Awesome Awnings – Various Shapes and Styles

Jun 5 2013

While it may not seem like an exciting or diverse topic, awnings are a fascinating subject due to the many iterations and purposes of an awning. Sure you’ve got the awning attached to your local café but is that a concave, convex, a straight slope awning? Have you ever wondered what type of awning is typical for back patios or popular night clubs? This article will answer those concerns and at very least propagate a bit of knowledge that you were likely unfamiliar with when it comes to them and their uses.

Two Main Types

There are two types of awnings: stationary and retractable. While probably seeming self-explanatory, there are some unique differences.

Stationary Awnings

These canopies are projections that overlook the outdoor entrance of a building. The support of a canopy consists of lightweight frame, usually bendable metal strips which act as the skeletal structure of this type of awning. These are by far the most common type of awning and widely used by cafes and restaurants.

Stationary awnings are the most common form of awning for homeowners. This type of awning provides a degree of shelter, protecting homeowners and guests from rain, hail, and UV rays. Stationary awnings may be customized by shape, color, and style to best fit the exterior of the home, providing a stylish yet useful structure with multiple uses. Perhaps a homeowner desires covering the outdoor patio, windows, doorways, and balconies.

Retractable Awnings

Retractable awnings are versatile structures that, at the push of a switch, may extend to provide shade to customers or retract when the sun goes down. Automatic retractable awnings can be set to retract or extend at a specific time or time of day, as well as being equipped with sensory modules that detect sunlight. While a bit more expensive than a standard manual or automatic retractable awning, automatic retractable awnings can be programmed to function at any point during the day or night and are quite handy.

More on Awnings

Now that you know a bit more about them though, what were the reasons these awnings even started to exist or why they are around?

On a business level, providing an awning to cover the entranceway to your restaurant or office can put forth a positive message that you care enough about the customer in your willingness to provide a bit of shelter before they step into your restaurant. Maybe you provide an elongated awning to shade or protect customers sitting outside your restaurant or bar from all sorts of weather. Perhaps a bus stop is nearby with no overhead cover, so travelers are able to temporarily use the awning while waiting for transportation. Sure it may be simple, but awnings do much more than simply matching the walls of the building they are attached to.

On a personal level, awnings provide a unique form of character to a house in both design and usefulness. Plants can be protected from the weather but still get the necessary sun at certain periods of the day, or you can protect a particular outside area like over a pool or under a tree to keep things clean and crisp.

And now you know a bit more about awnings, maybe you’ll even be interested in investing for one. But hopefully you’ll be more aware of them from now on, because most people don’t even think about them except when they shade us and protect us from weather. But they can be all about decoration too.

Lisa Henfield is an exterior designer who spent a few years designing patio furniture covers for hotels in Las Vegas. She mostly writes about her design experiences, providing tips on outdoor accessories and furniture for both businesses and the average person's home. When she isn't giving design tips, her life is occupied by reading classic fiction by the lakeside.

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