11 Steps to Picking the Perfect Retractable Awning for Your Home
Purchasing a retractable awning is not one of those things where you happen to walk by one in the store and think, “I’m just going to grab one of these things.” Some serious thought and consideration should go into it as retractable awnings are typically expensive and not the easiest to install.
We have come up with 11 steps for picking the perfect retractable awning for your home, based on your needs and wants:
1. Choosing the Right Location
This might seem a bit redundant, especially if you already have a deck and a retractable awning’s placement really seems like a no-brainer. However, we’re talking specifics here, as in where you are going to mount it in relation to your deck.
Do you want it directly over the back door section? Do you want it off to the side, so the retractable awnings covers the deck chairs and tables instead?
2.Certified Residential Retractable Awnings
A premium awning that is certified to withstand the elements is key. There’s no reason for spending a lot of money just for the first snowfall to come along and crush it. We’re talking wind, environmental, load-bearing, coating, and wind resistance qualities.
Choosing certified means that you know what you are getting, especially as it pertains to the weather conditions frequent in your area.
3.Choosing a Material
There are a few materials to choose from in a retractable awning, some of which may withstand certain circumstances more than others, such as mildew, mold, and local weather conditions. Retractable awnings typically come in acrylic, vinyl, and canvas material options.
4.Choosing a Color
Color definitely matters, especially if you want an awning to provide you with a nice, cool place to sit during the summer. Blacks and dark colors absorb the sunlight, while white, beige, and light tan-colored materials reflect sunlight.
If your yard is already shady, then darker colors may be just the thing for you. If your back lawn is basically the Sahara Desert, you should definitely consider lighter colors or even white.
5.DIY or Professional Installation
The two elements that you have to strongly consider here are cost and know-how. If you know what you are doing and you have the tools and capability to install your own retractable awning, then you can save a lot of money.
Professional installation is the other option, but it can set you back an average of $850 for a decent-sized awning and a couple of thousand dollars for a mechanized retractable awning.
6.Mechanized or Manual
There’s a big money difference here as well. It’s mostly a matter of pure convenience. If you like the idea of not having to lift a finger to raise some shade in your yard, by all means, go for the mechanized variation. However, if an awning with a motor is a bit on the expensive side, then manual it is.
Remember when we mentioned getting a certified residential retractable awning? Well, that doesn’t mean that you are completely limited on brand choice. You should price shop. You’d also be surprised at how much money you might save by price comparing during the off-season/
The size of your retractable awning is probably the most important part of the process. It’s important not to under or overestimate the size before you make your purchase.
That means you should get outside and measure everything, so you know how much space the retractable awning is going to fill up and you have an idea of how much shade it will provide as the sun moves across the sky.
9. Smart Home Options
This may seem a little out of place but if you have a smart home or are planning on designing one, motorized awnings are right up your alley. If you can’t find a smart awning, you can turn it into one. It’s worth considering as smart home popularity is currently soaring.
10. Fade and Stain Resistance
You obviously can’t observe an awning brand over time to see if it fades or easily stains unless your neighbor has a specific model that you want. Pay attention to long-term reviews and ignore reviews from customers that are only a few weeks old or a month old, at least in terms of fading and staining.
11. Additional Options
A retractable awning doesn’t have to be the end all be all. You can certainly take it a whole lot further once it’s been installed. There’s always LED lighting, patio decor, weather sensors, solar panels, remote control, smart features, weather add-ons, and more. Part of the choice is using your imagination to see where it will lead.
There you have it. Those are the 11 steps to picking the perfect retractable awning for your home. It may seem a little excessive but hey, this isn’t a cheap project so if you want to get the best, you want to do it right.