Awnings have been around for decades, yet they have evolved significantly in recent years. There are so many styles, colors, and options to choose from. Whether it is summer, fall, or spring, awnings offer so many wonderful benefits that customers wonder why they didn’t invest in one for their home much sooner.
Don’t limit your time spent outdoors to only mild, clear days, but increase your indoor living space by adding an awning so you can flow seamlessly into your outdoor paradise.
There is an awning to suit every budget, style preference, architecture, and function. The only question left to ask yourself, is what are you waiting for!?
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What Is an Awning?
You may not have given awnings much thought until you stood in the pouring rain trying to unlock your door or baked in the sun on your new deck.
An awning is at its most basic level is a large piece of treated fabric, stretched across metal arms, suspended over a structure like a porch, patio, balcony, etc., to provide protection from weather elements such as wind, rain, snow, heat, cold, sunlight, and more.
They are typically made out of canvas or vinyl but are also available in other materials including aluminum, wood, plastic, fiberglass, and even stone. Some people use them year-round while others only utilize them during certain seasons.
Fixed Vs. Retractable Awnings
There are two main types of awnings: fixed and retractable. Fixed awnings remain fully extended at all times, unless you choose to remove them and store them away during inclement weather.
Retractable awnings, on the other hand can be fully retracted when inclement weather arrives such as high winds or hailstorms and can even be retracted so you can enjoy full sun during a mild spring day when an awning may feel unnecessary.
The good news is if you choose either style of awnings, you can rest assured that they both provide similar levels of protection against harsh sun and inclement weather conditions.
Despite the fact that both offer similar levels of protection, many people prefer the convenience of having a retractable option because they don’t need to worry about taking it down if severe weather arises or leaving it up and vulnerable to damage.
Consumers also enjoy the flexibility a fully retracting awning provides. In the long run, it comes down to your unique needs and wants.
Retractable awnings can sometimes be pricier than their fixed counterparts; however, it is important to note that, on average retractable awnings will be a longer lasting investment.
This is because they are protected from severe weather conditions, while fixed awnings remain extended at all times, making them vulnerable to damage and premature wear.
Types Of Awnings
The type of awning you purchase largely depends on how often you plan on using it and where you intend to place it. For example, do you live near a beachfront property or a lake house? Do you want something that looks attractive and adds curb appeal to your home’s exterior?
Perhaps you’re looking for something functional that protects your furniture and belongings inside your home? Whatever your reasons might be, there is an awning perfect for you! Below some of the most popular options available today will be discussed.
Canvas awnings offer great versatility due to their ability to cover almost any surface area. This makes them ideal for covering patios, porches, balconies, decks, windows, doors, carports, garages, sheds, gazebos, pool areas, and more.
These awnings are usually constructed of durable polyester material which allows them to withstand extreme temperatures without fading or cracking. If you decide to go this route, make sure to select a quality brand name manufacturer who offers warranties on their products.
Aluminum awnings have been around for decades but gained popularity in recent years thanks to their affordability and durability. They come in various sizes ranging from small patio covers to large canopies. You can also find aluminum awnings with built-in lighting systems that allow you to illuminate your outdoor space whenever needed.
Like canvas awnings, aluminum awnings are made out of strong, yet lightweight materials, although metal like steel and aluminum, instead of fabric. However, unlike canvas awnings, they require little maintenance once installed. As long as you keep up with routine cleaning and oiling, you should never experience problems with corrosion or rust.
Vinyl awnings are one of the least expensive ways to add shade to your home. Unlike other types of awnings, vinyl awnings are typically only used indoors and cannot protect against rain or snowfall.
That being said, they still serve well enough as decorative accents for homes and businesses alike. The best part about these awnings is that they don’t need much upkeep either. Simply clean off dirt and debris every few months and apply a fresh coat of paint if necessary.
Pergola Awnings– Pergolas are another common choice when choosing an awning solution.
While pergolas aren’t technically considered true awnings, they still serve a very useful purpose by providing shelter over decks, patios, arbors, and can be used as an extension of a home or as a standalone structure..
The best part about these awnings is that they look fantastic and add value to your home. When purchasing one, consider its size, style, color, and other features before finalizing your decision.
Pergolas provide so much flexibility in choice as they can be featured as a standalone structure or attached directly onto a home or other dwelling.
Furthermore, pergolas allow you to choose from fixed or retractable options, partial or total shade, and metal, wood, or fabric options.
Whatever your style or purpose, a fabulous way to add a next level shade structure is through the addition of a pergola. Some models even include integrated lights so you can use them year-round even when it gets dark out early. Regardless of the season, with the option to close in your pergola with screens or shades, you can enjoy your outdoor space more comfortably than you ever dreamed.
What is Right for Me?
When it comes time to purchase any type of awning, there are several factors to take into consideration:
1) What will I be using my awning for? Will it be primarily for protection from sun exposure, protecting furniture/furnishings from direct sunlight, covering patios, etc.? Or will it be mainly for decoration purposes?
2) How many people do I plan on having inside at any given time? Do I want to cover all sides of my house or just specific areas where I spend most of my time?
3) Is my budget limited? Are there additional costs associated with installing an awning?
4) Where am I going to install my awning? This may seem obvious, but some locations simply won’t work due to structural limitations.
Once you have considered all the possibilities, in correlation with your unique needs and style preferences, you are ready to make a decision that will forever change the way you enjoy the outdoors! Don’t let another season pass you by without the functionality and beauty of an awning!