Technical Information

Pioneer Shade Structures only uses the highest quality pergola materials in our designs; including Australian made steel, Architectural PVC roofing , Colorbond Steel and Suntuf SolarSmart. Every project is designed based on an in-person site visit and meeting with the client. There are no fixed heights for our pergolas and carports, but rather each is individually designed according to the needs and wants of each client. Want privacy from your neighbours? Or to retain a view? Need to get a car beneath or to block the afternoon sun? We can design the structure with appropriate heights and the direction of the slope to best achieve your goal.



We specialise in light-framed, galvanised steel pergolas and shade structures. The benefit of using steel is that it enables larger spans with fewer posts, making it ideal for large covered areas without the inconvenience of numerous posts.

The steel framework is welded from galvanised steel components, which are then cleaned and treated with an epoxy primer prior to being powder coating to Australian Standards. The result is a smooth and protected finish against corrosion and weathering. In areas requiring a higher level or corrosion protection, a Hot Dip Galvanised coating is available.

Customised laser cut trusses can feature any logo or pattern, making this option particularly popular with cafe and restaurant owners, as well as with other commercial enterprises where branding is important.

Posts can be secured either directly into the ground with an 800mm deep concrete footing, or alternatively can be bolted to a pre-existing concrete slab using a base plate and suitable fixings. The type and thickness of the concrete slab will determine whether bolting is a suitable option. We will assess each job site and determine which is the most practical, best looking, and most secure method.



The most popular roofing for our shade structures is high quality, waterproof, Architectural PVC. To ensure a long lasting and quality product we use Valmex FR580, which is a well known and widely used material manufactured by Shann – an industry leader. This fabric comes with a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty! We also offer Colorbond steel, Suntuf polycarbonate and other hard -roofing materials upon request.

The Architectural PVC is securely attached to the steel framework using aluminium channels, providing a firmly fixed covering that extends all the way to the edges. These channels are mechanically tensioned and secured with galvanised fixings. Where some of our competitors use twine to lace the fabric to the steel, Pioneer Shade’s unique method ensures a tighter, longer lasting and more securely attached roofing fabric.

The benefits of a curved roof are many. It offers superior drainage and prevents water from pooling, it provides extra ceiling height for the area beneath, and it ensures that the roofing material cannot lift or flap in high winds as a shade sail would. Further, a curve is structurally stronger than a straight length (hence our increased spans and fewer posts).

Electrical cabling can be run through the hollow section steel framework unseen, with lighting added to create a beautifully lit night time setting. The PVC covering is slightly reflective when tensioned, so by directing upturned lights into the cover from beneath you can create a wonderful, evenly lit area as the light will reflect and disperse back downward.   An added benefit of this method is that you will never have the lights shining in your eyes.



Our pergolas come in a large range of colours to best suit your property. The steel framework is powder coated in the Dulux colour range which offers upwards of 100 colour choices.   Our PVC ranges from brightly coloured primary colours to the more common creams, greys and white. Lighter colours allow more light to pass through, which is ideal for entertaining area pergolas attached to the house, while darker colours are more suitable for carports. By selecting the colour that’s best for your house you can ensure that your shade structure will perfectly compliment your home, but also that plenty of light can pass through to keep the area bright.



Guttering and down-piping is generally not required with a Pioneer Shade Structure, but remains an option and can certainly be done upon request. The choice is always yours! Ultimately all design options are at the discretion of the client.

Pioneer Shade Structures regularly works in conjunction with other trades including concreting, timber decking, handrails and balustrades, and cafe style drop-down blinds and screens. We can manage the overall project or simply pass on referrals to you, whichever you decide.

Pioneer Shade Structures engages a structural engineer to ensure that our designs comply with Australian Standards.

Refer to our FAQ for more information.