So you’ve finally decided to enhance the look of your patio this year with an outdoor awning? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Decorative and practical, home awnings will dramatically embellish your outdoor space, making it functional and enjoyable year round by providing shade, outdoor entertaining and a cozy dining area no matter what the weather holds.
There are many factors to take into consideration when purchasing an awning, and with so many different options on the market, how do you decide which awning is best suited for your home and your backyard? Here are 7 points to consider before deciding.
1. Location of Your Terrace
While it may not seem essential, the climate you live in and the direction of your property are factors we oftentimes overlook - but they can have a big impact on your choice of awning. If you live in a rainy or windy area, fixed retractable awnings are a great choice: they are better equipped to tackle and protect your patio from harsh winds and unfavorable weather conditions, thanks to its sturdy aluminum structures and wind-blocking capabilities.
North and north-east facing patios get the most direct sunlight throughout the day, so shielding your property with window awnings is a great way to control the heat and prevent direct sunlight from entering your home.
Since you won’t get much sunlight for a south or east-facing patio, you can go for a smaller retractable awning with less coverage or with softer fabrics so as not to block the sunlight.
2. Your Personal Style
When choosing an outdoor awning, consider the architectural design and style of your home. With a wide range of available awning styles, canvas fabrics and colors to match the overall look of your home, you can find an outdoor awning that will extend and complement the look of your interior design.
Do you have a more traditional style? Or do you prefer a more sleek, clean and modern design? Certain awning structures will look best with specific architectural home designs. Do you want your awning to serve as a focal point or do you want it to blend with the rest of your home’s facade? These are all questions to consider when making your decision.
If you like spending time outdoors during the evening, look for models whose structure can easily accommodate lanterns and electric lighting systems.
3. Mounting Structures
Some awnings can be attached to an exterior wall, exposed rafters or to the roof. Larger awnings will need stronger mounts and frameworks to support the fabric weight and structure.
No matter where you install your new awning, whether it’s over a window or an entryway, you need to ensure your walls are solid enough to withstand its weight and that mounts can be properly anchored to keep the awning in place. Keep in mind that when it is extended, the awning can exert some additional pressure and weight on the wall. Moreover, consider the height of your wall and projection: is it tall enough for an awning? And how far do you want it to extend from the wall?
4. Awning Features
The type of awning you choose is also a very important point to consider. Are you looking for a retractable, freestanding or stationary awning? While each has its own advantages, retractable awnings remain the most popular among homeowners and are especially convenient for patios or decks. Thanks to their versatility, they allow you to adjust the amount of shade or sunlight with the use of motorized controls.
Freestanding awnings are also commonly used for patios, decks or terraces. They effectively segment a space, which is great if you would like to designate a separate area for the BBQ for example.
The most commonly used material is aluminum. Durable and weather resistant, it can remain in place during the winter months (unless it is a “3 seasons").
Steel models are strong, but subject to corrosion, so they must be dismantled and stored for the winter.
Other features to consider are the awning material and roofing options (aluminum roof vs. waterproof and non-fading fabric)
5. Size of Your Terrace
If you have a small patio or deck, take into account the available space and outdoor furniture you want to shelter. If you’re looking to create an open-air setting without clustering your outdoor space, a retractable wall pergola or a suspend-able awning are both great choices. The rear mounting can be mounted on the wall or ceiling with frontal fixation poles to keep the structure firmly anchored.
The Pergolina is also a good option if you have a small patio area or aren’t outside for extended periods of time. With a Pergolina, you can determine ahead of time which patio area needs the most protection and mount it accordingly.
If you have a spacious terrace, consider the Fixed Retractable Awning: its sturdy, slanted construction, as well as its motorized roof provides more coverage than other retractable awning options.
Larger backyards and decks provide more leeway and enable you to combine a few different awning options throughout your patio, such as window awnings, perhaps a stationary pergola around the dining table and a retractable awning around the pool area. The options are endless!
6. Added Privacy and Customization
Some people enjoy the benefit of having curtains or side panels for added privacy, intimacy and customization (for a front porch for example), which changes the architectural feel and look of the awning. These panels can also be good for providing coverage from a different direction if more shade or protection is needed.
If you live in a rural area where lots of bugs and mosquitoes surface during the summertime, you may want to consider choosing a pergola or awning that provides optional mesh curtains for protection against unwanted guests.
Some smaller, more budget-friendly awning options like gazebos and parasols are great for seasonal use, they are not designed to withstand heavy rains, high winds or snow and do require to be unmounted during cooler months and reinstalled when warmer weather sets in.
If you’re looking for a hassle-free, weather-proof option that will withstand unfavorable weather conditions year-round, then a Fixed retractable awning is an indisputable option. Adjustable with a motorized control, you can simply retract it whenever it’s not in use or when bad weather sets in. The best part? You don’t have to worry about seasonal maintenance or storage: the roof can automatically retract under a rigid aluminum cover hood.
Before you purchase your next awning, consider the aforementioned points to ensure you get the awning that is best suited for your needs. But no matter what awning you opt for, you can rest assured that they will extend and enhance your outdoor experience, and extend the lifespan of your outdoor living space and protect you from unfavorable weather conditions.