much. Avoid using stiff nylon rope, fine cordage, or wire since they will not flex, like a soft pliable braided poly rope. While possible to simply run a stainless steel cable directly through the grommets, lacing with rope from grommets to cable is best practice. AVOID corners-only attachment directly to just the four corners of any shade sail or panel. With grommets every foot on center around the perimeter, the cable or structure receives all the stress, abrasion, and tension from the rope lacing, while keeping the patio cover taut without abrasion.

Tan&Black 80% knit shade panel installed with cable and rope on wood trellis

Lacing panel to pipe frame is standard best practice for shade fabric installations.
Galvanized chain link fencing 1-3/8" 'top-rail' pipe and fasteners are locally available.
One grommet every foot around the perimeter and laced taut with 3/8 inch braided rope.
This trampoline-effect with rope provides 'give' in structure to best prevent wind damage.

Green 60% knit shade panel installed with rope on fencing top rail pipe frame trellis
Shade cloth is the answer to all of your excess solar heat gain problems.

Same 1-3/8" galvanized top-rail fence pipe awning covered in plain cloth without hem and grommet work. Cut ends are folded over several times and anchored with plastic locking clips. Clips allow option of installing directly to stainless steel braided cable instead of pipe framework.

Specifically made for shade netting - plastic locking clip fasteners

Angle iron bracing is often used for gambrel truss shape bolt-together shade structures.
Green 60% knit shown here allows light through for work area safety while cutting the heat.
Black 80% knit is by far the most common choice for optimal shading and cooling potential.

Please note that the shade material is NOT blue, that is the sky above. Sun canopy, shade for rv, shade cover

pergola covers can be installed without any perimeter hem and grommet work

Year-round installations on wooden trellis, lanai, or pergola can be made with 'raw material' plain cloth stretched atop (or underneath) and held in place with 1by2 wood strips (batten boards) around the edges and interior, sandwiching the plain cloth between the wood trellis and outer trim wood batten board. Common practice is to roll batten boards into fabric, not just sandwich between batten and framework on the perimeter. This rolling of fabric onto perimeter batten board allows stretching and firm, even fastening without stressing and tearing. Best to use nails, not screws, to avoid snagging material. Pre-drill boards and use large 'fender' washers to evenly spread-out stress and make nails easier to remove without damaging batten boards. Be sure to use at least galvanized nails, if not aluminum or stainless steel to avoid rusting and abrading the material. On panels more than 12 foot wide, an optional center grommeted pinch pleat is normally installed to protect the loom splice found on larger width material. Professional installers invariably begin large panel installation by lacing the center grommeted pinch pleat to central frame member (ridge beam, cable, conduit) and then pulling taut across width sides and finally tensioning across length, towards two ends in-turn.

Wood frames normally install panels hanging below rather than laced atop, as shown here.
Installed below the trellis, panels avoid wind stress and damage from rubbing and abrasion.
Batten boards and locking clips are options for permanent installations without rope lacing.

90 percent shade factor black knit over a wood frame pergola    90 percent shade factor black knit over a wood frame pergola

when the panel must move back-and-forth, a Roman shade or drape is possible

We suggest using 5/16 inch quick link fasteners to connect from panel edge grommets onto 1/4 to 5/16 inch diameter braided stainless steel cables along the sides.
Vertically hung moveable panels normally are installed as 'drapes' with stainless steel cable running through the grommets and pulled from side-to-side. Or drapery rings can be installed, much like a shower curtain, and panel (drape) pulled back-and-forth along a pipe or curtain rod. Grommets approximately every foot on center is standard for our panels, making this design possible. Grommeted pinch pleats are not installed much closer than six foot on center, which is optimal for fixed-in-place, laced taut shade panel installations. Mobile, horizontal Roman shades deployed overhead, with GPP on very close centers, can present aesthetic issues for some clients. As viewed from underneath rather than looking down at the pinch pleats and grommets, GPP placed close together may appear to waver a bit. Plus, we do not offer special grommet placement to ensure cable slides accurately through all pinch pleats in-turn. Such Roman shade grommets would have to be installed by client. Note pinch pleats can be added after production on a home sewing machine. Panel is ordered 2-3 inches longer than finish length deployed, per pinch pleat installed. For instance: five pinch pleats would require at least 12 inches additional length for starting panel, depending upon sewing method. Sewing without hem tape webbing on a home sewing machine provides better presentation when pinch pleats are installed in close proximity. Mobile, horizontal Roman shades deployed overhead, standard and best practice is to run several stainless steel cables underneath a single panel and then pull it back and forth, like an overhead 'drape'. Single panel rests atop cables (or rope or pipe) and is pulled back and forth. Pinch pleats are not necessary with horizontal 'drape' installations less than about 12 foot long. Longer panels benefit from GPP every five or six foot on center to allow lacing to pipe or rod support, which helps keep panel from bunching oddly, as it drapes closed.

