“What is a palapa?” you may be asking yourself. The word “palapa” describes a dwelling that is open-sided and covered with palm material as roofing. Sometimes referred to as “tiki huts” or “grass huts”, palapas are common in Central and South America, as well as certain areas of Asian, like the Philippines and Thailand. Palapas have made their way to the states and are becoming more common and popular in regions such as the southwest (CA, AZ, NV,) and Florida. Tropical Shade Imports, formerly Tropical Shade Masters, was the first business in the southwest United States to offer palapas, and we have been in business for over 26 years now. Our ability to stay as a thriving business through tough economic times points to our ability to serve our customers and continue providing excellent products. We have pioneered many of the palapa styles and tricks to building quality palapas that other companies have yet to master. We are the only ones to offer many of the upgrades you see on this site because we not only pioneered the product, we’ve perfected it. We know what it takes to deliver a quality product that lasts, and when other companies’ work fails, many of the customers who started with the cheaper product, switch to us, knowing that we’ll provide them with the best the southwest has to offer.
So what makes our products better? Well, we do have to keep a few trade-secrets, but we start with heavy pressure-treated wood frames, and cover our palapas with the best thatch we can get our hands on. We know how to best frame each structure so it will not only last, but be a wonderful addition to your yard or property. We hand build and produce each of our products especially for you, so each palapa is unique and beautiful. If you choose to have a grouping of palapas, we are skilled at helping you decide on the proper placement to get the most out of your palapa and harmonize your yard, so all you have to do is sit back and relax in your own tropical paradise!
We have four types of palapas — single pole umbrellas, round huts, rectangular/square huts, and cancun/oval huts — in standard sizes. We also offer custom builds and designs. Popular custom builds include awnings and cabana covers, as well as standard palapas in extended sizes or unusual shapes. There are a variety of thatch options with each, and you can customize your palapa to be as simple or detailed as you would like. Our four thatches are Baja, Gorilla, African Reed, and synthetic. Don’t forget to take a look at our upgrades — we offer touches that no other company has managed to replicate, making our product the best in the southwest!
**If you are looking to have your current palapa rethatched, please select the correct size and shape of your palapa, and pick the type of thatch you would like to use to have your palapa rethatched. Rethatches are all installed by our crew, and include us coming out to the palapa’s location, removing the old thatch, shoring up the old supports, and replacing the old thatch with your new thatch. We will rethatch any of our old installations within our service region. Beyond the basic repairs, any other work will have to be charged on a case-by-case basis. If your palapa was self-installed or installed by another company, we will have to see the work before we can give you an accurate bid on what the repairs and rethatching will cost.
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