Decks and patios are popular gathering places, until annoying rain or the scorching sun shows up. Instead of being driven inside, it’s possible to get more use from your deck or patio by installing a retractable awning. For the average homeowner, a retractable awning is the most common choice, however, you will need to choose from a manual or motorized awning.
For homeowners who want a patio or deck awning, it’s important to understand that ‘retractable’ does not always imply automatic. A retractable awning can be manual, which means the awning must be hand-cranked in order to open or close it, while an automatic awning uses a motor to do the work. Automatic awnings also cost more.
In sudden storms where power outages occur, a motor-only awning will have to stay in place until the power is restored. But, if you have a motorized awning with a manual ability, then you can quickly and easily retract the awning instead of waiting for the electricity to return.
So, if you’re thinking that now, you really should invest in installing an awning, you may be wondering just how you go about installing it – or where. Awning installation is not that complicated (although it should be installed by a professional), nor does it have to be in a perfect location. First of all, a high-quality retractable awning should not need ground supports to hold it up. It’s important that people look for awning models that are made from high grade aluminum rather than steel. Awnings made from high grade airplane aluminum — like the wings on an airplane have flex — steel has less flex and will therefore have a chance to snap quicker.
Also, when trying to choose the perfect place, some retractable awning models can be mounted on the overhang of your home beneath the soffit or even on the roof itself. While the wall hanging method is more common, sometimes homes have obstructions such as light fixtures that require a little creativeness.
Since most awnings need to be pitched downward, they should be mounted at least seven and a half feet high. If you don’t have the height, many awnings can be mounted on the roof using special brackets. With most motored awnings, the motor is encased inside the tube that winds up the awning material, while the supports that hold the awning up (when extended) will fold in on themselves and tuck under the tube. Owning an awning has never been easier or more convenient.