Sonya Awning April 20th, 2018 - 12:23:28
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.
Extra square footage. Retractable awnings can be used in a variety of applications and have virtually unlimited uses from ticket booths and ATM kiosks to smoking areas and employee break areas. This provides comfortable exterior spaces without extra construction costs. Tax deductible capital improvement. Municipal incentives. Retractable awnings even fall under many municipal capital improvement programs: cities like Norfolk, Virginia; Austin, Texas; San Jose, Calif.; and Philadelphia, all have small business and downtown development programs which offer incentives on capital improvement projects - and all specifically mention awnings as desirable (and incentivized) options. A municipal program can pay anywhere from 25% to 50% of the cost of the retractable awning.
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.
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.