Using an awning to cover a window or patio can provide some real energy saving benefits to your home. The awing can also improve the overall appeal of your home. When choosing an awning you have many choices as to the material you use.
Since you want your awning to improve the looks of your home, you want to select the right kind of material. Both fabric and aluminum awnings are the most typical. Here are some of the differences.
Available fabrics for awnings include vinyl, canvas, and synthetic materials. Some of their advantages include:
- Choice. With fabrics you will have many options for different colors, sizes, and styles of awnings. Aluminum awnings can be made in different colors, but may take longer to get the coating properly applied.
- Cost. Fabric will usually be less expensive that other materials, such as aluminum.
- Easier installation. Because it is usually lightweight and can require less framing, the installation of a fabric awning can be easier and faster than an aluminum one.
- Ease of change. Should the awning get damaged by high winds or if you want to change its color, fabric will be easier to change than aluminum. It will also be easier to change the design style than with an aluminum awning.
- Attractiveness. People often associate aluminum awnings with businesses. Therefore a fabric awning can provide more visual appeal to a home. This can be important when you want to sell your house.
The disadvantages of a fabric awning include:
- Repair costs. High winds, heavy rains, and snow can more easily damage fabric than aluminum. This can lead to many more costly repairs than an aluminum awning. Aluminum awnings are typically more resistant to weather changes.
- Color loss. Over time, with a lot of sunlight, the color in the fabric can begin to fade.
- Maintenance. It is typically easier to simply wash off aluminum awnings than have to clean the fabric awnings.
There are some other considerations when you are comparing the different materials for your home awning. These include:
- How much light and heat can get through the awning?
- How water repellent is the fabric or aluminum? If you live in an area with lots of rain or thunderstorms, you want a water repellent fabric or leak-resistant aluminum construction.
- How resistant to UV rays is the material you have chosen? Ultraviolet rays can be harmful to skin. If you will be entertaining under the awning or kids will be playing there, you want the material to block UV rays.
- How fire retardant is the fabric or aluminum? You don’t want your awning to catch on fire, then burn down your house. Be sure the fabric you choose is fire retardant.
- What type warranty is being offered by the manufacturer or installer? Will the company you are purchasing from be there for problems such as tears or leaks? For how long will they guarantee their work?
The construction of your awning is also an overriding consideration when choosing the type.
The fabric awning must be sewn together and attached to its framing properly or it will more easily tear or fall apart as it is exposed to the elements.
The aluminum sheeting should be made with good quality metal, attached together solidly, and should be powder coated for added protection.
A good awning can add space to your home and provide energy savings. That’s why it’s worth your time to carefully consider what type of awning you want.
For more information about awnings, see Why Use Window Awnings?