With their flexibility and ability to increase your livable outdoor space, a retractable awning makes a valuable addition to any home. However, even with these obvious benefits, you may still have questions you need answered before committing to this new home feature. We’ve outlined a few key facts and frequently asked questions below to provide you with the information you need.
Available Types of Awnings
Awnings are an extension of your home that use fabric to provide the shade and comfort of a roof with fewer costs and greater convenience. Awnings come in many sizes, colors, fabric options, and even shapes. From a simple canopy to a high-tech retractable awning, the options are endless.
Believe it or not, a simple umbrella can qualify as an awning—but when you imagine an awning, you’re most likely picturing a traditional fixed awning that is wall-mounted and can provide constant shelter against the sun. While traditional awnings come in stationary and retractable options, in this post we’ll be discussing retractable awnings, which give you the protection of a traditional, fixed awning with the ability to fold it back against your home whenever you choose.
Retractable awnings come in both standard and custom sizes, and most brands provide motorized and manual options for retraction. While motorized retractable awnings represent more of an investment than their manual counterparts, their sensors and remote controls offer additional convenience and ease of use.
Identifying the Ideal Awning Placement for Your Home
Wondering which area of your home an awning would work best on? First, you’ll need to find a spot with a sturdy, flat surface that is ideally suited for a table, chairs, or other seating options so you can comfortably use your awning. You’ll also want to ensure you’re putting it in a sunny area you would like to be frequently shaded and one that is airy and not prone to mold and mildew. Size-wise, it’s important to make sure your awning is 120 inches above the ground with a space of about 10 square feet.
Awning Tips, Tricks, and FAQs
Can side panels be added to retractable awnings?
Yes! Side panels can provide further protection from sun and wind, making them a great addition to your outdoor space. This extra protection can even help to lower your air conditioning bill. Plus, because side panels come in a wide range of color and fabric choices, you’re sure to find an option that beautifully complements the exterior of your home.
What seasons are my awning best suited for?
Awnings aren’t just for the height of summer. The best seasons to use your awning depend on where your home is located, but here in New Jersey, the months between late spring and early fall are perfect for awning use.
Does my awning stay on my home during the winter?
The key is to make sure your awning is retracted before any snow and ice start forming. Icy conditions risk the fabric’s integrity, which may mean you have to replace the material. That said, dirt and debris can accumulate on your home awning throughout the spring and summer, so it might be a good idea to rinse your awning before retracting it for the winter—or have our experts take it down and stow it away for you.
What do I need to do to maintain my awning?
Awnings made from fabric or acrylic are relatively easy to maintain and require minimal care a few times per year. Taking simple steps like brushing off leaves, twigs, or dirt that have collected on your awning during spring, summer, and early fall will help keep your awning looking beautiful. If you have a fabric awning that has been stained by dirt or grime, gently spray it with water from a hose or clean it with a few drops of mild soap like Dawn mixed with warm water. Just dip a brush into the mixture and gently brush the dirty areas with a soft-bristled brush, then use a hose on a low setting to rinse away dirt and stains.
Do I need to hire a professional awning installer?
While trying to DIY your awning installation might be tempting, having a professional installer set up your awning will ensure you enjoy this feature for years to come. Hiring a professional prevents a variety of problems down the road, including misalignment and any setup issues involving motors in retractable awnings. It also ensures your awning is level and works properly when fully extended.
Find Out Which Awning Solution Is Right for Your Home
If you still have questions about retractable awnings, our knowledgeable specialists are ready to help! Get answers to your questions by scheduling your free in-home consultation today through our contact form, or by visiting one of our two showrooms.