Awning coverings are very popular, especially in The Lower Mainland, for both rain and sun protection.
Awnings can be installed on a storefront for the purposes of illuminated signage and sidewalk covering, on a commercial building to keep shipping and receiving personnel dry, or on a home to allow for more patio enjoyment throughout the year.
If you’re considering an awning for any of these applications or even something more custom, it helps to know the fundamentals. Following are some awning basics to aid your understanding:
1. Fixed, Retractable and Freestanding Awnings
There are three main styles of awnings, they are:
- Fixed; which are attached to any building to provide a permanent cover over the desired area. (There are many styles of fixed awnings – Three Point, Four Point, Quarter Barrel, etc.)
- Retractable; as the name implies, retractable awnings retract in and out either by a motorized control or manual mechanism. There are many options on retractable awnings, including; wireless/hardwired control, soffit/wall mount, manual/motorized crank, wind sensors and quick pitch control.
- Free standing; an awning supported by posts – independent of adjacent structures, usually a peak or dome style.
Dimensions are important when discussing awnings as they directly impact both the function and cost of the covering. Following are some examples of standard awning types including how to dimension them.
Substrate is what we call the soft material that covers an awning. There are many different types of substrate, each with a specific function for different application requirements.
There are eradicable substrates, which are used when a backlit logo is being applied to the awning.
There are opaque, graphic receptive materials.
There are canvas looking materials, like Sunbrella and Firesist.
…And many more depending on desired aesthetic and function. These are important questions to consider when planning your next awning-related project.
4. Backing and Hardware
Backing is what the awning gets mounted to or on. It goes without saying, but this is an integral part of planning for an awning. The backing must be substantial enough to support the proposed awning weight, plus any calculated snow and wind load.
For different backing materials there are different hardware requirements. Awnings can be mounted to concrete, wood, brick, hardy board, steel, etc.