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What Your Project Manager Should Know About Your Project

You’re planning on using a custom shade product in your current project, and you’d probably like a quote ASAP, right? In a commercial realm dominated by automation and lightning fast computers, it’s no surprise. But if you’re going custom, you’re going to work with a flesh and blood project manager here at Tenshon. No robots or artificial intelligence, just an industry expert with design experience and real, human feelings, thoughts, and imagination. You better believe we’re going to work with you as efficiently and quickly as possible, without losing attention to detail. We value your time, and aim to fit into your timelines as best we can, but we need your help.

If you’re looking to minimize needless back and forth, giving relevant information early is important. After interviewing our project management team, these are what they’ve noted are some of the most helpful things you can provide up front.

Contact Information

This one’s pretty self-explanatory, but incredibly important. Your project manager needs a phone number he or she can call for conversational exchange of information and clarification, an email address for continued correspondence, sending and receiving manufacturing agreements, and a shipping address for an accurate shipping quote.

Aerial View 

If you already know exactly where your attachment points are, or the desired finished dimensions of your shade, you’re golden. Send us a sketch of an aerial view of your attachment points, with all necessary dimensions (be sure to included diagonals along with perimeter), and one of our project managers can return a quote to you in no time flat.

While it is helpful to know dimensions up front, sometimes all you know is that you want some area shaded, be it a patio, an outdoor eating area, or a swimming pool. You don’t know the exact dimensions of the desired shade, but more of a general area? That’s okay! We can help you hone in on the specifics, but again, we’ll need a good idea of the area we’re working with.

Start with an aerial view of your area. You don't need a drone or hot air balloon. All we’re looking for here is a dimensioned sketch, like this:

Sketch of Backyard

Plain and simple. Let us know what area you would like to be shaded. If you have an idea of where you’d like to place poles, designate those areas! If you definitely don’t want to put a pole somewhere, make sure your PM is aware of that too. The areas to avoid are often just as important as the areas to shade. We want to know where the obstacles are, up front, right away. We don't want to design a shade sail for a customer based on incomplete information, only to find out there’s a fire pit where we wanted to put a pole, or there’s a pole in the middle of a coy pond! Especially significant are the locations of any heat sources such as grills, fire pits, torches, and whether or not they can be moved. Tell us these things up front, and it’ll save both parties the hassle.

If you're shading a pool, be sure to include dimensions of the pool and decking, along with location of the pump in the yard.

Include in your sketch a compass with the cardinal directions. This will help to know where shade will fall when conducting shade studies of your area. Let us know what time of day (morning/noon/afternoon) you most want shade, so we can design for that.

Photos

Pictures of the site are often helpful in visualizing what’s shown in your aerial view sketch. Try to get shots of the whole area from different angles. Again, this will help your PM get a better idea of the space you want to shade and the obstacles he needs to avoid. When appropriate, mark up the photo with specific concise notes like “shade this pump” or “avoid gas line here” with arrows. Many pdf viewers have markup abilities. Additional dimensions are always helpful.

If you’re basing the design off of a shade sail you’ve seen and would like to emulate, send that photo over as well. Replicating a design is easier than starting from scratch.

Elevation View

Just like putting poles in the ground, attaching mounts to a building requires good location. You always need to be particularly careful to attach to something sturdy, like a roof truss or studs in the wall. Our project managers are fantastic, but they’re not wizards. If you don’t tell them where they can attach, they won’t know, and they won't make guesses. Send pictures or sketches with dimensions showing where you can attach, so you don’t get a design with a wall mount in your window. In fact, it’s helpful to show the location of windows, doors, medieval sconces, and the like, so your project manager knows what to avoid. If there is anything protruding from the wall, note where and by how much.

Budget

Including a budgetary price range is very important so your project manager does not over or under design your area. Different designs can serve similar practical purposes with varying aesthetics. Some cost much more than others, so let your project manager know within what price range you’re looking to stay. That way he or she can design the best shade solution with your budget in mind.

Permitting and Building Codes

Be aware of any codes if you are permitting your structure. Communicate any requirements you may have to your project manager.

Our project managers are here to help your design and purchasing process run as smoothly as possible. Your communication of relevant design information will help them work effectively. Begin your custom shade sail project by contacting our team today.