We don't sell roll-up shade screen mechanisms, but here's Tried and True DIY project plans
Six foot is the optimal stock width, with larger rolling shades taking two people, one at each end, to pull separate ropes.
When not using a stock width, the cut exposed edges will need to be sewn on a home sewing machine to avoid curling.
Drapes are an easier approach with cable through grommets top & bottom and pulled to one side like a shower curtain.

Left click for printable plans for a simple roll-up shade.

black color knits versus white or green in terms of dropping temperature

Hot climate residential and commercial patios almost always install 80% or 90% density and usually in black color to best drop the temperature (and sunlight) underneath. You still get plenty of ambient natural light in from the sides, so it is not too dark.
The only reason to install 70% or lower knit density is to ensure ample heat gain in the spring and fall months, where blocking 80% might make the patio a little too cool. It is common to have two shade panels in a hot climate: one high-density for peak summer months and one lower-density for when it cools in the fall. Functionally, black is the preferred color for a patio (see message box above). Patios are a place of relaxation and the black color absorbs more ambient light (not reflecting it), dilating your pupils, and generally creating a much calmer atmosphere. Heated air readily passes through any knit density, so the question of black absorbing more heat and radiating it back onto you is largely irrelevant to your personal comfort level underneath. Excess ambient light bouncing off a white panel adds heat gain and makes it much more of an active area, rather than a relaxation spot. The Black 70%, White 50% and Green 60% shade materials are very nearly the same knit pattern. The darker black absorbs more light, allowing only 30 percent to pass through. Green 60% knit is a compromise between blocking heat gain while still allowing 40% sunlight to pass through for plant growth and is very popular with greenhouse growers. White 50% knit is an excellent agricultural product too, reflecting maximum ambient light underneath, while allowing only 50% of direct sunlight to pass through from above. Any of the materials can be ordered as a double layer panel, where fabric is folded over for a heavy-duty two-layer panel with much more sun blockage and strength than a single layer shade tarp.

solid tarps and a myth about shade factor, knit density, and sun blockage

Shade factor is a measurement rating of knit density with the percentage noted being the amount of sun blockage.
A 50% shade factor White blocks 50% of direct sunlight - a 60% Green blocks 60% sunlight - a 70% Black density blocks 70%. There is a myth circulating that a lower percentage white shade material would have the same cooling effect as a higher density green or black. This is absolutely false. Lighter colors reflect more ambient light underneath (make a patio brighter) while darker colors absorb rather than reflect light/heat, but the material is too light weight (low thermal mass) to RETAIN excess heat/energy. At less than 1/2 ounce per square foot, there is not enough thermal mass to store a large amount of radiant heat/energy. Heat is quickly dissipated by cooler air moving up through the open netting (even 90% density has ~1.5mm holes). A solid roof or waterproof canvas tarp would function differently, trapping heated air underneath. With an open netting, lighter colors of less density are not functionally cooler than a darker color with a higher shade factor rating. When dropping heat on your pergola or deck is key, our 80% and 90% black knits are the most commonly specified patio shade.

Indoor vertically hung Black 70% knit 'drapes' providing privacy while preserving view.
From outside, your privacy can be nearly complete viewed from an angle or at a distance.
Avoid backlighting by placing room lighting up front, near the windows, not behind you.

View out office windows through 70 percent black knit on a sunny day

privacy and preserving the view while blocking sunlight and dissipating heat

Up close, you can see through any density/color of shade cloth, but as you move farther away (20 plus feet) and at an angle, it becomes much more difficult to see objects on the other side clearly.
The image below is looking out through our 70% black knit (above the stunt dog). Mind you, the intense backlighting with sunny day, super white snow foreground exaggerates the clarity, but this 70% black knit is a good compromise between preserving view from inside and creating a sense of privacy from outside. Looking in from across the yard about 20 feet away, the view is very nearly opaque, as shown in image above. Refraction off glass is a good part of the effect, but the key is lack of back lighting. At night with a light behind you (back lit), the shade material would naturally provide much less privacy. Direct natural light can overpower, washing interior rooms with glare on a sunny winter day. Knitted shade material drapes, sheer or curtain are an easy way to control the indoor environment passively. The shade netting catches a large percentage of direct solar gain, dissipating the heat, and stratifying the energy to best radiant benefit (always hottest around material).

View from outside looking in - about 20 feet away through 70 percent black knit on a sunny day

We don't sell shade structures. We make custom size hem and grommet pergola covers.
Economical trellis frame designs use galvanized steel fence posts, top rails, and fittings.
Fence pipe frames are much cheaper and more stable than a wobbly pre-packaged kit.

