Extend Your Enjoyment Outdoors with a Smart Umbrella Purchase

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    Client News

  • Date:

    January 29, 2014

Extend Your Enjoyment Outdoors with a Smart Umbrella Purchase

Client News

There is nothing quite like a new shade product to add life to a deck or patio. Not only do you get cool, inviting shade, you also add a focal point for your outdoor space that creates memorable experiences for family and friends. With spring and summer soon to arrive in many parts of the country, consumers will be considering umbrella purchases, and the good news is there has never been a wider array of choices.

“Market umbrellas have truly been reinvented in the past several years with beautiful new designs, more durable components and easier to use lift systems,” said Dougan Clarke, founder and CEO of TUUCI, a Miami-based designer and manufacturer of shade products inspired by the marine environment. According to Clarke, here are some of the most important considerations in making a smart umbrella purchase decision:

  • Fabric cover – Select the wrong fabric and your beautiful red cover in May might become a faded, not-so-beautiful pink by July. Look for fabrics, such as Sunbrella®, that are warrantied against fading and are durable and easy to clean.
  • Mast and frame – You should also look for mast and frame materials that are durable and able to withstand the weather. Marine grade aluminum is an excellent choice and recent innovations include aluminum materials that simulate the look of wood but with the durability of a stronger material.
  • Lifting mechanism – Nothing can spoil the enjoyment of an afternoon outdoors like a stubborn lifting mechanism. Look for a design that’s engineered to be durable and easy to use by virtually anyone regardless of size.
  • Base – The unsung hero of any shade product is the base. Select one that not only complements the look and feel of your umbrella, but also provides sufficient stability in high winds. The umbrella manufacturer should suggest the recommended base for each offering.
  • Design – Umbrella design has progressed light years, so you have choices that range from classic to contemporary and include many offerings that could be described as “shade art.” Consider the architectural style of your home and the look of your deck or patio, and don’t always go for a complementary look. Juxtaposing a contemporary umbrella against a traditional background could be an unexpected and delightful solution.
  • Accessories – Consider accessories, such as lighting and misting systems. If you’re in an extremely hot climate, a little mist could be a refreshing addition, and lighting brings on romance after dark. And don’t let a little cool weather keep you indoors since heaters can be added also.
  • Cost – The price range for shade products is wide, from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. Rather than just considering the initial purchase price, consider the expected life of the umbrella. Making a wise choice and spending more today could save substantially in the future with an umbrella that lasts not just one season but many seasons.  

“Doing your homework and looking at many different options will help you make a better choice in an umbrella that’s a smart investment for extending your enjoyment of the day, the evening and the season,” Clarke said.
Dougan Clarke began his career as a custom craftsman for a boat yard in Miami. Under the tutelage of his mentor, renowned South Florida craftsman and engineer Fred Herman, Dougan learned applied materials, material sculpting, molding, canvas construction and manufacturing methods from the marine industry. Clarke has adopted these principles and processes in everything he designs for TUUCI.

Since its inception 16 years ago, TUUCI has redefined the shade category with innovative shade structures. In addition to artistic beauty, TUUCI products are engineered with marine grade components that are durable and easy to operate. All shade platforms are custom-made at the Miami headquarters and are distributed worldwide through strategically located service centers. Outdoor cafés and many of the world's leading resorts, hotels and restaurants have selected TUUCI because of this combination of beauty, durability and function.

Keeping the environment top of mind, TUUCI's manufacturing facility follows an Environmental Sustainability Program reducing solid waste and recycling objects from plastics to steel to fabric and beyond. With 100 percent replaceable parts, TUUCI products have an extended lifespan resulting in less waste. Follow TUUCI on Facebook, Twitter and through the company blog. On the Web at www.tuuci.com.

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