Nellie Hensley Awning December 02nd, 2019 - 12:16:19
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.
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.
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 offer a slew of advantages over fixed awnings, from easy installation to longer lifetimes. As the name indicates, retractable awnings retract, folding to help control the placement of the shade or to protect the awning. Because of their durability, retractable awnings can be long-term fixtures on the exterior of a home or commercial building, providing better outdoor living and working spaces; offering, sun, heat, glare and ultraviolet ray (UV) protection; and enhancing exterior appeal. Finding Purpose: Uses for Retractable Awnings Retractable awnings are most commonly used for element protection. Over 70% of awnings are purchased specifically to provide shade. This shade is primarily for comfort, to cut down on the brightness of the sun, cool off outdoor ambient temperatures, and make entrances more welcoming, but there are other benefits as well:
UV rays, high wind, gusts, and rain - basically, normal weather - cause the most damage to awnings. Fading, molding, and tearing fabric. Twisting fixed frames from high wind damage or the weight of snow or pooling rain. In only two or three years, fixed awnings and canopies already show substantial wear, which is why the lifetime of most fixed awnings and canopies is only five or six years before the awning need to be replaced. Retractable awnings are closed when not in use, which cuts weather damage. That makes the maintenance much easier on retractable awnings compared to permanent awnings and canopies - there is no need to hunt down replacement parts, replace fabric every couple of years, or attempt to wrangle awnings down and into storage for winter.
Bettering the Customer Experience Retractable awnings can create a more pleasant outdoor experience. This has subtle but tangible effects on customers. The area around entrances is cooler and shaded, protected from rain, and generally more pleasant to be in. The primary function of a better customer experience is better foot traffic. The stylishness of the awning makes customers want to browse, and the glare, heat, and rain protection makes it more comfortable for them to do so. The sun protection has a dual utility, though. The UV protection (since suns rays never reach the interior) preserves window displays and interior furnishings and prevents fading. Even the inside of the store is more appealing for customers, and the heavy investment in signs and merchandise is protected from passive sun damage.