An awning can completely transform the way you use your backyard. You can sit beneath the awning when grilling or eating with friends, use the awning as a shelter when you want to read or otherwise sit outside during a storm, and enjoy shielding from the sun on a hot day. But with so many types of awnings on the market today, how do you know which kind is right for you? Follow these three tips to help arrive at the right decision.
1. Consider how much time you want to put into maintenance.
Do you mind spending a little time each week cleaning the awning, or would you rather have something that is nearly maintenance-free? A retractable awning made from vinyl or plastic can be pretty, but this type of awning also requires a lot of maintenance. You need to clean it, check it for rips, and so forth. If you do not wish to do such maintenance or are on a really tight schedule, then a better choice may be a more permanent awning made from metal or stiff PVC. These awnings don't really suffer if you don't clean them; you only need to clean them for aesthetic reasons.
2. Consider the look you prefer.
Is your home colorful and modern, or is it more traditional? Perhaps you have a decidedly rustic vibe going on. Try to choose an awning material that blends in with the rest of your home. For instance, if you have a log cabin home or one with wood siding, you may want a natural wood awning. If your home has clean lines and neutral color scheme, maybe a sleek aluminum awning will do the trick. The awning should not look like an afterthought, but rather a determined part of your design.
3. Consider the size.
The material is not the only element to consider when choosing an awning. You must also consider how large of an awning suits your needs. A larger awning is more costly and harder to retract (assuming you choose a retractable style), so you want to pick as small an awning as you can get away with. Consider how you will use the awning. If you will just be sitting and reading under it, one that covers a 3-foot by 3-foot space is sufficient. If you want to cover an entire grill party, on the other hand, a 10 x 10 awning is the minimum you'll want.
To learn more about your awning options, reach out to a vendor in your area like Lehman Awning Company.