Tracey Zamora Awning November 08th, 2019 - 10:24:18
Extra square footage. Retractable awnings can be used in a variety of applications and have virtually unlimited uses from ticket booths and ATM kiosks to smoking areas and employee break areas. This provides comfortable exterior spaces without extra construction costs. Tax deductible capital improvement. Municipal incentives. Retractable awnings even fall under many municipal capital improvement programs: cities like Norfolk, Virginia; Austin, Texas; San Jose, Calif.; and Philadelphia, all have small business and downtown development programs which offer incentives on capital improvement projects - and all specifically mention awnings as desirable (and incentivized) options. A municipal program can pay anywhere from 25% to 50% of the cost of the retractable awning.
Consider whether the additional cost for a high end retractable awning is worth the additional quality. The functional distinctions between high and low quality retractable awnings are significant: - Commercial (high quality) awnings have non-prorated frame warranties of 25 years and fabric lifetimes as long as 12-15 years, while residential (budget) lines have frame warranties and fabric lifetimes of five years or less. - Commercial grade retractable awnings come in custom sizes, down to an inch measurement, while many residential lines have only a few standard sizes. - Commercial retractable awnings have hundreds of fabrics available, while budget lines usually have much fewer color and pattern options. Additionally, high quality awnings use a woven fabric called solution-dyed acrylic which resists fading, mildew, and rot, while budget awnings use cheap materials such as canvas (which fades quickly) or vinyl (which absorbs the heat and does not breathe).
European lines have the highest quality, partly because awnings have been used in Europe for thousands of years and are tightly integrated with building design concepts. This long history has led to the best designed and manufactured awnings available: Tight manufacturing standards- Internationalized, rigorous QA testing standards- Certification processes for materials- Durable material quality for frames, fabrics, and threads- Continuously evolving styles, features, and development On the other hand, most budget (residential) retractable awnings tend to be made in China, an area plagued by consistent complaints about poor quality control, poor materials, and poor labor. With budget lines, product quality, sometimes even product materials, varies significantly between lots. - Lower quality materials- Lack of testing or certifications- Limited styles- Inconsistent manufacturing quality.
Retractable awnings were quick to catch on in Europe, from open air markets to apartments and homes. In fact, the classic lateral arm awning is called a California Style Awning in Europe - and a European Style Awning in the US. Now, the retractable awning market is decidedly driven by Europe. Millions of retractable awnings are sold there annually and are found on the majority of homes and businesses, even being considered in the architectural design process. The highest quality manufacturers, most innovative new designs, and emerging trends are coming from European companies. By comparison, the awning market in America has been limited to mainly commercial buildings. Substantially fewer awnings are sold in the United States yearly - less than 50,000 - so the market, according to the Industrial Fabric Association International, is only about 2% saturated. Theres room for a change.
Retractable awnings are getting attention. From green initiatives to historical renovations to downtown retail centers, property owners are hearing that retractable awnings are a terrific, inexpensive method to save money on energy and create a striking exterior feature. The rise in popularity for retractable awnings in the US means that there is a flood of new retractable awning options available, both in new styles and in new companies. Its tempting to look for the best deal alone, but there is such a variance in quality that customers can end up losing much more with short-lived and poor-performing awnings than they save upfront. It is possible to ascertain the quality of a retractable awning in a surprisingly succinct way: find out where it was made.
Other retractable awning features impact how well the awning wears, and, therefore, how easy it is to maintain: Electro-statically powder-coated aluminum frames to resist corrosion and chipping Sealed and self-lubricating retractable awning motors Weather-sealed wind, motion, rain, and sun sensors and other accessories Stainless-steel mounting hardware to prevent staining or bleeding from rust Kevlar® brand straps in the arms, not steel cables which will rust TÜV product approved and Eurolab certified frames These components make the average lifetime of a retractable awning 12-15 years for fabric and 25 years for the frame - almost five times longer than most fixed awnings or canopies, and without the need to professional cleaning or seasonal storage problems. With retractable awnings, the keyword for maintenance is effortless.