Larger shade panels are typically installed over trellis frames, utilizing multiple 'bays' to lend even more support to the shade netting when spanning greater widths and lengths. The standard specification is for a series of ten, twelve, or twenty foot wide panels versus a single large one. Weight of the material is not an engineering issue (less than 1/2 ounce per square foot), but sail effect can be great in a heavy wind. The material will handle the wind fine... the structure needs to be solid and secure, though. The additional lacing offered by a series of smaller width panels and grommeted pinch pleats) creates a much stronger structure and keeps the panels from lofting and sailing in the wind. Depending upon bay/stall size (span of pipe), 2" to 4" diameter heavy-gauge galvanized pipe/posts are commonly specified by engineers and the inside of pipe often filled with concrete and maybe even a stick of rebar. Any local plumbing supply store will have all the fittings and pipe you need and may even be able to cut threads on the straight pipe sections for you. Avoid using plastic PVC pipe as it gets brittle very quickly in the sun. And be very certain to GROUND your metal structure and cables on copper spikes driven into the ground to deflect lightning strikes. Professional installers invariably begin large panel installation by lacing the center grommeted pinch pleat to central frame member (ridge beam, cable, conduit, pipe) and then pulling taut across width sides and finally tensioning across length, towards two ends in-turn.

When covering large areas like 80 foot by 100 foot arena, engineers commonly specify posts every 20 foot. While possible to design with fewer posts around the perimeter and none in the interior, it requires much larger posts and cables. Lace panels taut to cable or pipe with soft pliable braided 3/8 inch polypropylene, or similar UV resistant rope. Avoid bungee cords, bungee balls, cotton rope, zip ties, and stiff untreated nylon cordage as they tend to degrade quickly in the sun and weather much faster. Any supple cordage will have much better longevity and be gentler on the shade panel. It is this 'give' in braided rope that protects grommets by absorbing stress of wind loft and sail movement. Abrasion is what ultimately degrades a panel, not simple exposure to sunlight.

Galvanized pipe pole building for shade

Shade fabric is perfect for vertical wind screens, dust blocking, snow or privacy fencing.
Locking clips can be installed on plain cloth instead of customizing with hem and grommet.
Braided steel cable can be run top and bottom or locking clips screwed directly to wood fence.

Privacy fence cover with knit fabric draped over existing wooden fence

At left is one of our six foot wide knit fabrics draped along the ugly back-side of an old cedar privacy fence. With small holes in weave, up close you can see through any density/color of shade cloth. But as you move farther away (20 plus feet) and at an angle, it becomes much more difficult to distinguish objects on the other side. Do not expect total privacy from a single layer of any knitted fabric and even with two layers, a person standing with their face pressed against the fabric can see through. All colors resist fading very well and will normally last over ten years in vertical applications, especially when you take the time to design such that abrasion is avoided with panel not rubbing against fence and well supported with plastic locking clips and batten boards, as seen here.

Free air conditioning!

Create cooler 'micro-climates' along south facing walls, sidewalks, pergolas, playgrounds, and pet runs. Shading the south side of your home will prevent radiant heat gain from direct sunlight, greatly lowering your air conditioning bill.

Cut that heat on your patio with a shadecloth pergola cover and keep sunlight out of the house with
 our knitted shade fabric

Plastic locking clip commercial duty fastener for knit and woven shade sail fabric

Locking clip shade netting fasteners for attaching to cable, fencing, lashing, and nailing

Professional duty fasteners specifically made for shade netting - plastic locking clips

Front side and back of clip showing the 7 barbs
that penetrate fabric for a gentle, yet secure hold.

shade netting plastic locking clip fasteners for patio covers

Locking clips can be installed with nail, screw, hook
or clamped directly onto bungee, rope, or steel cable.

$15 per 36 count bag @ 41.6 cents
$13 per bag at 4 bags (144 clips)
... $52 for 144 clips @ 36.1 cents
$11 per bag at 7 bags (252 clips)
... $77 for 252 clips @ 30.5 cents
$9 per bag at 10 bags (360 clips)
... $90 for 360 clips @ 25 cents
$7 per bag at 30 bags (1080 clips)
... $210 for 1080 clips @ 19.5 cents


FREE Shipping to 48 contiguous United States
Sorry... no APO/FPO, HI, AK, PR, US VI, Mexico or Canada
Up to 4 bags are mailed USPS - 5 bags and more ship UPS

We do not sell grommet kits or nailing plates, since these locking clip fasteners are so much more effective and long lasting on plain cloth panels. Our commercial grade locking clips are heavy duty fasteners with longer barbs than 'residential grade' locking clips commonly found in stores. These professional-duty commercial grade UV stabilized plastic locking clips are 1-1/2" wide by 1" tall and will easily penetrate at least two or three layers of thick material for a nice strong folded hem. Please note that locking clips are not normally used with taped, reinforced sewn hems. While possible to penetrate a reinforced hem by punching two starter holes for the main barbs, clips are typically used with folded-over plain cloth only. Specifically designed for tying guy wires off or wrapping the fabric onto chain link fence, cable, or rope (up to 5/16 inch diameter), the large surface area ensures your material will not be damaged when pulled taut. They have TWO front holes for maximum versatility: a small 3/16" hole at top for hook (as pictured) or screw and a larger 5/16" hole in middle for lag bolt (as pictured). The pass-through opening across top/center will hold up to 5/16" diameter cable or rope (as pictured with red bungee). Shown above left is front and back of a netting locking clip and above right is a clip being installed, showing several options (we do not supply the S hooks and lag bolts). You can even put one on each side of fabric (instead of folding over the edge) for a center-mounted fastening point in the middle of a panel. Fold over the edge of material once or twice and and then snap clip into place with barbs locking into other side of fastener. These clips are very effective on chain link fences to stop movement in the wind.

