Ina Page Awning December 02nd, 2019 - 16:37:13
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.
Awnings have been common for more than 2000 years; retractable awnings have been around for almost 150 years. While the history of using awnings stretches far back in Europe and retractable awnings are commonly used there today, theyre rare in the United States - despite the fact that retractable awnings were invented in the US. This uneven adoption has led to an exposure of design options in Europe - intricate frames, new types of retractable frames, bold colors, and luscious patterns - while America, treating awnings as a practical afterthought, has stayed more conservative. A Quick History Some form of awnings has been around for millennia, starting in Egypt and the Middle East and spreading across the Roman Empire. Most of those were fixed canopies of mats, skins, or fabric bolts hung over poles. In the mid-1800s, shop owners began using movable awnings, which simply bunched up the fabric when it was taken down. In the latter part of the century, they began rolling awnings on a tube, cleanly retracting them and keeping the fabric safe. With minor variation, this is the same basic design used today on lateral arm retractable awnings.
Differences in Style The different reasons for retractable awning use in Europe and the US have produced different emphases on style. Because awnings had a stylistic influence in European history which transitioned to efficiency uses, European awning fabrics and designs tend to be more dramatic and flamboyant. For example, European fabric lines average about 400 fabric designs, while American lines average 200. Color choices in Europe tend to be lighter and brighter. American homeowners, approaching retractable awnings as a functional addition to a house, without the stylistic background, tend to be conservative, choosing fabrics in blacks and grays in sedate stripes and staying with more traditional frame styles.
Why is the awning being used? Figure out clearly why that area needs protection and what element you want to control. The requirements for the awning are different for rain protection and sun protection. For example, to use the awning in wet areas, have at least a 3 inch slope, or pitch, to the awning per foot of extension. If an awning extends 12 feet, the pitch should be 36 inches, meaning that the awning must be mounted 3 feet higher than the height at the end of the awning fully extended. Awnings in sunny locations with little can be nearly flat. For other situations, awnings may not be ideal; high, sustained winds can seriously damage awnings, as can the weight from snow, ice, and hail. Accessories like wind or motion sensors can also be used to protect the retractable awning in less than ideal conditions.
Also, retractable awnings have financial benefits over fixed awnings that make them a tempting solution: Retractable awnings are overall less expensive than fixed awnings to install, and they dont require a contractor. Retractable awnings are about a quarter to a third of the cost of permanent construction to cover and utilize the same square footage. Because many styles of retractable awning arms are spring-loaded, there are no support posts to install, to block the view from under the awning, or to act as a potential hazard for children and pets. They require virtually no maintenance, not even mandatory cleaning.Capital Improvement Advantage Retractable awnings have interesting ways of saving a business money: o Direct energy cost savings. Sun protection systems cut heat buildup in a room as much as 77%, translating into a direct utility bill savings of up to 25%. "Dual use" as signage and promotion. Business names, logos, and telephone numbers can be printed on the awning, which saves money on constructing and designing separate signs.
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.