While awnings manufactured for commercial buildings have the primary purpose of advertising the business to passersby, awnings designed for residential use offer a host of advantages, especially when compared to other window treatments. The right awnings will go a long way in meeting your specific needs, but you need to establish these needs first to know which structures will be best for your house. If you are buying awnings for the first time, here are three factors to keep in mind.
As mentioned above, your first step towards selecting the right awnings for your property is determining why you want to install these structures in the first place. For instance, if you find that the orientation of your home means having to be fully reliant on your air conditioning due to direct sun exposure in the summer, you may want to consider awnings that will help with enhancing energy efficiency by blocking out the radiant heat. Alternately, if you want to create a shelter that will protect you while you spend time outdoors, you may want to consider a large awning that will offer more shade than a window awning.
Once you have decided how you will primarily use the awnings, you then have to determine how you would prefer to operate them. Awnings can be operated in two main ways, either by mortised operation or manually. If you have chosen a retractable awning for your outdoor shelter needs, you may want to consider the motorised variety since this makes it easier for you to retract the awning when it's not in use or during extreme weather conditions. However, motorized awnings are more expensive than their manually operated counterparts are. Thus, if your budget is not flexible but you are keen on installing awnings on your property, you may find that the manually operated solutions are a better fit for your budget.
A major reason why awnings are highly versatile is that they are available in a range of materials. However, your choice of material will be based on your applications as well as how much maintenance you are willing to do. Vinyl is a popular awning material since it is waterproof and lightweight, and some varieties are fire retardant as well. Acrylic fabric is an ideal option if you want your awnings to look like they are made from a soft fabric such as cotton, but this material is vulnerable to mould if not cleaned routinely. Lastly, if your house has more of an industrial feel, aluminium awnings may be a suitable solution for your property.