Sonya Awning April 29th, 2018 - 12:11:02
The urge to create something new and eye-catching on the blank slate of a home is powerful. As is the urge to save some money and maximize ones efforts. Whether its a change to landscaping, a roof garden, or a casual seating area for customers, retractable awnings or drop screens are an ideal project for do-it-yourselfers because they make a very dramatic difference with relatively little effort. The Planning Stage A major part of installing a retractable awning is finding the perfect place to install it. Retractable awnings are much easier to install than fixed awnings or canopies because they are only mounted on a wall - no need to dig post holes or put in a foundation or grounding - so they can be installed over existing pavements, patios, decks, hot tubs, and gazebos, as well as doors and windows. Retractable awnings are suited to any location where sun, glare, UV rays, or light rain protection is required.
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.
In addition to the practical reasons, Europe has had a long aesthetic tradition with awnings, so retractable awnings are a natural part of any home design, and that organically led into creative and adventurous designs, which made using awnings even more appealing. The US, on the other hand, has had historically cheap and accessible energy, with widespread air conditioning and central air systems. Combined with suburb-motivated home designs, neither energy nor aesthetics has given a compelling reason to include retractable awnings on homes as a standard practice. Energy shortages and price increases in the 1970s, though, did begin bringing retractable awnings to the popular mind as a functional solution for energy efficiency.
A drop screen usually enhances an existing structural feature, such as a door or window, or as panels to enclose a porch, lanai, or gazebo. A drop screen requires a sturdy beam to mount to and possibly a door frame or post to fix the side guides to. After finding the location, simply measure the width of the area from side to side on the interior of the frame (for an inside mount) and add for the width of the side guides if mounted outside the window frame. Then measure the height of the screen, going from the inside (or bottom) of the top frame to the bottom of the threshold for the height; for an outside mount, add the size of the headerbox and bottom rail to the height measurement. Finding an ideal retractable awning location has a few other factors to consider.