Awesome Awnings – Buyer’s Guide with Reviews
An awning, or overhang as they are often referred to as, are a great feature for your home.
The primary purpose of them is to help give you more control of how the weather affects you by providing you with ample cover from the elements.
By giving you this control, it helps control the temperature in your home massively during the hot summer months by keeping the sunlight from coming through your windows.
It will make a visual statement to anyone visiting your home, they’ll be in AWE-ning. Sorry, I had to…
So if you’re looking for the best retractable awnings, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve taken the time to check out many different awnings that are available on the market and provided you with a breakdown of the top 5, so you don’t end up wasting your money on a rubbish product.
If you’re curious as to how we came to that decision or you’re just after advice for buying an awning, check out our buyers guide.
Best Retractable Awnings – Buyers Guide
So, you’re looking for your first awning, the last thing you want is to spend a lot of money on something that just isn’t adequate.
We’ve written this guide for you.
As homeowners ourselves, we had a bad experience with our first awning, this was many years ago and as a result of that we wanted to write this comprehensive guide so nobody else makes the same mistakes we did.
First, let’s get the basics out of the way….
What is a Retractable Awning?
It’s some form of material that overhangs above an entryway, porch or windows.
The key part about it being a retractable awning is that it can easily be hidden away or extended, through a mechanism that can be either electronic or manual.
Why Do You Need a Retractable Awning?
If your building is exposed to a large amount of sunlight throughout the day or even heavy rainfall, then these are ideal for you.
By providing shade on warmer days, it stops the heat radiating through your windows and helps keep your home cooler. If you have air conditioned buildings then this can help reduce your electricity bills by a significant amount.
Another reason is that it can increase the value of your home. So if you plan on selling in the near future then this can be an investment worth making.
So now we’ve got them out the way, let’s get into what you’re looking for in a retractable awning….
We recommend looking that you look at this first as it will be a huge focal point for your home so you want to make sure that you’re happy with how it looks whilst also ensuring it’s high quality.
The support structures tend to only be made from a few different materials:
- Plastic: Cheapest option of the 4 but the least durable, ideal if you are on a budget and don’t endure strong winds too often.
- Aluminium: Mid range option but very durable, it’s not as strong as stainless steel so it’s not ideal for heavier canopies
- Stainless Steel: Expensive option, very durable, ideal for areas which encounter strong winds regularly. Better supports heavy canopies.
- Fibreglass: Relatively cheap and easy to paint but can be prone to becoming brittle over time so they end up cracking.
Finding the right canopy can be a bit of a mine field, there’s so many options available and all come with their own perks and flaws.
This material, if you was unaware, tends to be made from cotton or linen and is the traditional awning fabric.
You can get canvas material made from hemp, regardless, canvas is the most natural and durable materials available.
It’s pretty optimal for retractable awnings due to its flexibility but it does come with a few drawbacks which is generally expected with more natural products, such as it’s highly susceptible to the weather.
You can expect it to leak a little when you first get it, this is due to it needing weathering, so nothing to worry about. Weathering is just a common process, when the canvas first gets wet the fibres will expand and thus plug the small holes so it’s more waterproof in the future.
Mildew is an unfortunate problem that comes with canvas, this tends to occur if its not been properly treated whilst it was being manufactured.
You can treat the canvas yourself by treating it with a fluoropolymer-based waterproofing agent, it’s not too difficult but you must be meticulous when applying it.
A great tip for if you’re quite artistic or have friends who are, canvas is great for painting on. So if you want to have a custom design then this is the best material for you and all you will need is some waterproof paints (oil based).