1. Opening Mechanism. Not only the material used is important in choosing umbrella frames, but for the two different methods of opening a patio umbrella is also another key feature. A shade umbrella made from wood is normally opened manually by using a pulley system. While an umbrella frame crafted from metal is usually released by using a crank lift or more popularly known as a push-button tilt. 2. Patio Umbrellas Shade Size. The umbrella canopy size is another key feature. This is tied to the key question: How much shade do you need on your patio? Manufacturers usually measure the size by calculating the size from one end to the top up to the other end. Another tip to keep in mind is that the umbrellas size should be five feet larger than the area that they want to cover. 3. Patio Umbrellas Canopy Fabric. The fabric employed usually determines the final cost of a patio umbrella. Here are five fabrics normally used to build a patio umbrella: Sunbrella, Olefin, SolarVista, Spun Poly and Coolaroo’s Open Weave. 4. Maximum Shade and Flexibility. The sixth consideration is the umbrella’s flexibility and the provision of maximum shade. Families who are interested in purchasing a patio umbrella should search for one that maximizes its abilities.