Are you considering investing in an awning, whether for your business or for your home? Great choice! There are many benefits to buying an awning for your business or home. Choosing the best awning comes down to more than cost; you should also consider efficiency and functionality.

There are two types of awnings: permanent or retractable. Permanent awnings are, as the name suggests, permanent. You can’t move them or fold them away. These are particularly helpful for storefronts, but they’re also fairly common in residential areas too. Retractable awnings are foldable and conveniently disappear when you need them to; this kind of awning is helpful in homes because you can bring it out or put it away depending on the season or the temperature.

Keep reading to learn more about:

  1. Benefits of business awnings
  2. Benefits of residential awnings
  3. Types of outdoor awnings
  4. Aluminum vs. canvas awnings

Benefits of Business Awnings

When creating a business, you will likely spend a fair amount of time determining how your business will look. After all, your storefront or entrance will be the first impression almost every customer gets of your business. Your building design can convey not only what your services are and what kind of company you have but can also establish professionalism and a friendly atmosphere. Every part of your business must be carefully considered. This is why you might want to invest in a business awning. Awnings can provide several key benefits that pay off for years. 

Awnings Enhance Your Visibility

Whether you are located in a business zone or on a heavily trafficked street, you can invest in a business awning to provide a boost in visibility. Our designers will work with you to create an awning that melds well with your existing building design while including your business logo or services. Your awnings allow you to showcase your personality and communicate the essential information. 

Whether people walk past or business or drive along the street, they will notice a beautiful and well-designed awning. This can effectively draw in new customers, especially when you are a relatively new business. An impactful awning also makes it easy for customers to locate your shop on a crowded street. 

Awnings Add Excellent Aesthetic Appeal

Your new business awning can add the aesthetic appeal you want. Whether you want to add charm, style, elegance, or one-of-a-kind appeal, we can help. Every client has a range of fabrics and colors to choose from and numerous awning styles that they can explore. Fabric, aluminum, stationary, and retractable are just a few of our most popular commercial awnings.  

Awnings are Easy to Maintain

In North Carolina, the weather is not often as consistent as we would like. Business owners need to be prepared for rain, wind, snow, and hot sunshine. Our awnings are easy to maintain, with retractable awnings designed to adapt to fluctuating weather. We also offer our clients an optional winter storage service for their awnings to ensure protection through the coldest winter months. 

Awnings Provide Additional and Protected Space

No matter what your business is, when you invest in a business awning, you invest in protection for your guests. Your awnings work to provide shelter from all outdoor elements—sun, rain, snow, and falling debris—and can help make your business more comfortable. Entrance awnings provide guests with a spot to wipe off any rain, snow, or mud, while awnings over dining or seating areas provide extra shade and comfort. 

If you are looking to increase the visual appeal of your commercial location and boost the comfort of the place overall, it is worth investing in new business awnings. 

Benefits of Residential Awnings

There are many benefits to having an awning installed at your home. 

  1. Keeps you and your home cool: Awnings protect you and your home from the harsh heat. This built in protection lowers your energy bills and is more cost efficient than sitting in the AC for hours on end. On top of that, they look great and can increase your property value. 
  2. Choices: A benefit of awnings is the freedom to choose what kind you want installed in your home. A retractable awning offers the benefits of leaving your patio free and clear of poles and gives a homeowner the option of full sun, part sun or full shade. Since the metal arms are adjustable, you can change the pitch of the awning to your desired position to maximize your protection. Patio awnings are available using a hand crank manual operation, but for those who want the ultimate ease of operation, retractable awnings also come with a motorized system. A motorized system offers the convenience of positioning by operating a wall switch or remote control. It couldn’t be any simpler.
  3. Low maintenance: A huge benefit of having an awning is that they’re easy to use and don’t require constant maintenance, leaving you with plenty of time to relax and stay cool and protected from the summer weather.