Heavy duty black hem tape solid webbing for shade netting

Heavy-duty black hem tape webbing for sewing reinforced batten edges

Solid black hem tape webbing for sewn reinforced edge

$29 per 2-3/4 inch wide by 300 foot long roll
Quantity can be changed in shopping cart, but we do not sell partial rolls.

Add to Cart

FREE Shipping to 48 contiguous states
Sorry... no APO/FPO, HI, AK, PR, US VI, Mexico or Canada
In stock and normally ships UPS Ground or US Priority Mail

Hem 'tape' webbing contains no adhesive. There are not any adhesive-based repair tapes available that will stand up to sunlight exposure and tarp tension stress for any length of time. This 2-3/4 inch wide, solid batten webbing tape is folded over the edge of folded netting and then stitched into place for a sewn, reinforced hem or repair. Hem tape can be folded atop crease in center or across middle of panel for a pinch pleat. Webbing reinforced hems and pinch pleats make it possible to punch grommets and have them hold along the edge of a patio cover shade panel. Best practice is to sew panels with the heaviest gauge UV stabilized marine-grade outdoor 'upholstery' thread possible for the machine you are using. For a home sewing machine, this generally translates to about #90 UV thread and a size #16 Ball Point needle. Our hem batten tape is tested and conforms to UL standard 723. We do not sell webbing in less than full roll quantity.

Tarp repair kit

Shade panel and tarp repair kit with hem tape webbing, needles, and thread

Tarp repair kit

$29 total delivered price for our tarp repair kit

Add to Cart

FREE Shipping to 48 contiguous states
Sorry... no APO/FPO, HI, AK, PR, US VI, Mexico or Canada
In stock and ships promptly via USPS Priority Mail

Shade panel and tarp repair kit includes: 40 feet of 2-3/4 inch wide black hem tape webbing, 150 yard spool of heavy-duty black upholstery thread, two #18/110 sewing machine needles, and one #18 chenille hand needle. Plus, eight of our commercial-duty locking clips, which are used in place of grommets to avoid damaging knit fabric. And a piece of knit material to test machine tension settings before sewing the panel.Small tears can be repaired with hand needle and thread. Material is pulled together at the tear and chain stitched to prevent unraveling. Avoid using heat for searing or open flame anywhere near a tarp or knit shade panel. A little silicone or butyl caulk will help protect the repair, but spoils appearance. Larger tears are best reinforced with hem tape webbing on a home sewing machine. While possible to create a 'patch' by laying one piece of webbing flat on both sides, it is much stronger to repair with a pinch pleat. Webbing is folded in half, atop a crease made by 'pinching' material on both sides of the tear. Hem 'tape' webbing contains no adhesive. There are not any adhesive-based repair tapes available that will stand up to sunlight exposure and tarp tension stress for any length of time.

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All shopping cart items are advertised as Free Shipping with no extra charge for delivery. Shipping and handling fees are factored into advertised total delivered price. Note shipping is only available to the 48 contiguous United States of America. We do not ship into Canada or Mexico, Puerto Rico, Alaska, Hawaii, Virgin Isles, APO/FPO mailboxes, or any off-shore or international destination. Inventory 'stock' items will ship within 2-3 business days from one of Our warehouses. Scheduled deliveries are not possible to arrange, but We automatically email tracking information after shipment, so you can anticipate delivery date. Motor freight deliveries do not include lift gate service to lower boxes onto the roadway, unless quoted with additional services. If need be, lift gate service to lower boxes onto roadway is available for an additional $65 to $100 fee. Street-side motor freight deliveries are not brought to your front door by the driver, like UPS and Fed-Ex package services. Client must meet motor freight truck deliveries on the street to unload and inspect shipments by hand before signing for Merchandise. Shipments must be accepted promptly within three days of arrival at local freight terminal or storage fees of +/- $50 per day, per pallet may apply. Any and all storage fees billed by trucking company are the sole responsibility of Client and must be reimbursed to Our company.

