Retractable awnings are a great way to enhance your outdoor living space, providing shade, comfort, and style. They can also help you save energy, protect your furniture, and increase your home’s value. But with so many types, styles, and features of retractable awnings available, how do you choose the best one for your home? Here are some factors to consider before you buy a retractable awning.
Size and Shape
The first thing you need to consider is the size and shape of the area you want to cover with your retractable awning. You should measure the width and projection of your desired awning, as well as the height and clearance of the installation site. You should also take into account the angle and direction of the sun, the wind, and the rain in your location, and how they affect your shading needs. You can choose from various sizes and shapes of retractable awnings, such as rectangular, square, triangular, or curved, depending on your preference and space.
Type and Mechanism
The next thing you need to consider is the type and mechanism of your retractable awning. There are two main types of retractable awnings: lateral arm and side or drop arm. Lateral arm awnings are the most common and popular type, as they extend horizontally from the wall using folded arms. Side or drop arm awnings are more suitable for windows and porches, as they extend vertically from the wall using angled arms. You can also choose between manual and motorized mechanisms for your retractable awning. Manual awnings are operated by a hand crank or a rope, while motorized awnings are operated by a remote control, a wall switch, or a sensor. Motorized awnings are more convenient and easy to use, but they are also more expensive and require electricity.
Fabric and Frame
The third thing you need to consider is the fabric and frame of your retractable awning. The fabric is the most visible and important part of your awning, as it determines the color, pattern, and quality of your shade. You should choose a fabric that is UV-resistant, fade-resistant, water-resistant, and mold-resistant, as well as durable and easy to clean. Some of the most common fabrics for retractable awnings are polyester, acrylic, and vinyl. The frame is the structure that supports your awning, and it should be strong, lightweight, and corrosion-resistant. Some of the most common materials for retractable awning frames are aluminum, steel, and fiberglass.
Features and Accessories
The last thing you need to consider is the features and accessories of your retractable awning. There are many features and accessories that can enhance the functionality and appearance of your awning, such as:
- Cassette or hood: A cassette or hood is a protective cover that encloses your awning when it is retracted, preventing dust, dirt, and moisture from damaging it. A cassette or hood can also improve the aesthetics of your awning, as it hides the mechanism and creates a sleek look.
- Valance: A valance is a decorative strip of fabric that hangs from the front edge of your awning, adding some flair and style to your shade. A valance can also provide some extra protection from the sun, especially when it is low in the sky.
- Lights: Lights are a great way to illuminate your outdoor space at night, creating a cozy and romantic ambiance. You can choose from various types of lights for your retractable awning, such as LED strips, spotlights, or lanterns, depending on your preference and mood.
- Sensors: Sensors are a smart feature that can automatically extend or retract your awning based on the weather conditions, such as the sun, the wind, or the rain. Sensors can help you save energy, protect your awning, and optimize your comfort and convenience.
Choosing the best retractable awnings for your home can be a challenging task, but it can also be a rewarding one. By considering the size, shape, type, mechanism, fabric, frame, features, and accessories of your retractable awning, you can find the perfect one for your needs and preferences. If you are interested in installing retractable awnings for your home, call Superior Awning today. We can help you design, install, and maintain your retractable awnings, and provide you with a free quote and consultation.