Outdoor awnings can be functional, or just stylish and decorative, or both. Awnings add some pops of colour and soft fabric to your home's exterior, and they also provide shade for a deck and the home's windows, keeping you comfortable while outside and reducing the use of your air conditioning while inside. When you're ready to shop for awnings to be installed on your home's exterior, note a few details you don't want to overlook, so you know you get the best choice for your needs in particular.
Obviously larger awnings that extend over a patio or deck will provide shade overhead, but of course the sun isn't always directly above you! If you live in a very sunny area without many shade trees, you might actually want a deck canopy. This is a type of awning with side pieces that hang from the ceiling piece, to provide shade from sunlight coming through the side of the awning. Even a smaller side piece or canopy can mean a much more comfortable outdoor setting on very hot summer days, and also more protection from wind and light rains, so you can sit outdoors even if the weather is not ideal.
You may think you want a retractable awning so you can move the fabric out of the way as needed, but a frame for a fixed awning can mean a space to hang outdoor plants, a lighting fixture, and even artwork. You can also use the framework to install full shades that might be needed on the warmest of days, or to provide privacy for when your neighbours are also outside on their patio or deck.
When choosing a stationary awning, opt for a thick frame that will hold items hanging from it, so you can create that outdoor oasis you want under your awning. A welded frame will also be the strongest against high winds and heavy storms, so avoid a frame with noticeable connectors and bolts, as this can mean the frame is relatively weak and may easily collapse during its first strong storm.
The binding refers to the seams that hold the sections of fabric of the awning together. This binding can be very pronounced, so choose a thread colour that stands out and provides some contrast to the rest of the fabric. This will ensure the awning material looks its best, and has all the style you expect from the piece.