Fed-Ex and UPS Ground

Most shopping cart items ship via Fed-Ex or UPS Ground package delivery service. Package delivery services, unlike a motor freight carrier (see next paragraph), will allow us to file a hidden damage in transit claim for insurance reimbursement, but We are given less than a week to report it. Regardless of how well the exterior of container box appears, you must ALWAYS have the driver note ANY damage to shipping boxes in writing before signing. Then immediately, always take Merchandise completely out of its packaging and inspect ALL of the Merchandise, notifying us immediately should there be ANY hidden damage to Merchandise. Mechanical problems are covered under the manufacturer warranty, but hidden aesthetic damages (cosmetic dings, dents, broken Welds, significant scratches, or popped rivets) you discover than a week after delivery are not reimbursed or replaced by Fed-EX, manufacturer, Kobe, or Not saying that you or your Merchant caused the damage to the unit before or during installation, but that possibility exists when Merchandise is not properly inspected upon arrival. Additionally, any appearance (non-mechanical) flaws found after installation will not be reimbursed or replaced by freight carrier, Fed-EX, manufacturer, Kobe, or Merchandise that has been installed is not eligible for return or replacement by

Motor Freight Shipping

Servel refrigerators, Sun-Mar composters, larger custom shade panels and larger Kobe range hoods ship via motor freight 'common carrier', as noted on the website and receipt. Scheduled deliveries are not possible to arrange, but We automatically email tracking information after shipment, so you can anticipate delivery date.Common carrier motor freight is shipped on a pallet with boxes covered in clear plastic stretch-wrap and is defined as street-side motor freight drop, which differs from small package services like UPS and Fed-Ex, in that the truck driver does not bring Merchandise into your building or onto the porch. Street-side motor freight drop is a basic delivery service, often in a full-size tractor trailer, where driver parks in street while you unload and inspect the Merchandise. Kobe range hoods, shade panels, and Sun-Mar composters are not shipped with lift-gate service. You must unload boxes from the tractor trailer by hand. If you require lift gate service to lower the Kobe range hood down onto the roadway, with what they call a mechanical 'Tommy lift', it is available for an additional $65 to $100 fee. Please arrange and pay for this optional service at time of order. Always check the number of pieces (boxes) present against the stated waybill shipping receipt tally. As with any motor freight shipment from any distributor, be certain to carefully examine ALL of the Merchandise, not just the outside of shipping box(es), before signing and accepting delivery. It is imperative with motor freight shipments that ALL products be unboxed and fully inspected PRIOR to accepting delivery. Regardless of what the delivery driver may say, you MUST inspect fully before signing and accepting the delivery. It is the freight truck driver's job to wait while you open and inspect shipment for damages. Simply looking at the outside of the box(es) is NOT adequate. Damaged Merchandise (that particular box, not all the boxes) must be refused delivery. Once someone signs for shipment, it confirms Merchandise was received free of ANY damage and removes liability from the transportation carrier. We can only assume that damage reported later and not refused delivery, was caused by the Client, and not the freight carrier. Any subsequent attempt to file a claim for loss or damage will NOT be accepted by the transportation carrier, distributor, or Our company,

Returns and Cancellation

All returns, cancellations and/or exchanges must first be authorized in writing by at Client may not ship any Merchandise back until We supply return Merchandise authorization RMA number and address for the shipment. Orders often do not ship back to the same warehouse they shipped from originally. Contact us with invoice number and reason for return or exchange to obtain an RMA number and instructions. No returns, refunds or exchanges will be authorized more than 30 days after original purchase payment date. Design consultation services, DVDs, knit shade material, water tubes, greywater and septic system parts are not returnable for refund or exchange for any reason. Once payment has been made, custom panel orders are cut and enter the production system and cannot be cancelled after payment is made. No return on any remnants or discontinued items. Any authorized returns of Merchandise must be in the original carton, in new unused condition, and returned freight prepaid to Our designated warehouse. Merchandise originally shipped via motor freight carrier on a pallet, may not be returned via package delivery service such as UPS or Fed-Ex. Original actual shipping cost will be deducted from any refund due along with up to 15% restocking fee on the Merchandise. This restocking fee includes the 3% credit card processing on original purchase, which is not refunded by MasterCard or VISA. Please understand that items on Our website are advertised as "Free Shipping", which is to be understood as "there is no extra charge for delivery of PURCHASED Merchandise". UPS, USPS, Fed-Ex and motor freight carriers charge us a fee for delivery of Merchandise, which We must recoup on returns. Kobe, for instance, bills a flat-fee of $40 and $45 for business and residential Fed-Ex shipments and $162 and $186 for motor freight carrier drops. Sun-Mar and Servel units ship via motor freight carrier for anywhere from $120 to $300+ per unit, depending upon zip code and drop site designation. Kobe, Sun-Mar, Clivus Multrum, Quanics, Dometic and Servel returns are manufacturer-direct, drop ship items and may be subject to an additional manufacturer's restocking fee. Discontinued, clearance items are not eligible for return or exchange. If an item is returned without original packaging intact, or is damaged, found to be used, or otherwise not ready for resale, it may be refused and returned to sender at their expense, so always insure shipment.

