Customize your home with window awnings

On homes, there are generally two kinds of awnings: those located over windows, and those that shade a patio area. Window awnings make an attractive addition to the exterior details of your home and protect your windows from the elements and your furniture from the sun, while patio awnings can greatly enhance your enjoyment of your outdoor space.

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If you are thinking of installing awnings on your home, you need to decide what you want them to be made of, and how permanent you want them to be.

Canvas vs. Aluminum Awnings

From a design point of view, canvas awnings are superior to aluminum awnings in that they offer more decorative options. While aluminum strips can be colored and even alternated for a basic stripe, canvas is available in a wider variety of colors and patterns, and with more choices of customized trim.

Practically speaking, however, aluminum is by far the hardier of the two materials. Strong canvas will stand up to fading from the sun and the wear and tear of wind, rain and snow, but aluminum with stand up to them better, and for longer. Life span isn't an issue if you want to update your canvas awnings with a new color or design every few years once the old ones start to show their age, but if you want one awning that will really last, then corrosion-protected aluminum is your best choice.

The Flexibility of Retractable Awnings

A retractable awning gives you the ultimate outdoor experience in that it offers you the freedom to use the awning only when you want or need it. Having the choice to extend or retract your awning is ideal if you love to relax outside but live in an area with a lot of variable weather, or if your patio is east- or west-facing, and therefore gets a lot more sunlight at one time of the day than another.

Like retractable screen doors, motorized awnings are more expensive to install than stationary ones, but well worth the investment if you want the flexibility that a retractable awning will bring to your outdoor experience at home.