Awnings create a safe, warm and inviting sheltered outdoor area that’s not only attractive, but also offers adequate shade and UV and sun protection as well as protection from torrential downpours and frigid temperatures. Your adjoining rooms or internal dining areas also benefit, as awnings keep the indoor spaces cool, reduce the sun glare and prevent furniture and furnishings from fading whilst helping to maintain the view and airflow across the entire facade.
But, you can only enjoy these benefits when you get it right. This means finding an awning that complements your storefront or home and also one that functions superbly well. How do you go about this?
Useful Tips for Finding an Outdoor Awning Right for Your Space
When looking to install an awning, you need to consider a number of important factors in order to find the right shade structure for your space. These include:
Reputation of the Supplier
Start by choosing a well-known, reputable awnings supplier who has extensive experience in the specific type of awning, which you might be looking for. Such a company is likely to have experts with the extensive knowledge and skills required to properly install awnings. If you’re looking to have a custom awning built, you can save yourself the stress by finding a full-service company that acts as a “one-stop shop” for awnings and can undertake all stages of the project, including graphic design, fabrication and installation. They can help you design an awning right for your outdoor space, streamline your project and save you a lot of stress, time, and extra hassle so you can focus on other more important things in your life.
Apart from looking good, it’s critical for your residential or commercial awning to be structurally sound. This typically means choosing the right awning and framing materials, structural design and installation techniques. To ensure the long life of your awning, you must choose the most durable materials. Modern awning fabrics – most commonly polyesters, cottons and acrylics – that have been reinforced with coatings and laminates offer better resistance to abrasion than ever before, and will typically last many years when properly cared for. Choose awnings with powder coated steel or aluminium framing to enjoy corrosion-resistant and long-life operation.
Choose an awning that has a great design and colour to boost curb appeal and get the attention of potential customers or buyers (should you decide to sell your property). A cleverly chosen awning that matches your outdoor furniture and decor will also allow you to express your personal style in the same way as does the interior furnishings. Since your front patio is the first thing people will see when they approach your home or business, it needs to be inviting, and invoke your brand or personal style. So don’t just set up an ordinary looking awning with some generic colour and call it a day. Choose an exciting colour scheme that also runs inside your property.
Theme and Style
The type, design and the woven texture of the awning material should complement your home and landscape. Whether or not you want your awning to blend with your home’s facade or become a colourful focal point, the fabric and overall design should complement the architectural style of your property. If you’re looking to install a printed awning for advertising purposes, be sure to pick a shape and style that will allow the brand elements, such as colours and logo, to be more visible. For example, a waterfall-shaped awnings typically display the printing much better than A-frame style awnings. You would also want to consider adding a printed valance on to your awning to boost the branding visibility. Valances come in a wide array of edge shapes, such as scalloped, straight, and even customised shapes. As a result, you can always find an awning to complement your home or business premises.
Besides finding the appropriate awning fabric, colour and style, you need to keep in mind the type of hardware and mode of operation, such as retractable, stationary, or free standing, when choosing awnings. Retractable awnings allow you to provide a protected living area when necessary and an open relaxing space when feasible. They are offered in a multitude of styles, colour patterns and sizes, ranging from those simple window awnings typically found in many homes and buildings to large awnings for lawns, decks and poolside. Some of the simpler retractable awnings utilize a spring-loaded arm to support the awning as it unrolls, but others are much bigger and feature a multiplex, permanently-standing supporting structure. Many brands offer remote controlled or automatic, sensor-controlled operation (retraction and extension).
Many commercial and domestic awnings are stationary structures that don’t retract. These awnings work particularly well when used as brand promoters, as they are great at providing comfort and safety as well as saving energy. Other options for awnings include illumination awning atyles and exclusively designed shapes and styles, such as customised curved awnings that are specially shaped to match curved building fronts. Many suppliers will custom design the awning’s truss to meet your specifications and requirements.
The sun moves into different positions during the day and this impacts outdoor spaces and the functionality of outdoor awnings, including retractable awnings. This means when choosing the style and size of your awning, you have to take into account the movement of the sun as it rises in the east and makes its way westward across the sky in relation to specific location of your property. For example, it doesn’t matter what style of awning you have if your outdoor space faces directly west at 5:00-7:00 PM in the summer. You’ll get little or no shade. Here, you may need to extend the size of the projection of the awning or use some solar screens to achieve a shaded area.
Choose only high quality awnings that are reasonably priced. Avoid those suppliers who may pressure you to buy something that’s beyond what you can easily afford. A good company should offer you plenty of useful and creative suggestions that are within your budget.