Awnings can be a great way to spruce up the windows or doorways to your home or business. These coverings provide shelter from the rain and add value to your property.
Choosing the right company to install your awning is key to getting the look you want. Of course, companies with a long track record of satisfied customers and quality products should go to the top of your list.
Materials are one of the first things to consider when purchasing an awning. After all, the shade will be exposed to harsh sunlight, hot summers, frigid winters and rain storms. Making correct decisions at the beginning can save you time and money down the road.
Awnings made of quality materials and durable frames have a better chance of lasting for years. It's true that the awning may have to be refurbished in time, but it will likely withstand the best that Mother Nature has to offer for many years.
A cheaper awning may last for only a year or two.
The best awnings will have water-repellant fabric. Popular choices include woven acrylic or laminated fabric. Colors and designs vary according to each company; however, the awning should come with a firm warranty. Consider asking companies for a fabric and color sample.
The product should also have a sturdy, rust-proof frame. It will need to be solid enough to withstand gusts of wind and light enough not to look bulky.
Of course, the entire product should compliment your home or building's architecture. Awnings come in a variety of styles. If a company doesn't have the style you need, look elsewhere.
Also, if you can see examples of awning materials that have been in place for several years, that's the best way to judge their ability to withstand Mother Nature. See for yourself how much it has faded or frayed, and if you're impressed with it, try to get an awning installed by that same company — or at least one using similar materials.
RETRACTABLE OR NOT?
One of the most popular trends in recent years is the retractable awning. You can extend them at your convenience. They can block the sun on a sweltering day. You can also retract the awning in the winter so that snow doesn't collect on the material.
Depending on the models, these awnings can also last longer than fixed versions. Rolling them away when not in use means they stay out of the sun and aren't whipped around as much by the wind.
Retractable awnings require special care and attention. You must wash them regularly and allow them to dry before retracting.
Finally, you need to make sure you are working with a reputable, experienced installer.
Your neighborhood handy person or family member might be able to install your awning, but there is a possibility you will not like the results. It is much better to find someone who has installed awnings for a living - preferably with a good track record. Don't be afraid to ask for references from previous customers. After all, poor installation can ruin the exterior look of your building.
Awnings are a specialized product that require specific knowledge for the best result. The best awning companies will offer in-depth knowledge about their products. They can also inform you how to best care for your awning.
Reputable awning companies provide excellent service before, during and long after the installation, helping you make the most of your investment.