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Whether they are over a door, window, patio or deck, awnings are a wise addition to any home. Awnings provide energy savings, protection for your furnishings from the harmful effects of the sun, and can add additional living space to your home. When you choose an awning, here are some things to consider:

  • Front and side valances, besides being more decorative, will help keep the sun from shining on you especially if the awning is on a north or south side.
  • The darker the awning color, the more heat build-up will occur from solar absorption so you may want a venting system to remove the heat. Also, darker colors tend to fade more quickly.
  • If you live in an area than receives a lot of snow in the winter or has many storms especially with high winds, a retractable awning that can be closed up will decrease damage done to the awning during bad weather. If the awing goes into a storage cover, that also will help extend the life of your awning.
  • If you choose a fabric awning, look for one that coordinates with your home, has been treated with a UV stabilizer to reduce any fading, and is treated for stain and mildew resistance.
  • Powder coated aluminum and stainless steel components are lighter weight and stronger than other materials, which makes for easier installation and use, especially for retractable awnings.
  • If the awning is over a window that opens outward (casement window), check that there is enough clearance under the awning so that the window can be opened fully without damaging the window or the awning.
  • If you want an awning in an English, ellipse or circular shape, some companies offer these as standard shapes as well as various custom made shapes.
  • Retractable awnings may be operated manually or electrically. If the awning is normally kept open, it would be wiser to buy the manual type.

Some awnings have a remote control so that you can lower or raise the awning by pushing a button. Automated awnings are also available for increased convenience. These have wind and light sensors that will automatically retract the awning if the wind is too strong or when the light level is too low.

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