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Virginia Wyatt Awning November 08th, 2019 - 08:03:58
There are dozens of styles of retractable awnings, determined mainly by the frame shape: Lateral arm awning - the most common, and oldest, retractable awning style, consisting simply of two or more arms, the front bar, mounting bar and the fabric. This is the most popular style for homes and commercial buildings; this is also the most scalable style, extending (projecting) as far as 17 feet without external supports. Dome - an awning with curved ribs, which forms a rounded shape when fully extended; these tend to have a significantly shorter extension (projection) than lateral arm awnings, extending only about five feet out maximum from the mount point. An elongated dome can have a longer projection than a standard dome style, almost double. Dome awnings are common for commercial properties and for window and door awnings. Drop screen - a kind of retractable awning which is mounted vertically so it extends downward. This style of awning has the mounting bar and fabric, but no arms since it simply "drops" down. This is mainly used to screen patios, gazebos, and other outdoor areas from glare, heat, rain, UV rays, direct sun, mosquitoes, and pollen.
Arms - the part of the frame which folds closed at the elbow when the awning is retracted (rolls in) and opens when the awning is extended (rolls out). Shoulder - the joints on the retractable awning arms where arms attach to the mounting bar. Front bar - the extrusion at the very front of the awning frame. Hood - a cover which fits over the retractable awning frame and fabric; when the awning is fully retracted, the hood protects the exposed fabric, frame, and motor from the elements. Valance - a strip of fabric, usually a few inches high, which hangs from the front bar of the retractable awning. Rib - the cross bars of the frame which support the awning fabric. Not every awning style has ribs, since ribs are often used to create a shape to the awning frame; for example, lateral arm retractable awnings dont have any ribs. Canopy - an elongated, dome, or waterfall style retractable awning.
The urge to create something new and eye-catching on the blank slate of a home is powerful. As is the urge to save some money and maximize ones efforts. Whether its a change to landscaping, a roof garden, or a casual seating area for customers, retractable awnings or drop screens are an ideal project for do-it-yourselfers because they make a very dramatic difference with relatively little effort. The Planning Stage A major part of installing a retractable awning is finding the perfect place to install it. Retractable awnings are much easier to install than fixed awnings or canopies because they are only mounted on a wall - no need to dig post holes or put in a foundation or grounding - so they can be installed over existing pavements, patios, decks, hot tubs, and gazebos, as well as doors and windows. Retractable awnings are suited to any location where sun, glare, UV rays, or light rain protection is required.
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.
Installation in a Few Easy Steps The general installation process for both traditional retractable awnings and drop screens is pretty simple: attach the correct number of mounting brackets using the appropriate fixing and insert the torsion (square) bar. The simplicity of installing awnings is what makes them ideal for do-it-yourself weekend projects. The exact installation steps, naturally, vary depending on the awning being installed (so always read the manufacturers specific instructions!), but these are the general processes. For a drop screen:1. Assemble the screen itself, putting together the roller (called the headerbox), similar to an old-fashioned shade.2. Install the mounting brackets at the top and around the door frame or the beam of the gazebo or porch.3. Snap in the headerbox, making sure that the bottom rail of the screen is toward the inside of the room.4. If there are vertical side guides, measure and cut them according to the height of the opening, and then screw them in place and snap them in position with the headerbox. If there are guide wires, screw the bottom brackets into place, and attach the wires to the cassette. Be sure everything is level and plumb.
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).