Lost and Stolen Shipments

Tracking information is emailed following shipment on all orders so client can anticipate delivery date. Custom size shade panels are made-to-order and can take up to ten business days to produce and ship. All other 'stock items' normally ship within three business days. Should you not receive email shipping information, please send a request for tracking number in writing to: Note it can take up to 48 hours for a given tracking number to appear on transportation company website. During this time, shipment status may be listed as "order processed and ready for pickup". Traditionally, this just means the shipment has not yet reached transportation company terminal and scanned after being unloaded from truck that picked those package(s) up. Overdue shipments must be reported to merchant in writing within one week after anticipated delivery date. Cardholder hereby agrees that only two possibilities exist for a shipment that did not arrive as anticipated. Possibility #1) Transportation company shows shipment as still being in-transit. In this case, merchant will file a 'tracer' request on behalf of cardholder with transportation company and they will search for box(es) at all company freight terminals. Cardholder is required to fully cooperate by filling out any forms requested, returning any voice messages left, and replying to any email messages sent by transportation company or merchant. Your patience and consideration is required and greatly appreciated while transportation company attempts to find the shipment. Replacement or refund is authorized solely at merchant discretion. Cardholder is not permitted to cancel order. Cardholder is not permitted to dictate choice of replacement or refund. And cardholder is not permitted to dictate time frame for settlement and ultimate delivery date for merchandise. Possibility #2) Transportation company shows shipment as being delivered. In this case, merchant will file a 'lost shipment' claim on behalf of cardholder with transportation company. A lost shipment claim can take up to two weeks to resolve and unfortunately, the transportation company rarely, if ever, pays the insurance claim. Ideally, we only ship to cardholder, personally, at their residence or business 'home' credit card billing address, but regardless of designated drop site and receiving person and whether or not a signature was required at time of delivery, cardholder is solely responsible for merchandise security after drop is confirmed by transportation company. After transportation company confirms delivery to shipping address, no signature required, there will be no refund or replacement for lost or stolen merchandise for any reason. Cardholder must immediately file a theft report with their local police department for item stolen from property or designated drop site. Cardholder hereby agrees to relinquish any and all right to file a credit card chargeback sales reversal for merchandise lost in transit by transportation company or merchandise reported lost or stolen after delivery is confirmed by transportation company. Should cardholder file a chargeback in violation of this terms of service agreement, cardholder will be held responsible for reimbursement of any and all merchant services processing fees incurred as a result of the frivolous chargeback, which can be anywhere from $35 up to several hundred dollars.

Shade Panel Production

Our commercial grade knitted shadecloth carries a one year manufacturer's replacement warranty against defects in material and workmanship. You can expect at least 5 years of service when installed properly and well over ten years when used seasonally in a temperate climate. Client must inspect shade panels within one week of delivery in order to be able to report any damages. Rips, tears, and aesthetic damage you find more than one week after delivery are not reimbursed or replaced by the freight carrier or Additionally, merchandise that has been installed is not eligible for return or replacement for damage claims. Fabric is knitted polyolefin, primarily high density polyethylene HDPE, specially treated for durability and UV resistance. Wind damage from loose panel whipping, snagging, and abrading against the structure or cable framework is much more harmful in the long run than simple exposure to sunlight. Knit shade material should be installed hung underneath, not pulled across the top of cable or framework, to avoid abrasion and snagging damage. Chemical, fire, heat, abrasion, and snagging damage are not covered under manufacturer warranty. Shade panel warranty inspection returns must be authorized in advance and returned freight prepaid to designated location for visual inspection. will only pay the cost to ship warranty repaired or replaced merchandise back to client after inspection confirms damage was a material or workmanship defect. The following are trade-standard, non-valid reasons for requesting warranty inspection: First, there is no up-down, right-left, top-bottom or front-back reference point for any panel. Panel 'Width and Length' are measured from outside-edge to outside-edge of the sewn perimeter hem at the four corners only. Knit material has inherent tension and flex in the looming process that will resolve aesthetic issues when installed taut with rope lacing. Grommets on one side of panel are unlikely to line up with grommets on the opposite side or from one grommeted pinch pleat to the next. Exact one foot on-center grommet spacing, specific grommeted pinch pleat centering, and special placement on a particular side for grommets is not warranted. Any panel over 12 foot wide may have a noticeable factory knitted loom splice seam without notice in advance since the 20, 26, and 32 foot wide stock roll width fabrics are manufactured on side-by-side looms. We traditionally cover this seam with a grommeted pinch pleat, but it is possible to order plain cloth without a center GPP, per automated quoting form. Aesthetic issues are not warranted. For instance, the White 50% color knitted shade material can sometimes arrive with patches of orange discoloration and spotting as a result of the manufacturing process. This discoloration will dissipate after installation in the sunlight. Shade material may always be slightly wrinkled from rolling onto storage tube or shipping and knit appearance can vary from sample swatches presented and may also vary between various stock widths. Minor aesthetic flaws in knit appearance, stitching, and snags are not a structural panel failure problem and not warranted. Shade material is lockstitch knitted to prevent structural unraveling. Longevity is the same regardless of aesthetic appearance flaws in the fabric knit or perimeter webbing. If need be, one can use needle and thread to pull small flaws together and super-glue sealed. It is not considered a warranty-related defect unless it affects panel performance. Special fire resistant certified shade materials are not available. The finish 'Length' ordered is what we produce by cutting enough fabric to fold hem and GPP. The only time to anticipate deviation in finish dimension purchased is when 'Width' is a stock material width of 6, 8, 10, 12, 20, 26 and 32 foot. Then, finish 'Width' is likely going to be two to three inches less after folding and sewing perimeter hem and any length-wise grommeted pinch pleats. ALL other times, the size panel you request is the finish size we do our very best to produce. Knitted shade netting is inherently difficult to work with due to tension releasing when cut to custom sizes, so trade-standard warranty for free replacement is a four inch tolerance. As measured at four corners, any error of five inches, or more, is warranted for free remake, replacement, or refund at our sole discretion. This accuracy guarantee does not apply to shapes other than rectangles or any panel dimension over 32 foot. Errors of less than five inches are considered for remedy on a case-by-case basis only when the panel has not been installed and can be resold as a new-unused remnant. Special grommet placement requests are not warranted and grommet spacing at exactly one foot on center is not warranted. Click here for knit shade material engineering specifications and product MSDS sheet.

