Purchasing home awnings can be a difficult task, mainly if you have never owned an awning or window shade before. You probably know the primary benefits of adding an awning to your property, but in this article, we are going to do a deep dive on awning ownership and how it could improve your home life or business.
Why should you install an awning on your property?
Awnings and an outdoor canopy accomplish many of people’s property-ownership goals:
Energy conservation; protection and control of the natural elements; branding and advertising; or simply improving the aesthetics of your property.
Modern fabrics used in awning construction are durable, colorful, easy to clean, super-strong, and flame-resistant. Modern frame materials have high strength-to-weight ratios and resistance to corrosion. When looking for an awning, seek out ones that are long-lasting, cost-effective, and visually pleasing.
Improve the visual aesthetics of your property: Modern awning and canopy designs combine form, light, color, texture, graphics, with a solid design structure, and often for a relatively low cost. Awning frames are usually custom-made to order by cutting, bending, and welding metal tubing and fitting the fabric to the edge. Almost any shape and size can be created and covered with awning fabric using industry-specific methods.
Protect your property from mother nature’s elements: Canopies and awnings can shield the sun, rain, snow, sleet, and hail. Rain will be directed away from your windows and doors and away from the brick or siding surrounding them. Awnings will help prolong the sealant’s life around your windows, saving you money on potential repairs.
Save money on energy: The advantages of having a patio awning go well beyond aesthetics
Awnings can improve the appearance of your home, but the real benefit is that they save energy and protect your furniture, floors, and carpets from fading. With a strategically placed awning or two, you’ll start to see the energy-saving benefits in just a few weeks.
More energy is transmitted through glass doors and windows in a typical home than through any other construction feature. In reality, on a hot day, one square foot of glass absorbs more heat than an entire insulated wall. The sun’s natural light coming through the windows in your property is responsible for approximately 20 percent of the load on your air conditioner. Covering these windows, especially those exposed to the most sunlight, will cause a drastic drop in your energy bill.
Increase and extend your outdoor space use: For you and your family, awnings or canopies built off a patio or deck provide a calm and relaxing extension of your living space. During the months of the hot summer sun, you’ll appreciate the natural cooling relief shade can provide.
A custom canopy also broadens your living space, allowing you to sit back and relax while admiring the natural beauty of your personal outdoor space. If your property is an area with consistent inclement weather, you might want to opt for a retractable awning that pulls back into a safe housing when the weather turns grim.
Residential vs. Commercial Awnings
Not all awnings are made equally, and the types you would purchase for your home are quite different than those you would find at a business establishment. While the shapes, sizes, colors, branded logos, and designs vary between residential and commercial awnings, one of the major differentiating factors is the awning’s functionality or mobility. In other words, you are more likely to find stationary awnings on commercial properties compared to residential homes, which often opt for motorized retractable awnings.
Residential Awnings: An awning is a must-have for every patio. Residential awnings enhance a home’s architectural silhouette, increasing its overall market value. Without the graceful practicality of awnings, no older home is fully restored. When it comes to selling a house, anchor awnings add a lot of curb appeal. Awnings and canopies for the home cover your windows or backyard patio spaces. Residential awnings protect your indoor and outdoor furniture preventing fading of draperies, fabrics, and furnishings. Often these awnings are retractable, whether by motor or by a hand crank. Most residential awnings are custom built and upgraded with electronic gadgets of all kinds, from sensors to heating systems.
Commercial Awnings: Awnings for businesses provide consumers with shaded entrances and exits. With personalized logos, patterns, and colors, they also enhance the aesthetics of your storefront. Awnings draw and entice buyers and clients from close and far by improving every property’s architectural profile. These units can shield walkways from all-weather elements and come in a range of lovely fabrics and colors. They also help you save money on heating and cooling while also protecting your customers. Business awnings and canopies with a logo or custom design are a great way to advertise and create brand awareness. Backlit awnings are a popular choice and are available in a variety of colors and styles.
Types, Functions, and Awning Materials
When searching for an awning, your needs will heavily dictate the final product you purchase. Your focus will likely be on retractable units for your backyard patio space if you are a residential buyer. If you are a commercial buyer, you’ll be considering the different elements of your operations and how to best suit your employees and customers. When differentiating between types of awnings, they are often broken down into two categories based on mobility and purpose or function.
When it comes to mobility, there are three primary types of awnings to consider. The first and most apparent is the stationary awning. As the name implies, these do not move once mounted to your structure. These are often stable and built to withstand constant exposure to the elements. Next are the portable awnings. Canopies and tents are usually found in this category, but some true-to-form awnings can be mounted and unmounted based on seasonal need. Lastly are completely retractable awnings. These units can extend out over your property and retract when heavy weather is imminent. Retractable awnings are either manually operated or fitted with a motorized mechanism to do the heavy lifting for you.
Awnings are also broken down into categories based on their usage or function.
- Outdoor window awnings: Awning windows provide wind protection while also allowing for sufficient ventilation and natural light. These coverings help you to position windows higher up, giving you more room to work.
- Door awnings: An elegant, protected entrance is created by a front door awning, covering your steps and the surrounding area from wear and rot. It also creates an indoor atmosphere that is effectively protected from wind, heat, and rain.
- Patio or deck awnings: An awning for a patio or deck will provide shade, allowing you to save money on electricity. As a result, the temperature inside is more relaxed, and the air conditioner does not need to be turned on full force.
- Retractable veranda awnings: This is a wall-mounted construction with a fixed frame and a retractable awning.
- Canopies: When you mount a free-standing structure, such as a canopy, to a house, it offers shade, lowering your energy costs significantly.
- Vertical awning: This is essentially a retractable and waterproof window blind. It’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
It’s essential to choose suitable materials for outdoor awnings. After all, an awning’s longevity is determined by the parts used. To decide which material to use for, say, front door awnings, you must consider the exact location in terms of sun and wind. Here are some popular choices for awning materials:
- Canvas: Canvas is commonly made of linen or cotton and is not the ideal outdoor awning fabric. Its weak outdoor performance stems from its failure to deal with climatic trends (snow, rain). It is, however, very versatile and can be manufactured in a variety of styles.
- PVC: Although this material is customizable, its low durability is one reason you should think twice before using it for home window awnings.
- Polyester: Because of their UV and mildew resistance, polyester fabric window awnings are ideal for outdoor use. In addition to being highly customizable, this material holds less water than canvas.
- Aluminum: Since metal awnings are rigid, they aren’t commonly used in retractable awning versions. However, if you go for this option, one significant benefit is its longevity. Aluminum is also resistant to UV rays, mildew, and rust.
- Acrylic: Rather than being a primary raw material for a canopy, this is often used as a protective covering for base material. It is also UV-resistant and water-repellent.
It would be best to consider such factors as longevity, UV safety, mildew resistance, and mobility for an awning to become a viable investment that will serve you for years and provide the most comfort possible.
Pay attention to the awning materials’ durability as well as the techniques used to make awnings. Look for fabrics, such as the ones shown in our Sunbrella Fabric Showroom, that offer UV-protection, a mildew-resistant coating, and come with an extended or lifetime warranty. Taking the time to research the right awning for your needs is the key to making this significant financial investment. In the end, you won’t regret that you did.