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Expand Your Home's Living Space With An Awning

» Awnings
» Home Improvement


Overview

Published: 08/21/2012 by Neomi Shrenker

Photos

In the days before air conditioning was common in homes and businesses, window awnings were a popular way to block out the sun and kept the house cooler. This type of awning is still an ideal way to prevent your heating and cooling system from working so hard, but the hottest - and coolest - thing in awnings today is installing a retractable awning over a porch, deck, or patio to expand your outdoor living space and beautify your home.

Awnings give new meaning to the phrase "made in the shade." As pleasant as it is to sit outside on a warm day, you can become too hot sitting in the full sun. Too much time in the sun can also lead to sunburns and puts you at risk of skin cancer from exposure to UV rays.

Permanent, Motorized Or Manual Options

Today's patio awnings are available in several styles. You can have a permanent awning professionally installed; and for people who sometimes enjoy full sun, manual and automatic styles can be opened and closed. This is helpful when bad storms and heavy winds threaten; the awning can be retracted so that it won't be at risk for damage.

Manual, or hand-cranked awnings, are relatively easy to open in minutes and are more affordable. For more ease of use, the automated version includes a motor you activate with a wall switch or remote control. This handy upgrade allows you to operate the awning from inside or out. Some high-end models are even available with wind and sun sensors that allow your retractable awning to respond to the elements. The awnings can be as deep at 18 feet and as wide as 30 feet. To keep out insects, you can also add a screen porch attachment.

Large Selection Of Options

Most of the popular canvas & awnings for residential decks or porches are made by manufacturers such as Caravan, Carefree, Sunbrella, Cyprus, Durasol, Fiamma, Nulmage, and Beauty Mark and use either woven acrylic or laminated canvas. By visiting a local dealer in your area, you will be able to see the large array of color, pattern and material choices. Some dealers offer a set selection of awnings, while others offer customers the ability to create a custom awning that perfectly complements their home's style.

Smart Buying Options

In most cases, the installation of large awnings requires the expertise of a professional. If you're interested in expanding your outdoor living space, look online first to find awnings companies reviews / discounts to find a reputable dealer.

Most awnings come with a manufacturer's warranty to protect against major damage, but they can rip or tear after repeated retraction, wear and tear, or bad weather. You may be able fix small holes and tears with special tape, but for large-scale damage, it is advisable to contact a local awnings repair company.

If you enjoy spending time outside, an awning is a smart way to expand your outdoor living space and protect your family from the sun.