Choosing Awnings and Canopies for Your Home

Awnings and Canopies
Awnings and canopies are a fantastic way to enhance the looks of your home and provide a respite from the hot summer months and the sun. However, there’s some misconception about the difference between both; many use both terms indistinctly.

What’s more, there are many things to consider when selecting either one. So, let’s get started with the basics.

Outdoor Awnings vs Sun Canopy 

Both awnings and canopies are different items. An awning has a piece of fabric or harder materials and needs to be attached to another structure (such as your walls). They are typically used to provide coverage over a window or door. A canopy has posts and requires no other structure for support. It has a fabric or metal roof, and you can place it anywhere.

Now that we understand the differences between both, let’s take a look at their distinctive uses.

The idea behind awnings is to offer protection from the sun. Because the sun can strike intense light on your windows, it can create difficult visibility conditions inside your rooms. Additionally, you can better maintain the right temperatures in summer by keeping the sun at bay, and you won’t get furniture damage thanks to the sun’s rays.

Canopies are a different story. You use them to protect yourself from the sun, too, but they function as an area where you can keep chairs and a table and have dinner or simply gather with friends. There are special ones with other uses, too, which we’ll cover below.

Choosing the Best One for You

The first thing to consider is whether you need an awning, a canopy, or both. Since there are many different ones, let’s have an overview of the most common options.

Canopy types

  • Tents: These are structures with fabric roofs and standing posts. You can find them in many sizes, with the biggest ones used for large gatherings such as weddings. Most of them can be assembled and disassembled with ease.
  • Hard roof: These are similar to tents in shape, but they have a metallic roof or another hard material. Even though many can be disassembled, these are used in a fixed position mostly.
  • Shade Sails: This special type of canopy resembles a ship’s sail, and is attached to posts as the tent one, but has less coverage. It protects you from the sun when slanted vertically or twisted.
  • Carports: These are large structures that can be made with different materials for the roof and cover a large area. They’re used for parking your car when you don’t have a garage.

Awning types

  • Entrance: this type of awning is placed over the door and protects you from the elements as you get in. These are not only helpful against the sun but also rain and other elements. They can be straight or like an arch.
  • Garden: These structures are typically used over porches or decks that sit next to the house. It works as an extension of the house and allows you to use a fixed area to entertain guests or enjoy your garden views. The same structure, but smaller, is sometimes used for windows.
  • Retractable: sometimes called “retractable canopy”, this awning type lets you retract or extend it according to the weather. They’re typically used over a deck, balcony or windows and can be expensive because of the mechanism, which can be manual or automatic.

While these are the most typical canopies and awnings available, you’ll find other categories as well. Make sure to perform your research before deciding and remember there are always professionals at your disposal if you need them.

Some Important Considerations

Now that you’re acquainted with both canopies and awnings, let’s take a look at some important tips and things to have in mind when choosing one.

One of the major decisions when deciding on a canopy or awning is the material of the roof. Fabric roofs are generally cheaper; in the case of canopies, they let you disassemble the structure easily. However, there are different degrees of fabric resistance and features.

For example, some fabrics don’t resist the snow, while others have poor UV protection. Always check the fabric type before  deciding and consider which one’s the best option for your budget and situation. Typical fabrics include polyethene, polyester and vinyl.

Hard materials like glass, wood, polycarbonate and aluminium all have different properties, too. For instance, glass tends to be less impact-resistant than other materials and allows more heat to build up, but it offers excellent views.

Consider that using hard materials generally means more durability, but also fewer options when it comes to relocating the structure.

Another important issue is the size of the structure. An awning that’s larger than necessary might offer too much coverage and increase the cost without any reason. A larger-than-necessary canopy might make its placement difficult. The opposite is true: smaller structures will offer less protection and can be potentially useless.

If you’re in doubt when it comes to choosing the right structure for you, remember that we can get you in touch with top awning and canopy professionals for help. Connect with us today!


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