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Sonya Awning April 06th, 2018 - 11:37:49
Consider whether the additional cost for a high end retractable awning is worth the additional quality. The functional distinctions between high and low quality retractable awnings are significant: - Commercial (high quality) awnings have non-prorated frame warranties of 25 years and fabric lifetimes as long as 12-15 years, while residential (budget) lines have frame warranties and fabric lifetimes of five years or less. - Commercial grade retractable awnings come in custom sizes, down to an inch measurement, while many residential lines have only a few standard sizes. - Commercial retractable awnings have hundreds of fabrics available, while budget lines usually have much fewer color and pattern options. Additionally, high quality awnings use a woven fabric called solution-dyed acrylic which resists fading, mildew, and rot, while budget awnings use cheap materials such as canvas (which fades quickly) or vinyl (which absorbs the heat and does not breathe).
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.
Specifically for retractable awnings, most Asian-produced lines are imitative rather than original, meaning they use standard designs done on the cheap without any engineering design or engineering drawings. In addition, almost all Asian vendors lacks TÜV or Eurolab certifications. Thats not to say that every budget line is bad. Obviously, price is a factor (though it becomes less of a factor when the usable life of a budget awning is about a quarter of a commercial/high-end awning). Also, a few companies focusing on residential lines put the effort in meeting with Asian manufacturers at trade shows, even touring their facilities. Even with budget lines, the quality of the company is reflected in their service agreements, return policies, and customer service.
That is starting to change, though. More and more American consumers are asking about vibrant colors or patterns - like florals and even paisleys - when they look at awning fabrics, and more exotic designs are starting to come over from Europe, at least for high-end use. As energy efficiency becomes more common, it could become more natural to look for stylish, as well as functional, solutions, which will broaden the retractable awning market even more. What the Future Holds As energy efficiency continues to be a growing issue for American homeowners, retractable awnings will be a new opportunity to explore. Based on the experiences and widespread effectiveness observed in Europe, there are exciting changes in store for American markets in the next few years: new architectural design integration with new construction, wildly expanding fabric choices and styles, new retractable awning designs, and natural energy efficiency.