Sonya Awning April 29th, 2018 - 10:15:17
Awnings have been common for more than 2000 years; retractable awnings have been around for almost 150 years. While the history of using awnings stretches far back in Europe and retractable awnings are commonly used there today, theyre rare in the United States - despite the fact that retractable awnings were invented in the US. This uneven adoption has led to an exposure of design options in Europe - intricate frames, new types of retractable frames, bold colors, and luscious patterns - while America, treating awnings as a practical afterthought, has stayed more conservative. A Quick History Some form of awnings has been around for millennia, starting in Egypt and the Middle East and spreading across the Roman Empire. Most of those were fixed canopies of mats, skins, or fabric bolts hung over poles. In the mid-1800s, shop owners began using movable awnings, which simply bunched up the fabric when it was taken down. In the latter part of the century, they began rolling awnings on a tube, cleanly retracting them and keeping the fabric safe. With minor variation, this is the same basic design used today on lateral arm retractable awnings.
Different Reasons for Using Awnings Various factors have come into play for why Europe has, for nearly a century, been consistently integrating retractable awnings into architectural plans. Many of the initial reasons were cultural; prevalent open air markets had contributed to a long history of fixed awning use, so it was a natural transition to easier to use and longer-lasting retractable awnings. More practically, though, the widespread use of retractable awnings comes down to cooling and energy efficiency. Europe has very high energy costs and, because of many old homes and flats, most residences do not have air-conditioning systems installed. Therefore, European homeowners have had an imperative to find inexpensive, effective cooling and efficiency products - and one of the most effective methods for controlling interior heat is retractable awnings.
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.
Window Awnings are available in traditional and contemporary styles. Traditional style window awnings have sides that will give you more sun protections than awnings without sides. Awnings with sides are especially needed for East and West facing windows. Spear Window Awnings are made with wrought iron frames with spear finials. Spear Awnings look great on adobe and more modern homes. Drop arm Awnings for windows roll up on a roller tube and can be motorized. Drop Arm Awnings with motors are convenient for second story windows so they can be retracted easily from indoors. Porch Awnings around the perimeter of your porch adds privacy and protection. Porch Awnings can keep your porch cool will protecting it from rain and the sun. You can use Window Awnings around a porch or Canvas Porch Roller Curtains which will can roll up and down with a simple rope and pulley system. Porch Valances are also a popular decorative addition to porches. These Canvas Valances are for decorative purposes but do not have much sun protection because they are a small accent to a porch. They are 12" - 14" tall and wrap around a porch to add color and will soften the hard lines of a porch. They are especially popular on coastal homes on the East coast.