ePlaya • View topic - Ideal materials for metal/conduit shade structure: "I've worked with a variety of heights, material thicknesses, and other aspects and here's what I like best. For fittings, I go with galvanized steel when possible. A bit more expensive, but worth it to keep them from rusting. For conduit size, I prefer 1 inch EMT conduit. 3/4 inch works, but in really windy years the pipes were more prone to being bent, and I when the dust was really raging I couldn't keep myself from worrying about how the structure was holding up. On a 1 inch EMT structure, once it's up that's never a question - the playa can do its worst, and not only can the structure take it but you barely feel it inside. You can do the roof in pretty much whatever size you want, it's a modular and flexible concept. I've done a few with angled roofs to accommodate larger structures (domes) inside, but if you're going with a flat roof it's easiest to work with 10' conduit lengths. For vertical height, I've been using a 6'8" vertical height which has worked out really well (though you can go with whatever height you like). I'm tall enough to be able to put it up without a stepladder or milk crate, and it's tall enough that there's at least a foot clearance above most tents. That foot is essential, since the roof tarp will radiate heat downwards and you don't want it radiating into the tent if you can avoid it."