Warranty and Warnings

Merchandise purchased from is covered only under that product's manufacturer warranty. Client is solely responsible for presenting all claims under those warranties directly to the warrantor. makes no consultation, service work, or system design warranties, whether express or implied and shall not in any way be held responsible for any customer misuse of Our products or misunderstanding of any and all of Our designs, whether express or implied. All responsibility and liability for any and all damages caused by viruses contained within the electronic files of this site are disclaimed. All information contained within this site and supplied by any and all consultations, design work and service work is governed by the following information disclaimer. Be aware that septic tank effluent, composting toilet materials, and greywater alike contain bodily fluids and as such are regulated as Hazardous Materials by the Federal government. Such hazardous materials (raw sewage) should be handled only by licensed professionals trained in the proper safety procedures and using proper safety equipment. If you are unsure of the correct handling and safety procedures, please check with your local health department for more detailed information.

Installation and Liability

Merchandise purchased from or through must be installed by a licensed professional installer and in accordance with manufacturer's specifications and local/state/federal electrical, plumbing, health and building department regulations. Building department regulation requirements differ from one town to the next and it is the Client's sole responsibility to ensure compliance. This is particularly important with hard-wired electric kitchen appliances and hoods, gas refrigerators, septic systems, greywater projects, and composting toilets. Even shade panel installations can come under local regulatory scrutiny (pull permits) in some parts of the United States. Client understands that shade panels are not rated for any fire resistance and hereby confirms that no fire resistance has been expressed or implied by Seller for Merchandise. Client is solely responsible for purchasing (pulling), and coordinating all of the inspections for all of the necessary electrical, plumbing, grading, road, health and building permits for their project. Some of these services, as requested, can be provided to Our Summit County, Colorado Clients where is a licensed and insured general Contractor (license number 6) and septic system installer (license number 69). is not an architectural nor an engineering firm. We do Our best to consult on your project, but site specific engineering, load calculations, soil viability testing, and/or custom blueprinting are not included in any consultation service or system package We sell.

Art and Data Release

Client does hereby irrevocably consent to and authorize the anonymous use and reproduction by Us, or anyone authorized by Us, of any and all artwork, digital images, or stories submitted via email, phone or fax. Our primary concern is protection of your privacy. We never release Client information to anyone for any reason, so any use would be purely anonymous. We will not pay a fee or provide compensation of any sort, now or hereafter, for information, solicited or otherwise, that We share. Client hereby agrees to allow reproductions to be presented online or in printed format and hereby gives Us unrestricted right and permission to copyright and use, re-use, publish, and republish artwork, stories or digital images submitted without restriction as to changes or reproduction hereof in color or otherwise, made through any and all media now or hereafter known for illustration, art, promotion, advertising, trade, or any other purpose whatsoever. This agreement shall be binding upon Client and their heirs, legal representatives and assigns.

Information Disclaimer

The information from or through this site and from or through Architerra Enterprises, Inc. (d.b.a. The Natural Home Building source and is provided 'as-is', 'as available', and any and all warranties, express or implied, are disclaimed (including but not limited to the disclaimer of any implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose). We are not an engineering or architectural design firm. We are not licensed electricians or plumbers. We do not accept any legal liability whatsoever for any 'errors and omissions' perceived or otherwise. Any and all consultation given, or website information provided, may contain typos, errors, omissions, problems, or other limitations. Merchandise specifications are subject to change at any time by manufacturer without any advance notice from Our company or the manufacturer. Product specifications and installation instructions are likewise subject to possible error and may change at any time without Our knowledge. Blueprints, sketches, and any written consultation are provided for informational educational purposes only and not intended for construction-ready application without approval first by locally licensed structural engineer and local building department regulations. Our sole and entire maximum liability for any inaccurate information, for any reason, and user's sole and exclusive remedy for any cause whatsoever, shall be limited to the amount paid by the customer for the information received (if any cost was involved). We are not liable for any indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages including but not limited to damages for loss of business, loss of profits, litigation, or the like, whether based on breach of contract, breach of warranty, tort (including negligence), product liability or otherwise, even if advised of the possibility of such damage. The limitations of damages set forth above are fundamental elements of this website, communications, and information provided without such limitations. No representations, warranties or guarantees whatsoever are made as to the accuracy, adequacy, integrity, reliability, currentness, completeness, suitability or applicability of the information to a particular situation. Complaints by Client to any rating agency, company review, or personal referral concerning Merchant or Merchandise in direct disregard of this terms of service agreement are to be considered libel and will be prosecuted as such, if need be.

