Sunday, June 8, 2008

Retractable Patio Awnings

Patio awnings are a cost efficient way to both beautify your home and save on energy costs. Not only that, they expand your living space by allowing you to spend more time outside protected from the sun by the patio awning cover.

What are some of the considerations when installing a patio awning? First, do you want a fixed awning, or a retractable patio awning? Fixed options can be something like an aluminum patio awning, or maybe even a metal patio awning. These involve more work, and may require a building permit. Do you want to get involved in pouring concrete for posts and carpentry work to make the awning strong? Another option is a wood patio awning, which is more attractive. There is obviously more planning and work involved in building a patio awning.

Searching the internet can give you some good tips on how to build a patio awning. However, there is a cost effective alternative. A retractable patio awning can be installed with less time and effort, yet provide the same benefits as a fixed awning. New designs have recently been introduced which offer various types of patio awnings.

These designs come in a variety of colors and sizes. No doubt any manufacturer can now provide you with a color that either compliments or matches your homes current design.

Patio covers like this provide much needed shade during the hottest months of the year, June, July and August. Retractable patio awnings are much better than just a patio umbrella, because that shade coverage is so much greater. Plus you won’t have to constantly move your patio furniture around just to stay in the shade.

Today’s awnings can be made from a variety of materials. The best choice is usually a canvas patio awning. This is because canvas is much more durable than other materials, and can stand up to the constant changes in the weather. Canvas is also stronger than other materials, so it won’t be affected by a little wind.

Patio awnings can also save you some money on your energy bill. How? By blocking intense sunlight that would usually beat against your home, or penetrate sliding doors that usually are at rear exits of most homes. When the weather cools down, a retractable patio awning can be pulled in, to let the sunlight back.

Who are the major players in the patio awning market? Sunsetter patio awnings are probably the most recognized brand name in the current market. Based in Malden, Massachusetts, Sun setter offers custom patio awnings for any home. Sunsetters come in a variety of sizes and applications, such as motorized retractable awnings or models that use a hand-crank. They also offer a free DVD or VHS tape on their lineup of retractable awnings, and a $200 coupon that can be applied to any purchase.

Other major manufacturers include Durasol Awnings, Sunair Awnings and Solar Screens, and Sunesta. Sunesta offers several sub-models including Sunlight, Sunflair, Sundrop, and Sunbrero. A few minutes of research can give you a good idea on prices, colors, and availability.

Another option that should not be overlooked is in your own local market. Warehouse clubs like Sam's Club, Costco and BJ’s wholesale may have different types of awnings available, especially in the springtime. While there may not be much of a selection, the price may be much lower than a custom internet ordered awning. Also check Wal-Mart, Sears, and Target. While large awnings may not be available here, these stores may have smaller awnings available.

Commercial patio awnings are also available from most manufacturers. Because commercial locations are usually larger and may require custom colors, manufacturers are more than willing to put their best foot forward in order to win over a customer requiring something like a restaurant patio awning. Obviously it means a bigger payday for the manufacturer as well, so they are more than willing to cater to this segment of the patio awning market.

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