Installing a well-designed awning that complements your home can help protect the house from excessive temperature, allowing you to lower your cooling bills. In addition it helps keep your patio and outdoor furniture looking new by means of keeping the rain and elements away. When you’re relaxing outside, the awning can furthermore protect you from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation while still letting you enjoy some fresh air. In many situations, a well crafted awning can significantly increase the value of your house and make it more appealing if you’re thinking about selling your property now or in the near future.
However, as with any other contractor, the selection of an awning installation contractor is a critical decision. It is the specialist you choose that makes – or breaks – the awning installation project. Finding the right specialist for you will determine the quality and timeliness of the awning project, and the amount of financial and emotional commitment that you’ll have to make.
To make sure you’re getting the best quote and the best work from an awnings provider, here are the five important questions to ask the candidates.
1. Are you awning makers, or awning installers, or both; and what training or certifications do you have?
Consider the using the services of an awning specialist who supplies and professionally installs awnings. A good awning supplier should have extensive experience in providing awnings in your local area, as well as be licensed and bonded, and have trained employees that can install the awning, not subcontractors. Hiring such a company ensures that you won’t have to waste your time and money installing the awning yourself or hiring a handyman. If you have to use the services of a company that subcontracts the installation work, then consider how this will affect the installation costs and project schedule.
2. Would you please itemise your quote for the job?
Like other contractors, most awnings providers prefer to give a single, bottom-line price for a job. But this typically puts you in the dark regarding what they are charging for each aspect of the project.
For example, if the original plan was to have a retractable motorised awning with sun and wind sensors, but you decide not to install it and instead choose a manual retractable awning, how much should you be credited for foregoing these advanced features? With a single bottom-line price, there’s no way to know.
So request an itemised quotation including your entire requirement, evaluate the awning supplies and components to use, and gather a variety of quotations from specialists in your local area. Be sure to ask exactly what’s included in the installation cost, as well as into about the awning material, and all details of exactly what they’ll be doing for you.
If you get an itemised quotation, it will show the costs for all of the various elements of the job, including:
– Awning prices (for different styles such as retractable, motorised, stationary or customised awnings)
– Framing and finish carpentry
– Design (if it’s a customized awning)
– Electrical work
– Lighting fixtures
– Shutters, retractable screens and sliding or bi-fold windows and doors
– Plumbing, drywall and painting (if required)
That will enable you to compare different providers’ prices. If you’re looking to cut the project costs, you’ll find it easy to figure out your options. Also, an itemized quotation can serve as a valuable documentation to eliminate potential disputes later.
3. Do I need approval for my awning project?
An experienced supply and install awning service should be well acquainted with local laws and ordinances relating to awnings installation in your locale. As a result, they should be able to tell you if any permits will be required for the awning installation project. And if so, let you know whether or not the company will be obtaining them on your behalf or they expect you to do that. Make sure that the cost is included in their price quote if they are going to get the necessary permits and council approvals on your behalf.
4. What awning model, size and fabric style is going to be best for my property?
Companies that supply awnings try to provide the functionality, features and colours that will make their product stand out against the competition. Each offers a unique “flavour” of awning installation that’s special in its own right. And interestingly, most of the residential and commercial awning models are wonderful in their own way. The good news is that there’s always something for everyone. But, the bad news is that it’s difficult to cut through the maze and get a reputable awnings specialist with the most reasonable quote. The best question to ask and have answered here is: What style of awning would be most flattering to the architectural style of my home? The secret to figuring this out is finding the right awnings specialist to help. You’ll definitely want someone who is well-recognised, knowledgeable and honest to really help you figure this out. Starting with the leading awning supplier with a long history of serving homeowners well in your local area is the best place to start.
If you’re looking to have your awning custom made, consider choosing a specialist who can provide you with computer design visuals of your house so you can see how different style options in new awnings would look before making that all-important decision among the many options of awning types, sizes, materials, colours, etc.
5. What sort of warranty comes with the awnings?
Awning warranties can vary significantly by supplier. The awning itself might have a warranty (through the manufacturer) on the fabric or parts while the installer may provide some labour warranty of some kind. Pick a specialist who provides a reasonable warranty on their products, and don’t forget to ask your awning installer for more detailed information.