Consultation and Service

Written and verbal consultation on the specifics of any project is governed by this terms of service agreement, with or without purchase of Merchandise. Technical assistance is different with us because Our staff members live with what We sell. Housing, septic, composting and greywater systems all include free on-going consultation, so We'll take the time to answer your questions and ensure your project is a success. At the very least, We strive to save you money by avoiding costly mistakes, both short and long term. If We don't have an answer to your question right on the spot, We'll take the time to research it further and get back to you. We can consult on the phone, if you wish, but email allows us to much more completely answer your questions with sketches and links to related articles. Keeping everything in writing is a sure way to avoid any confusion with "you said he said" situations later. Our sustainable housing products are low-tech in nature, but their design is typically complicated by the seemingly endless installation variables for unique locations and applications. Any and all consultation (blueprints, photos, written word and sketches) purchased from are the intellectual, copyrighted property of HTM house plans, septic system packages and greywater kit components Were designed and priced for the typical home and based upon the average soil type. Whether or not your local building department requires stamped engineer approval, you are well advised to take sample blueprints, sketch plans, and system consultation suggestions to a local professional engineer (PE). Local PEs are familiar with your soil type and more aware of unique building codes and concerns in your area. Most importantly, a local PE is readily available for the necessary site visits. your PE is then responsible for preparing a folder of notes and details which confirm the structural integrity, viability and liability for your project. is not an architectural design nor an engineering firm. We do Our best to consult on your project, but site specific engineering, load calculations, soil viability testing and/or custom blueprinting are not included in any consultation service or system package We sell. Communication is intended only for the paid Client recipient(s) and may be confidential and/or legally privileged and must be treated as such in accordance with state and federal laws. Any disclosure, copying, distribution or action taken in reliance on the content is strictly prohibited.

Fiberglass Water Tubes

Water Tube and Cap ("Item") is manufactured for Client on special order basis by an independent company ("Manufacturer"). Manufacturer's warranty and guarantee, and special terms and conditions of sale and delivery apply to this Item. No warranty or guarantee is provided, expressed, or implied by Merchant, Merchant and Manufacturer do not assume any liability or responsibility for damage in transit. Only the transportation company is responsible for damage in transit. Before signing and receiving Item from transportation company, Client should demand to see packing list from Item shipment. If shipment is short Item (for instance: three caps, not four) or damaged (any Item defects), refuse the goods until the transportation agent notes the shortage or damage in writing on the freight receipt waybill. Always require a copy of the annotated waybill with shortage or damage noted in writing and signed/initialed by driver.Watch for hidden damage and inspect all Items fully before signing and accepting the shipment from a freight carrier. Client signature is testament that Item arrived in the proper amount and in undamaged condition. Hidden damage or shortage (anything found after delivery) is Client's sole responsibility to file claim with transportation company. Merchant and Manufacturer do not assume any responsibility or liability for Item damage during/after installation. Manufacturer guarantees Item is up to its established standard of manufacture as to material and workmanship. In all claims, liability is limited to replacement of the invoice value of any Item claimed to be defective. Client assumes all risk and liability whatsoever resulting from the use of such Item, whether used singly or in combination with other substances. The materials purchased hereunder (Item) shall be examined and tested upon receipt thereof, and before the materials are used and within thirty days from such receipt, Client shall notify Merchant in writing of any claims on account of quality thereof. Failure to so notify Merchant shall constitute a waiver of all claims with respect to Item, and in any event the use of Item by Client shall be deemed to mean satisfactory performance on the Item and Merchant. No claim of any kind (whether as to Item delivered or for non-delivery of Item) shall be greater in amount than the purchase price of Item covered hereby with respect to which any damages are claimed. Merchant and Manufacturer will accept no returns unless previously authorized in writing with Return Merchandise Agreement. Item returned without RMA written permission is liable to non-acceptance and return at expense of Client. RMA will specify 25% restocking fee on Item, plus deduction for original cost of crating and shipping, plus Client is responsible for all return shipping arrangements and all related expenses. There are no promises, agreements, or understandings between Client and Merchant and Manufacturer not contained in this document. Should you use your own form to make a purchase based on a price quote from Merchant, the conditions contained herein shall be deemed to be incorporated in said order or contract or invoice.