Before making a purchase of a retractable awning, here are ten important things you should know:
- Purpose and Placement: Determine the primary purpose of the awning, such as providing shade for a patio, deck, or window. Consider the location and orientation of your outdoor space to ensure proper coverage.
- Size and Measurements: Measure the area where you plan to install the awning to determine the appropriate size. Consider both the width and projection (how far it extends when fully opened).
- Material Quality: Look for awnings made from durable and weather-resistant materials such as acrylic, polyester, or vinyl-coated fabrics. These materials should be resistant to fading, mildew, and water damage.
- Frame Construction: Pay attention to the quality and durability of the awning’s frame. Look for materials like aluminum or stainless steel that can withstand outdoor conditions without rusting or corroding.
- Motorized vs. Manual Operation: Decide whether you prefer a motorized or manual retractable awning. Motorized options provide convenient remote control operation, while manual awnings require manual effort to open and close.
- Sun and Wind Sensors: Consider adding optional sensors to your awning. Sun sensors can automatically extend the awning when it’s sunny, while wind sensors retract it during strong winds, preventing damage.
- UV Protection: Ensure that the awning fabric provides adequate UV protection to shield you and your outdoor furniture from harmful sun rays. Look for a high UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating.
- Ease of Installation: Determine if the awning comes with clear installation instructions and if it requires professional installation or if it’s a DIY project. Consider the complexity and any additional costs involved.
- Maintenance and Cleaning: Ask about the recommended maintenance and cleaning procedures for the awning. Some fabrics may require occasional washing or treatment to maintain their appearance and longevity.
- Warranty and Customer Support: Inquire about the warranty offered by the manufacturer or seller. Understand the terms and conditions, coverage period, and what is included. Additionally, check if reliable customer support is available in case you have questions or encounter issues.
By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when purchasing a retractable awning that suits your needs, enhances your outdoor space, and provides the desired level of functionality and protection.