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Sonya Awning April 29th, 2018 - 11:31:00
European lines have the highest quality, partly because awnings have been used in Europe for thousands of years and are tightly integrated with building design concepts. This long history has led to the best designed and manufactured awnings available: Tight manufacturing standards- Internationalized, rigorous QA testing standards- Certification processes for materials- Durable material quality for frames, fabrics, and threads- Continuously evolving styles, features, and development On the other hand, most budget (residential) retractable awnings tend to be made in China, an area plagued by consistent complaints about poor quality control, poor materials, and poor labor. With budget lines, product quality, sometimes even product materials, varies significantly between lots. - Lower quality materials- Lack of testing or certifications- Limited styles- Inconsistent manufacturing quality.
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.
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.
Saving Your Environment - Where Awnings Can Go The protection from retractable awnings can apply in unexpected places. The most obvious places where shade would be appealing are in Sun Belt states with sunny and dry climates. Interestingly, retractable deck and patio awnings for sun protection are extremely popular in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, despite long winters and heavy precipitation, because the high cost of electricity makes energy savings important. Whether a retractable awning is useful depends on how that area will be used and if it is possible to find a design suited to that specific need. Ask yourself a few questions to help identify if a retractable awning can meet your needs.