The right home awning can add a lot of charm and comfort to a home. Imagine sitting out on your deck on a sunny day, sipping an iced drink in the shade—that’s the sort of appeal an awning can bring. But going beyond the choice to get an awning, how do you choose the right one for your needs? There are many different options and choices in home awnings and getting the right one for you takes a bit of comparing.
Retractable vs. Stationary
The biggest difference in home awnings is whether or not they are retractable or stationary. As their names imply, retractable awnings can be opened and closed while stationary awnings stay open all the time. Since retractable and stationary awnings both end up costing about the same amount, you need to look deeper than the price to find your best home awning option. Like any exterior home project, both options have pros and cons.
- Can be left partially open to provide a chosen amount of shade.
- Last longer – usually about 15 years.
- Less versatile in look – retractable awnings are far harder to get in a customizable shape.
- Cover smaller areas
- Despite general equality in price, retractable awnings can get very expensive if you want fancier features.
- Can cover a larger area so it’s great for larger spaces
- Typically a stronger frame, so it is better able to withstand inclement weather when extended.
- Not as long-lasting – stationary awnings tend to mildew and fade because they are constantly exposed.
- Since they can’t be retracted, they also stop sunlight from reaching your home on cold days.
Once you’ve decided on retractable or stationary, you’ll need to decide the style you are looking for in your home awning. There are lots of different shapes to choose from. The most traditional is just a sloped awning with closed sides. The sides can also be open, and different shapes. Though there are some practical differences to awning styles, the biggest is just what look you like the best for your outdoor space. So if you want an awning with a rounded top, look into that! If you want a domed awning, that can be done too.
Which material is best for your needs?
Traditional awnings were made of canvas and wood. You can choose to go this route for the look, but there are other options that are longer lasting. Home awnings have moved to more durable and lasting materials. The most common are acrylic, vinyl, and fiberglass.
- Acrylic lasts much longer than the more traditional canvas and repels water well. They also tend to come in lots of different colors and style options.
- Vinyl is often used to coat other fabrics on home awnings—typically polyester. This makes the awning heavier which is something you would need to plan for.
- Fiberglass is a sturdy option. It is also lighter than using metal, which can be done as well. Fiberglass tends to be a less expensive option but requires a lot of maintenance and has a shorter lifespan.
Installing your home awning
The last thing you need to do is install the home awning of your choice. If you are the DIY type, this may be a project you wish to handle on your own. For homeowners who don’t have either the time or expertise for DIY, hiring an expert is your best option. High Tech Pacific Builders has the experience and know-how with installing and choosing home awnings and we’d be happy to help you achieve your goals.