What is an Awning

Everyone loves to spend some quality time outside, in the natural elements – outside the 4 walls of the home. It lets people feel calm, take in some fresh air, and rejuvenate. If you have been looking at ways to enjoy the outside more, you may have considered an awning. If so, the first question we need to address is – what is an awning? 

Egyptians and Syrians were the first to use awnings even before 50 BC. Later, it became more popular in the first half of the 19th century worldwide. Originally, awnings were made of timber and cast iron materials, with sidewalk edges attached to the crossbar.

An awning is a protecting roof-like cover or shelter that helps you avoid the direct impact of the sun’s UV rays, snow, or rain. You can also build a furniture hub under an awning or canopy overlay. 

Both awning and canopy are durable, water-resistant, and made of the same material. Still, there are few differences between them; besides, they do the same role.

What is an Awning?

An awning or overhang is a sheet of material attached to the exterior wall of your home. It is usually overhanging from a porch, patio, or walkway and fixed above a window or door. 

You can find awnings made out of acrylic, cotton, fiberglass, vinyl, aluminum, metal, wood, canvas, polycarbonate, polyester, etc.

They can provide shade and protection from the sun that can be accessed outdoors and indoors, blocking sunlight from entering through windows and thus preventing the fading of artwork and furniture. They can also keep rooms cool indoors.

Awnings are fixed permanently outside of your home. They don’t require any disassembly, though this does reduce flexibility. 

There are two main types of awnings: 

  • Window awnings
  • Retractable awnings

The permanent nature of awnings makes them ideal for storing wet or muddy shoes and bikes rather than a hallway.

Typically, awnings are shorter than canopies, but they vary in length. Therefore, it’s essential to choose the ideal size. An awning or canopy may be better if you want a space to host parties and barbecue stalls.

Depending on the architecture of your home, you can select from a variety of colors, patterns, and styles. As awnings are permanent, it’s advisable to wisely choose what complements your garden’s current style and decor, considering your garden furniture and window dressings.

Awnings are also widely used as a fixture for motor homes and camper vans, offering a relaxed dining area.

What is an awning

Types of Awning:

 Fixed/stationary and retractable awnings are the most common types of awnings available on the market. They're also classified based on the materials made.

 Stationary/Fixed Awnings:

 A mounted sign is one fixed to the exterior wall of a building. Have you ever seen commercial constructions with an overlay on the outdoor entrances that are stationary roofs? 

Though the fixture is stable, heavy snowfall or storm could harm the materials unless installed by an expert. Awnings should be built with metal or aluminum rather than fabric to prevent damage caused by snow, hurricanes, or fallen trees.

Stationary awnings are durable and will last longer, but the maintenance cost will be higher than retractable awnings. After you've fixed the shelter, the awning can't be moved or changed in size. 

Before installing stationary windows, doors, or patio awnings, decide where you want them to be installed. Choosing a permanent roof is best if you wish to shade or protect a specific area. 

Retractable Awnings:

Residential individuals prefer this type of awning as it is one of the most common types. Technology has ruled the operation of retractable roofs by manual, motor, and remote-controlled retraction. 

This type of awning is flexible and customizable and saves space because you can fold it once the purpose gets accomplished. You can rest assured against the damage caused by storms, snowfalls, and fallen trees while installing retractable awnings.

As they can be automatically closed during snow or storm, the damages are minimal. And this becomes an important reason why the maintenance cost is lower than stationary roofs. Retractable awnings come in different styles like concave, slope, waterfall, etc.

Despite the low maintenance costs, the installation and repair costs are pretty high. However, in our opinion retractable awnings are still the best choice for your home. So, choose the best retractable awning and make your oasis protective and attractive

Retractable motorized awnings often include the high-tech sun, wind, and rain sensors that can alert you when you need to put the roof away. Motorized controls can be operated through wall switches or remote, making it easy to store the awning during inclement weather. 

Different Types of Awning Material:

Fabric and metal are the most common materials used in awnings. Cotton, polyester, and canvas fall under fabric awnings. Aluminum and copper fall under metal awnings. 

Types of Fabric Awnings:

  1.  Cotton - This is among the preferred fabric awnings, as it is durable, water-resistant, adaptable, and used in living areas. In addition, cotton awnings are easy to maintain and easy to clean by placing into a washing machine.
  2.  Polyester – This is one of the best awnings for maintenance. A simple wipe over the polyester awnings can keep them clean and protect them for many years. They help in filtering the ultraviolet rays entering from sunlight. Yet, these are budget-friendly, weightless, and mold-resistant.
  3.  Canvas - This material gives your home and decks a natural look. It is a strong material and comes in different colors and designs. Canvas awnings become waterproof and weather-resilient when combined with cotton and synthetic fibers.

Types of Metal Awnings:

  1.  Aluminum - This is a preferred material for built-in fixed and retractable awnings. Aluminum awning holds low-cost maintenance and is durable, heat-resistant, UV-resistant, and adaptable. Besides this, aluminum is always recyclable and robust and keeps mold away.
  2.  Copper - This is a corrosion-resistant, heat-resistant, and UV-resistant material. Copper awnings are preferred by house owners and commercial people who look for high quality, durability, and adaptability.  