Types of Outdoor Awnings

Awnings are a great solution to escape the heat without compromising your backyard paradise. There are three types for you to choose from, ranging in cost and aesthetic appeal.

Retractable Awnings

Retractable awnings extend to provide shelter and retract when not needed. Available in manual, electric, or remote-control operation, they cost more than other awnings but have many benefits. When retracted, a cassette stores the cover and its folded support assembly, protecting it from the elements. Some cassettes totally enclose the cloth covering, offering the most protection. Other, less costly options only offer partial protection. Retractable awnings can be manual or motorized, and the difference is largely between ease and cost.

Choose a durable cover that retains its color, resists dirt, and provides UV protection. Fabrics include cotton, polyester, canvas, or vinyl-coated, either sewn or glued. Sewn seams last longer. Vinyl-coated fabrics are waterproof and desirable for rain protection. Other fabrics are water-resistant in light rain. Polyester sags less on large awnings. Canvas retains its color the longest. Finally, aluminum frames weigh less but galvanized metal is stronger, making it the best choice for windy areas.

Fixed or Stationary Awnings

A fixed awning provides permanent protection. Attached to the side of the home above doors and windows, or to the deck like a gazebo or pergola, it requires less maintenance than a retractable awning. A cloth cover needs replacing as it fades or wears, so for areas with hot sun or frequent precipitation, consider a metal or polycarbonate deck awning. Metal lasts a long time, but it absorbs and transfers heat to your deck. Also, it can rust and dent. Polycarbonate covers are durable and block UV rays while letting in light.

Portable Awnings

Portable awnings are perfect for limited budgets. The least expensive choice, they include umbrellas, canopies, shade sails, and other freestanding styles you can move around the deck or patio.

Aluminum vs. Canvas Awnings

Weighing the Overall Cost

Aluminum patio awnings provide a cost-efficient alternative to canvas awnings for several reasons. For one, canvas comes in a variety of fabric choices, which can increase the cost of a standard installation depending on which fabric you choose. Secondly, if you combine expensive fabric with the framing structure, you pay even more than if you chose patio and window aluminum awnings.

Averaging the Lifespan

With proper maintenance, everything from canvas patio coverings to door aluminum awnings can last nearly 20 years or more. Though canvas awnings come with varying warranties, these awnings often need replacing after five years in some cases. Aluminum is almost a set-it-and-forget-it type of installation since it requires little maintenance on your part.

Judging the Maintenance

The aluminum awning has the advantage here because of its slick surface that allows water to flow easily to the ground. Rainwater collects easier on canvas awnings and also creates a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Aluminum patio and window awnings require less maintenance while canvas traps dirt, leaves and other debris. You may also have to take down the canvas awning to wash it manually or protect it from high winds during a heavy storm.

Testing the Protection

Florida has its share of hurricanes and other severe storms, which makes it even more important to choose the best awning for hurricane protection. Aluminum offers more protection in dangerous storms, as some awnings can fold down and cover the windows. Canvas awnings leave most of the window uncovered and provide no barrier against wind and flying debris. You also need to take down any canvas retractable awnings during heavy storms to prevent damage to the canvas and its frame.

Taking in the Shade

The canvas versus aluminum debate ends here with the amount of shade each one offers. Canvas and aluminum offer plenty of shade over patios and windows, and both aluminum and canvas window awnings prevent excess light from seeping into a room. Door aluminum awnings shelter you from the rain as you enter your home, and canvas keeps rain out of the pergola. If you go with canvas awnings, you have to pick a darker fabric to create more shade, and darker fabric may cost more and attracts the sun.

At Rocky Mount Awning & Tent, we are dedicated to making your storefront a success. We have been serving the Rocky Mount, North Carolina and surrounding areas since 1925. No matter what kind of business you own, or whether you’re seeking awnings, signs, or tents, we’ve got you covered. We’re proud of the work we’ve done throughout Eastern North Carolina. Check out some examples of our work and let’s get started! Contact us today.