Retractable AwningsA guide to the benefits of fabric shade covers
Tan and orange colored fabrics are common in Arizona landscapes.
This brown colored awning blends with the surroundings of Northeast woods.
This California back patio area is shaded by an Eclipse awning that is attached to a header board.
This traditional two story with vinyl siding is enhanced by the decks seating area.
Exterior screen shading provides privacy and protection from the sun.
Eclipse offers the longest extended awning in the country having a total extension of 16’ 6”.
This is a country style home with a roof mounted awning.
Roof mounted awning fully retracted.
This home in Cabo San Lucas needed additional shade to the back patio; the retractable awning is attached by a socket underneath the awning and is 25 sq. ft.
Retractable awnings are becoming popular among homeowners because they give you more freedom and flexibility with your outdoor space. Compared to other permanent garden structures, retractable awnings provide a shaded cover that can easily be retracted when the space needs to be opened up. Retractable awnings can be described as on-demand shade. Larry Bedosky, Director of Marketing for Eclipse Awning Systems filled us in on everything there is to know about retractable awnings. According to Bedosky many homeowners have found the retractable awnings to be a perfect fit for their yard and with his many years of knowledge explains why.
- Awnings reduce heat gain more than 77% which will save money on cooling costs.
- “Our customers have on-demand shading,” says Bedosky. In the winter you may want the sunshine on your patio area or on your home to lower heating cost; this is possible with a retractable awning compared to a permanent structure.
- Retractable awnings provide an open air overhead protection from sun, wind and light rain.
- Self-storing; no need to worry about where it needs to be stored when it’s not extended. The awnings roll up and can be protected from harsh winters by an optional hood.
Other than occasionally hosing off the awning once in a while there is no maintenance. In fact there is new technology with fabrics from Sunbrella, which decompose organic material. This type of fabric, called ‘Clarity’ was introduced in 2011 and makes it possible for these awnings to have zero maintenance.
DIY models vary from $1,200-$10,000, depending on the design and elements within your awning. “We never build the same thing twice but usually a typical awning costs $3,800-$5,200,” says Bedosky.
The cost depends on style of awning plus options such as mounting, retractable range, model, projection width, color and fabric. Adding elements such as a 1500 watt infrared heater, lighting, a motor and sensors for strong winds add appeal to your awning but also drive up cost.
What do homeowners like best about retractable awnings?
- They expand use of outdoor living space. Products such as the “butterfly awning” can provide on demand shade more than 20’ away from your home, and does not require mounting.
- "They are excellent in planned communities such as townhomes or condos that lack private space. The awnings, as well as the retractable exterior solar screens make patio areas more useful and relaxing,” explains Bedosky.
- Energy savings. Depending on your choice of fabric, some awnings block 90% of UV rays and 70% of sunlight, offering the ultimate protection to you and your guests.
- Safety features. For homeowners concerned about heavy winds Eclipse offers an added level of protection with a motion sensor that attaches to the end of the awning. If harsh winds prevail, the awning will automatically retract.
“It doesn’t matter the material, the awnings just need to be mounted to something solid,” says Bedosky. There are virtually no restrictions as to where you can attach these awnings just beware your attaching them to something strong and stable. Stone veneer for example is not recommended, so what the installer will do is remove the small areas for the awning to be attached to the house structure itself. “It would be a good idea for homeowners to take a look at ’10 Things You Need To Know Before You Purchase A Retractable Awning’, before calling a pro or doing it yourself," explains Bedosky.