Sonya Awning April 29th, 2018 - 11:00:06
Retractable awnings were quick to catch on in Europe, from open air markets to apartments and homes. In fact, the classic lateral arm awning is called a California Style Awning in Europe - and a European Style Awning in the US. Now, the retractable awning market is decidedly driven by Europe. Millions of retractable awnings are sold there annually and are found on the majority of homes and businesses, even being considered in the architectural design process. The highest quality manufacturers, most innovative new designs, and emerging trends are coming from European companies. By comparison, the awning market in America has been limited to mainly commercial buildings. Substantially fewer awnings are sold in the United States yearly - less than 50,000 - so the market, according to the Industrial Fabric Association International, is only about 2% saturated. Theres room for a change.
Differences in Style The different reasons for retractable awning use in Europe and the US have produced different emphases on style. Because awnings had a stylistic influence in European history which transitioned to efficiency uses, European awning fabrics and designs tend to be more dramatic and flamboyant. For example, European fabric lines average about 400 fabric designs, while American lines average 200. Color choices in Europe tend to be lighter and brighter. American homeowners, approaching retractable awnings as a functional addition to a house, without the stylistic background, tend to be conservative, choosing fabrics in blacks and grays in sedate stripes and staying with more traditional frame styles.
There are dozens of styles of retractable awnings, determined mainly by the frame shape: Lateral arm awning - the most common, and oldest, retractable awning style, consisting simply of two or more arms, the front bar, mounting bar and the fabric. This is the most popular style for homes and commercial buildings; this is also the most scalable style, extending (projecting) as far as 17 feet without external supports. Dome - an awning with curved ribs, which forms a rounded shape when fully extended; these tend to have a significantly shorter extension (projection) than lateral arm awnings, extending only about five feet out maximum from the mount point. An elongated dome can have a longer projection than a standard dome style, almost double. Dome awnings are common for commercial properties and for window and door awnings. Drop screen - a kind of retractable awning which is mounted vertically so it extends downward. This style of awning has the mounting bar and fabric, but no arms since it simply "drops" down. This is mainly used to screen patios, gazebos, and other outdoor areas from glare, heat, rain, UV rays, direct sun, mosquitoes, and pollen.
Where should the awning be placed? If the goal is to lower energy costs, than the awnings should cover windows or doors facing the direction that receives the most sustained sun. If the awning is to extend comfortable living areas outdoors, consider large awnings or series of awnings that track the sun and control glare, heat, and UV rays. What design suits the living space and purpose? Retractable awnings can be custom-sized to fit the target area exactly. Additionally, there are dozens of different retractable awning styles, like small canopies for windows, elongated dome canopy awnings for wide exteriors, or vertical screens and side arm/drop arm retractable awnings for patios. Make sure you find the kind of style that best fits your space. Does the awning need to retract? Under what circumstances? Retractable awnings have a variety of sensors and accessories which control the awning automatically. Sun, rain, motion, and wind sensors can automatically retract the awning to protect them from the elements or to extend them to provide protection at the required time.