Awnings; Advantages, types, fabrics and useful tips - Super complete guide!

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The awnings

Since soon the temperatures will reach quite high levels - if we do not already have them - we wanted to review some concepts about the different types of awnings, fabrics and their main characteristics to protect our home from sunlight, balcony, terrace or garden from a perspective of coherence and professionalism.

Since in reality we did not know much about the subject of install an awningWell, we asked the best, and we went directly to Madrid in search of answers to the awning installation company Solstore, which in addition to being recommended by several fellow architects for its technical quality in the installation, has a range of high-quality products related to the world of enclosures and solar protection for windows, terraces , garden, porches … etc.

The awnings for homes they constitute one of the most classic mechanisms of mobile-fixed external shielding in Spain. They can generally be vertical, projected or horizontal, and not only serve for the protection from solar radiation or the heat, too graduated ventilation or protect from atmospheric conditions adverse, among other points.

What advantages do they bring to the home?

  • Shade only when we need it and sun when we want it. Although the previous sentence is obvious, in reality, we are not realizing that taking advantage of a few useful meters that before its installation, during the day, we were not directly treading. We increase the living area of the house at a low price.
  • New technologies allow us to have some retractable and motorized awnings that maintain the function of block the sun without losing those wonderful views. In the same way, they can be retracted during the darkest hours of the day, or on cloudy days, to illuminate the interior of the home in a natural way.
  • Design does matter, and of course you can see the hand of industrial designers in maintaining a balance of beauty and technical quality in the canopy. Now everyone brings design to the home!

  • Sometimes we forget that UV rays from the sun can severely damage and discolor furniture, window frames, carpets, upholstery, curtains, the floor of the home … etc. With a good parasol or pergola, you can protect that valuable interior furniture and extend its useful life.
  • They help in energy saving. On hot days, spread it out to prevent the sun from entering your home. The shade inside will naturally cool your home and reduce air conditioning costs by up to 25%, which together with PVC windows will have a perfect envelope. On cold days, you can retract it, allowing the sun to help warm the house.
  • They are a regulator of the interior ventilation of the home and obviously also protect not only from adverse atmospheric conditions, but also from "inopportune peepers".

Types of awnings

Now, we have to review what are the types of awnings most common that we will find in the market:

1.- Fixed or stationary awnings

A fixed awning It is a welded frame that is permanently attached to a wall. These should not be moved and become a permanent addition to your home or business.

Advantages Disadvantages
Built to be strong and durable Requires more maintenance
Complete protection against the weather Orientation cannot be changed
Ideal for smaller areas like windows and doors Requires support to cover a large area

2.- Retractable awnings

A retractable awning it also attaches to the housing, but can be opened or pulled back to provide as much or as little coverage as you like. The retractable awnings are extended with motorized controls or manually with a crank. They are divided according to the structure of the mechanism and are mainly three:

* We remember that each manufacturer has its peculiarities in mechanisms and arms, both fixed and articulated or automated.

  1. Without Chest. The system rolls up the fabric leaving it in the open air. The collection of the fabric is by means of a crank.
  2. With semi-chest. The system has a box that, when the parasol it is gathered up, it protects both the structure and the fabric, but leaving out the final skirt and the arms. It can be manual or mechanized.
  3. With Chest. Here the mechanism completely engulfs the arms and the fabric, forming a hermetic seal.
  4. Awning with Monobloc system. It is a special system mainly intended for large awnings that are widely used in the hospitality industry or to cover large terraces. The particularity lies in what has more reinforcementsIn other words, the anchoring points on the wall are not only at its ends, according to measurements they can have from 4 to 8 anchor points.
Advantages Disadvantages
Can be wall or ceiling mounted Can't stand the bad weather
Can be stored in bad weather The initial expense is higher
Frame requires less maintenance Repairs are expensive
Ideal for patios and decks

Depending on the manufacturer and customer needs, the optional features of the retractable awnings They are varied and can be purchased as a basic model or with additional functions that make them easier to use. We list three commonly available features:

  • Motorization. Motorized controls allow extension and retraction by a mechanical system. These are operated via a switch or with a remote control. It allows us an ease in its deployment that comes in handy when we have large dimensions, actually what makes it the most popular feature.

  • Wind sensors, rain and sun. These sensors will automatically extend or retract your canopy, depending on the weather. As well as being convenient, this helps keep the awning protected from the elements.
  • Weather protection covers. An accessory for roof-mounted models, a weather protection cover protects the first six to eight inches of canopy fabric, preserving its appearance and durability.

Best of all, retractable awnings practically disappear when not in use. Virtually all manufacturers already have a model of this type.

Awning parts

We want to show a comparison of the parts of an awning simple to complex, so that we can recognize the complexity they have reached:

The material. Types of fabrics in awnings

Different materials require different amounts of maintenance and suit the appearance of certain homes over others.

From simple rigid to retractable models, they currently come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and materials. While traditional awning styles were often made from wood, metal, or cotton canvas with simple styling, their modern cousins feature more durable materials that require much less maintenance.

The awning fabrics They generally come in two different types of fabrics, with one or two different treatments:

  • Designed to withstand the elements
  • Blocks UV rays, but allows some sunlight
  • Breathable
  • Maintenance: Cleaning
  • Traditional awning material
  • Inherently strong and durable
  • Waterproof
  • Maintenance: machine washable
Vinyl or laminate coating
  • Flame and waterproof
  • Prone to discoloration
Acrylic coated
  • The color is more durable
  • Flameless or waterproof

As the specialists of Solstore, advances in technology have of course also reached the world of Solar protection and its tissues. For example:

  • The Soltis® fabric 96 stops up to 95% of UVA and UVB rays. It has a micro-perforated texture that favors the evacuation of hot air and blocks heat, reducing the sensation of heat in a forceful way.
  • The Sunless © fabric that not only protects us or has a high resistance but also has a fire retardant treatment that with a braided texture favors perspiration and provides visibility to the outside.
  • Or the STAM © fabric that in addition to being fire retardant and of high quality, it has a great aesthetic value.

Angle of inclination

According to the Technical Building Code and the IDAE (Institute for Diversification and Energy Saving) recommendations are established that determine the angle of inclination that they must have according to the orientation. We want to add a scheme with the most characteristic data to determine what angle should the awnings have in relation to the vertical and horizontal of the facing:

Tips for choosing an awning

Although obviously the qualified professional is there to advise us, we can remember some key points:

- Sun protection. It is the fundamental purpose, the fabric must be of good quality that I blocked between 99% and 90 of the UV rays, and the infrared rays thus we will avoid the sensation of heat, managing to limit the temperature and regulate it, achieving that expected energy saving that together with quality glazing, we will have a perfect optimization of the environment.

Remember that micro-perforated fabrics not only protect us from the sun in the tent, but also allow indoor-outdoor micro ventilation, avoiding the greenhouse effect.

- Visible light and density. A good awning forcefully reduces the light intensity of the environment avoiding a very annoying and damaging glare for the eyes, which together with the blinds in the homes, provide excellent light control.

- The color of the fabric. The tonality influences the freshness it offers and the filtering of the rays, that is, a canvas with a darker color will have a higher percentage of filtered rays but we will also have more darkness towards the interior of the house. Taking this premise, we should use intermediate tones.

- Restrictions. Remember that at the time of buy an awning If you live in a community of neighbors, it is possible that there are specific rules regarding sizes, colors, etc. You must ask!

Keep in mind that today they are offered in all kinds of styles to suit any budget and location. For doors, although it may not seem like it, they are equally suitable for residential or commercial applications and create a convenient shed as well as looking great.

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