Types of Awnings Based on Household purposes:

  1.  Awnings for Doors: This protects the door from the damages caused by sunlight, rainfall, snowfall, and precipitation. The most commonly preferred door for door awning is the front door. An awning on your front door helps to keep the other elements out. Guests can also stay comfortable while waiting for you by installing a roof over the front door.
  2.  Awnings for Windows: A window awning is a roof or overlay mounted over the windows to filter the direct sunbeam into the living room. Many homes, restaurants, and offices have awnings over their windows. These external fixtures act as a mini-roof to prevent excessive sunlight and precipitation from damaging a window.
  3.  Awnings for Decks: Decks are where family gatherings or dinners happen. Both the fabric and metal awnings are preferred as an overlay over the deck. It will be the preferred location at your home to ease the hot on a sunny day. Both metal and fabric awning materials can provide total protection from sun, rain, and snow as an overlay outside your home. Color and style options can be endless with this concept. They cover the entire deck in one piece, and retractable awnings are the best choice. You may want to consider deck awnings with extendable sides, depending on the direction of your deck. 
  4.  Awnings for Patios: The overlay that protects the patio furniture from UV, rain, and snow damage is known as patio awnings. These types of roofs come in various colors and styles. It can be as easy to install as lifting an umbrella or as intricate as assembling a pavilion. Patio awning helps you enjoy the sunny atmosphere without being affected by harmful rays.
What is an Awning. How to Install them

Benefits of Awnings

Awnings are as same as window blinds or shades that can provide shade as well as many cost-saving benefits. They act as the air conditioner outside the living space. The following are the few benefits of adding an awning to your house exteriors:

  • Awnings serve as a shelter during bad weather, as it protects your family and interior house from the sun, rain, and snow.
  • Awnings reduce room temperature as it acts like outdoor air conditioning - Generally, the awning cuts down up to 20 degrees!
  • It protects patio furniture. 
  • It extends the livelihood room space.
  • You can use the awnings for family gatherings, dinners, and social well-being with guests.
  • It adds privacy and value to your house's exterior look.
  • It increases curb appeal.
  • It is easy to handle and has low maintenance.
  • It helps in planting herbs and small garden setups.

The awnings of commercial buildings allow visitors to dry off and avoid tracking dirt, mud, or water into the building. When customized with the business name and logo, an awning can make it easier for customers to locate the company.

How to Install Awnings?

Some types of awnings can be installed without the hassle by ordinary people, but few require professional installers. Few factors affect the ease of installing them DIY (Do It Yourself), which includes

  • Size of the awning
  • Mounting location
  • Technology

The installation process differs for each awning type. Yet, the general steps remain the same, as follows:

  •     Step 1: Measure the location over the deck or door or window or patio where an awning is to be installed
  •     Step 2: Highlight the exact center of the measurement with a "mark"
  •     Step 3: Put the awning up and trace a straight line along the installation line
  •     Step 4: Measure where the wall brackets need to be attached
  •     Step 5: Drill the walls to mount the brackets and screws
  •     Step 6: Use a screwdriver or drill to install the shelves with screws
  •     Step 7: Put the awning against the shelves
  •     Step 8: Secure the awning bar to the brackets 
  •     Step 9: Then extend the awning using the handle

The best installation process is hiring a home-improvement professional who can do everything from carpentry to furniture assembly. 

Awning Maintenance

  • Most awnings feature low-maintenance fabrics or metals. However, blindio suggests giving your awnings a little TLC (Tender Loving Care) annually or bi-annually.
  • The awning hardware can be lubricated once a year. The lubrication is done by spraying silicone onto the hardware.
  • Our advice for maintaining your awning depends on the material you use. 
  • In some cases, you can use a pressure washer on metal awnings. 
  • We don't recommend using a pressure washer if you use an awning made of canvas or fabrics.
  • You may end up replacing quite a few canvas awnings after trying to clean them with a pressure washer.
  • Keep tree limbs, vines, and other vegetation trimmed to avoid staining or damaging the awning. 
  • You should also need to know how to repair an awning, when necessary. Possibility of problems might exist as life moves on. so, you should know few DIY repairing techniques.
  • And when it's time to clean your awning, follow these steps:

○ Brush off all debris

○ Hose it down

○ Create a cleaning mixture with mild soap, such as Woolite or Dawn (not detergent), and water

○ Scrub with a soft bristle brush

○ Wash the awning thoroughly until there is no soap residue

○ Air-dry thoroughly before retracting 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

What is an awning on the house?

An awning is usually an overlay or roof built over the exterior wall of your residential premises. It provides shadow and protection for you against rain, snow, and harmful UV rays from the sun. It also helps protect the deck and the patio that is present outdoors. Awnings are used as a roof over doors, windows, and entrances of commercial buildings. 

What's the difference between a canopy and an awning?

An awning made of fabric is attached to the exterior of the windows or doors. In comparison, the canopy is also a fabric roof that is freestanding, with posts to carry them. Both awnings and canopies deliver the same task by protecting against snow, rain, and storm at the end of the day. 

What is an awnings and how it differ from pergolas? 

An awning can be fixed or movable, but a pergola can be only in a fixed position with beams, columns, and rafters. Awnings are overlaying roofs over the door, window, deck, etc. Pergola is built in open space, but awnings are constructed on the house's exterior wall. 

Why is awning used? 

Awnings protect doors, windows, decks, and patios against snow, rain, sun, and fallen trees. It acts as an outdoor air conditioner by slashing down 20 degrees from the sun. It also increases livelihood rooms and privacy and serves, making them the best place for dinner, family, and guest gatherings. 


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