Sonya Awning April 28th, 2018 - 12:14:54
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.
Differences in Style The different reasons for retractable awning use in Europe and the US have produced different emphases on style. Because awnings had a stylistic influence in European history which transitioned to efficiency uses, European awning fabrics and designs tend to be more dramatic and flamboyant. For example, European fabric lines average about 400 fabric designs, while American lines average 200. Color choices in Europe tend to be lighter and brighter. American homeowners, approaching retractable awnings as a functional addition to a house, without the stylistic background, tend to be conservative, choosing fabrics in blacks and grays in sedate stripes and staying with more traditional frame styles.
Although any retractable awning style is used on homes, most budget lines are limited to a single design. High quality awning lines can offer a half dozen styles or more.- High quality lines offer support for years for parts, even for additional options. Budget lines, particularly at big-box chains, only offer add-ons for a single season and service can lapse within a year, if its even available. When buying budget, the quality of the company becomes much more important. There are some dependable budget retractable awning manufacturers and retailers out there, with solid support, good products, and attractive awning styles. You just have to look.
Installation in a Few Easy Steps The general installation process for both traditional retractable awnings and drop screens is pretty simple: attach the correct number of mounting brackets using the appropriate fixing and insert the torsion (square) bar. The simplicity of installing awnings is what makes them ideal for do-it-yourself weekend projects. The exact installation steps, naturally, vary depending on the awning being installed (so always read the manufacturers specific instructions!), but these are the general processes. For a drop screen:1. Assemble the screen itself, putting together the roller (called the headerbox), similar to an old-fashioned shade.2. Install the mounting brackets at the top and around the door frame or the beam of the gazebo or porch.3. Snap in the headerbox, making sure that the bottom rail of the screen is toward the inside of the room.4. If there are vertical side guides, measure and cut them according to the height of the opening, and then screw them in place and snap them in position with the headerbox. If there are guide wires, screw the bottom brackets into place, and attach the wires to the cassette. Be sure everything is level and plumb.