Stationary Awnings, Retractable Awnings, How to Choose

When you are in the market for a patio awning for your home, many different types will come to mind. Some are better for different applications than others. Read on to find out how to choose the best patio awning for your distinct needs.


Tips on How To Choose the Right Awning For Your Home

Awnings of all types can extend your home to the great outdoors so you can enjoy it all year round. Awnings are much less expensive than building a patio as a permanent fixture of wood and roofing materials to cover your outdoor spaces. When you choose awnings–you are choosing to have many different types, styles, and colors too for your perfect outdoor entertainment area.

Why Use Awnings?

There are many different advantages of using awnings in your home. They give you a protected area outside for entertaining, barbeques, inviting guests over, or just an area to relax that’s out of the sun, light rain, or winter weather conditions in Denver.

An awning over your patio will also protect your patio furnishings from fading due to the UV light of the sun. It blocks the harmful rays that can lead to skin conditions eventually as well. Do you realize that when you are sitting under an awning in the heat of summer that it can be up to 20 degrees cooler than the outdoor temperature? Now, that’s a big difference.

Patio awnings also help to shade the windows that they cover. Usually, the windows in the back of your home are larger leading to your outdoor spaces and there’s a door as well. Glass radiates heat that enters your home and makes more cooling a necessity. With an awning, the glass is shaded and it results in a great energy-efficient manner to cool your home in the summer while using less air conditioning. This is one aspect of an awning that will result in it paying for itself in a short amount of time.

Allergy seasons can be brutal with all of the yellow-green microscopic pollen floating around in your lawn. Allergy sufferers find great comfort in patio awnings as it keeps the pollen from falling directly on them to form a barrier. This is shown to reduce allergy symptoms greatly and lead to a better outdoor experience.

A well-placed awning will also cut down greatly on the glare. It makes it easier to see phones, laptops, and tablets and gives you a glare-free vision outside so you can see your swimming pool or your flower gardens without squinting in the sunlight.

Patio awnings are lovely as an architectural feature on your home. They give it curb appeal as well as a focal point for the eye to rest. They come in many different solid colors as well as stripes to suit your exact taste and match the exterior of your home.

How to Choose the Right Awning

Choosing the right awning for your home is pretty simple–after you realize how many options you have. You can then choose the best of the best for your outdoor oasis at your home.


The two main types of materials for a patio awning are fabric and aluminum. Aluminum works best if you are going to have a heat source of any type under it, such as a barbeque grill or a fire pit to stay cozy in the winter. Aluminum awnings are stationary and permanent fixtures over your patio. The main drawback to aluminum is that you have very few color options and styles from which to choose. Fabric awnings come in many solid colors as well as stripes, so you have many different color options. The best fabric for outdoor awnings is the Sunbrella brand. It is the most popular and long-lasting fabric for awnings. It stands up to wear with long-lasting strength, is comfortable and soft to the touch, easy to clean, and fade resistant. Lesser quality fabrics will fade quickly from the sun’s UV rays and then tend to rip or tear easily when the fabric is compromised.


The angle of the awning is very important for blocking the sun and it depends on what direction your patio faces as to what angle is best for you. Choosing a custom awning will ensure that your awning is at the right angle to block the most sunlight and heat possible. If your patio faces east or west, the best angle is a 65 to 75% drop at the outermost edge of the awning. South-facing windows need a different angle of about 45%. Keep in mind that the more coverage you need for a larger area determines the need for a bigger drop to optimize blocking the sun.

Side Panels

Side panels are a great option for homes in colder climates. Your house protects one side of the patio at the rear, the drop protects the front side of the patio and the sides are open on the other two sides. For extra sun protection in the summer, you can add side panels. This gives you privacy on your patio as well as protects your outdoor furniture the best. In the winter, when the cold winds are blowing, side panels can keep your patio much warmer by blocking the wind.

Stationary, Retractable, Freestanding

freestanding awnings

The operation of your patio awning is very important to get the perfect match for your situation. Stationary awnings remain open and in place all year round and generally they will attach to your home to shade your patio. The front side farthest from your home will likely have support legs on it. These are most often made of aluminum to withstand wind, rain, and snow loads. Retractable awnings are made of fabric in exciting and bright colors. You can retract or close them when they are not in use or open them full when you need respite from the sunlight and heat. Retractable fabric awnings are long-lasting because the sun isn’t beaming down on them all year round. They roll up into a roll that is protected on your home when not in use. You do need to realize that a retractable awning does need to be retracted in strong winds, rain, or snow to protect it from twisting the frame. Freestanding awnings are the same as a stationary model except they do not attach to your home. Instead, they have a framework with legs for a support system. The legs can be used to hang accessories or as a place to put potted plants outdoors. Some homeowners like this feature and others prefer a patio awing without legs for support.


When you have a patio awning installed, the size does matter. There are no “standard” size patios, so you should choose a custom awning. The representative will come out and measure the width to be covered horizontally on your home and the projection or how far the awning needs to be to cover the entire patio area. Then they will determine how many extra inches you need in width and projection while taking into account the direction your patio faces. In some cases, patios are quite large and may require two actual awnings to cover the entire space.


If you are choosing to go with an aluminum patio cover, you will have many choices in the style and how it looks. The style should match the exterior of your home for a polished appearance. You may choose from a traditional model with either open or closed sides, a dome style, waterfall style, gable walkway, or semi-circular style–plus many more.


If you choose to go with a fabric awning, you will need to decide on the color or colors that you want. You can choose from solid colors or stripes and lighter or darker colors as well. It some compliment the overall look of the exterior of your home. Remember that the lighter color spectrum is generally preferred because they block and reflect the sunlight and heat the best.

After reviewing all the different types and styles of awnings as well as the materials and options, you should have a pretty good idea of what you want and need for your patio awning to call a specialist and get started today.

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