"In the past four years we have seen exceptional growth in the industry",says Mike Seary, Sales Director of Deans Blinds and Awnings, the UK's most recognised and respected retailer of retractable awnings in the country. Part of it is a growing awareness of the danger of too much sun and ultraviolet rays, part of it is the comfort and convenience factors, but a great deal of the popularity of awnings comes from the fact that people love their decks and patios, and awnings are a way for them to get the maximum use and enjoyment of their decks, beyond the ordinary patio umbrella.
Retractable awnings let homeowners control the weather on their own terms. When passing showers threaten, or when the sun gets hot, they unroll the awning for near-instant protection and shade. (Lab test measurements show that it can be as much as 20 degrees cooler under an awning as canopy.) When they want to enjoy the sunshine, they roll the awning back inconspicuously against the house.
Awnings also offer other benefits that many homeowners appreciate. Because awnings prevent the sun from shining through windows and sliding glass doors, they can keep temperatures inside the house cooler as well, which saves on air-conditioning costs. They can help prevent carpets and furniture from fading in sunlight. Awnings also provide a sheltered place for children and pets to play, shielded from direct sun.
Some of today awnings also offer accessories that can greatly increase the versatility and usefulness owners get from their decks or patios. A screen room add-on can easily turn an awning into a virtually bug-free outdoor room, side screening cuts down on wind and mist coming under the sides of awnings, and patio lights let people enjoy their decks evenings and nights.
Robust Growth in Awning Usage Nationwide Despite Some Myths
The home awning market has shown considerable growth in recent years. But with the advantages awnings offer, why isn't there an awning on nearly every deck or patio? "I think the main reason is a misconception about cost, says Seary. People seem to think that a good awning must cost thousands of dollars, but in fact you can get a top-of-the-line manually-operated model for just a few hundred dollars, and an unsurpassed quality motorized awning for not much more", he adds.
"Instead", he says, "people go out and buy a patio umbrella set, only to find that whenever the sun shines or the rain falls, theres not enough room under the typical umbrella for everyone to keep from getting sunburned or wet. In contrast, there's more than enough space under an awning. You can get an awning that is up to 10 ft. by 20 ft. A lot of shade and protection."
"Homeowners also think that they can't install an awning under low eaves or overhangs, such as those on ranch-style homes or additions",
Model Types, Convenience, and Ease of Use.
Todays awnings come in two basic types: Manually-operated models which are opened by hand, and motorized models which operate by electricity. Each offers its own advantages. Deans manually-operated models, for example, are designed so that any adult can open and close them easily, without any tools, in just a minute or so. Benefits include low-cost affordability, easy adaptability to almost any deck or patio, and support arms that can be angled back against the house or set vertically on the deck or patio floor. These arms provide extra support and stability which some owners prefer in windy areas such as seacoasts, and increase the awnings versatility by making the attachment of certain options available.
Motorized Awnings have no vertical supports. Instead, they have retracting arms instead of vertical supports. These arms are operated hooked by cable and to an electric motor, generally hidden inside the roller bar of the awning, which opens and closes operates the awning at the touch of a wall-mounted switch. Deans motorized model also offers a remote control option that lets you open the awning from anywhere, even from inside your home. Motorized awnings are the ultimate in convenience, with classic simplicity and beauty.
Most awnings do not have to be taken down at the end of the summer, They can remain retracted against the house all winter long. Yet they can be removed and taken with you if you move to a new home. (Most homeowners, however, choose to sell the awning with the home as a value-adding feature.)
Awnings can be installed quickly and easily over any kind of siding including vinyl siding, brick, and stucco, and on the underside of soffets and overhangs, using brackets made for that purpose. They can also be mounted on fences, garages, and other outbuildings, which makes them wonderfully suitable for use by pools and near permanent barbecue terraces.
Considerations When Choosing an Awning
"And look closely at the awning fabric", says Mike Seary. "Many fabrics are not 100% waterproof, which can let a fine mist through during a shower. Don't assume that all fabrics block UV rays. Get one that blocks out 99% of all ultraviolet radiation. Coated fabrics are also easier to keep clean, and tend to hold their color far longer without fading."
"One note about fabric color that most people don't realize", adds Seary, Âis that awning fabric comes in all sorts of color options, but awnings that are light colored, or go from stripes to a light solid are generally cooler and more efficient than solid, dark colors. Dark colors tend to absorb heat and can defeat the purpose of having an awning for cool shade."
"Retractable awning is a very low cost investment that provides big returns in comfort, enjoyment", says Seary. "It's almost like getting an extra room on your house. It allows people to expand their living space, and at the same time add value to their home."
Contact Information for sources in this article:
Manually operated awnings in widths from 7 to 20 ft.
Motorized awnings in widths from 10 to 18 ft.
To learn more about Deans Blinds and Awnings Products, go to http://www.deansblinds.co.uk/