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    What is an awning?

    What kinds are available, and why you should install them in your home

    Hannah | Oneflare

    Awnings are an exceptional method of shading windows and outdoor areas. Luckily, there are many options available for homeowners.

    Types of awning

    There are many different types of awnings including:

    Automatic: These are extremely popular types of awnings. Automatic models run on guides, so they can be easily adjusted to any entertaining area. Also, since they are available in a variety of lengths, automatic awnings are compatible with all homes.

    Fixed Guide: These awnings are best when used on the upper levels of residences because they utilise guide bars that are permanently fixed. Fixed guide models are suitable for automation.

    Heavy Drop: For a more European feel, heavy-drop-arm awnings can be adjusted within a 90-degree arc and can be motorised for additional convenience.

    Retractable: Retractable awnings are ideal for patios and decks. They are installed directly onto the side of the house and extended to cover outdoor areas when necessary. When these are not being used, retractable awnings are stored inside the housing unit. These models area available in manual or automatic and can be customised for your specific needs. Additionally, retractable awnings are available in a variety of colours and patterns.

    Straight Drop: As an alternative to verandah awnings, straight-drop models are recommended for pergolas, patios and verandahs. These models can be spring-loaded or have an attached gearbox.

    Verandah: Finally, verandah awnings are the perfect choice for privacy and protection from the sun. They are typically operated through the use of pulleys. These are the most aesthetically pleasing of the group.

    Materials used in awnings

    There are several materials that can be used for awnings, including:

    1. Acrylic
    2. Aluminum
    3. Canvas
    4. Galvanised steel
    5. Woven mesh
    Source: PANEZA Window Fashions


    Manual awnings are operated by turning a crank. To provide shade, wind it up; to provide sunlight, wind it down. On the other hand, motorised awnings utilise a motor to extend and retract the unit via a switch or remote control. It is even possible to automate using a home automation system.

    Benefits of installing awnings

    There are several benefits to installing awnings; not only are they practical, but they also look great. Here are some of the main benefits of installing awnings on to the exterior of your home.

    1. Awnings help protect your windows

    Protection against the weather is one of the main reasons you’ll want to install exterior window awnings. Protecting your home is vital if you live in a climate prone to high winds and frequent thunderstorms, perhaps even hail. Installing something like straight drop awnings – either manually operated or motorised – means that as soon as the weather starts to turn, you can quickly drop those awnings and add a layer of protection for the fragile glass.

    Even something like pivot arm canvas awnings that protrude out above the window will help protect your windows to some degree as well.

    2. Window awnings help insulate your home’s interior

    No matter what style of awnings you choose to go with, apart from offering window protection, one of the main functions of awnings is to help keep the temperature inside your house cooler.

    Awnings help block out some of the sunlight. Even if you have thick blinds on the interior of your windows, if the summer sun can shine directly onto the glass, it gets hot very quickly and therefore heats up your house. With the protection on the outside, preventing the sun from baking the glass, your home will be much cooler.

    No one wants to live in an oven during the long Australian summer, so awnings can undoubtedly help with climate control.

    3. Enclose your patio or balcony

    Once again, something like straight drop awnings is the perfect solution for enclosing a balcony or patio area and protecting you from the elements.

    Imagine you’re out on your patio one evening enjoying some snacks and drinks with friends. It’s a breezy, but pleasant evening and things are going well. Soon the atmosphere is spoilt when a wind suddenly picks up, tugging at your clothing and giving you the chills.

    You could duck back inside, or you could lower those awnings to protect you and your friends against the wind.

    It’s the same out on your balcony. Highrise balconies, in particular, are prone to lots of wind, so having some awnings in place that you can use when needed is a blessing. Enjoy your alfresco balcony lifestyle in comfort and style.

    Awnings are a great way to provide shade over outdoor entertaining areas / Source: Smart Canvas

    4. Window awnings are very easy to maintain

    Don’t think that because you’ve installed some awnings on the exterior of your home that you’re going to be spending hours every weekend cleaning them up to keep them looking good.

    Modern awnings are extremely easy to look after. Often all you’ll ever need to do is hose them down with some freshwater from time to time to keep off any grime. Every once in a while you might run a sponge and some soapy water over them before hosing them off.

    Today’s awnings are also extremely strong, durable and highly weather resistant. They are designed not to fade in harsh sunlight, nor split or crack from constant exposure to the elements. Your awnings will serve you well for many years.

    5. Awnings add style to your home’s exterior

    Window and patio awnings have come a long way in recent decades. Not only are they very functional, but they possess a lot of styles as well.

    You can have awnings made to order in a variety of materials, styles and colours that blend in well with your existing colour scheme. The installation of awnings will also add a lot of value to your house, should you ever decide to put it on the market, way more value than the cost of the awnings themselves.

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