Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I live in a development governed by a homeowners' association. Are awnings allowed there?

A: Because canvas awnings are colorful, attractive energy-saving design features, most homeowners’ associations are receptive to adding them to the exterior decor of a building. Typically, the association’s architectural committee reviews these questions. Your awning professional should be well qualified to assist you in this process.

Q: How long does an awning last?

A: Today’s fabrics are generally warranted from five to ten years. With proper maintenance and care, they can last even longer. The metal frames, when properly built and with little maintenance, will last a lifetime.

Q: What colors are available?

A: Today’s fabrics come in more than 500 solid and striped colors! Remember, too, that most of the time you are enjoying your awning you are relaxing underneath it (not outside looking at it), so the underside color is probably the one you will see more often.

Q: How do I keep my awning clean?

A: Regular maintenance generally means a once-a-year cleaning, with additional care if stains appear. A mixture of dish soap and water is usually enough to clean the awning and considerably extend the covers life. Also, your local awning professional can provide you with manufacturer approved soaps and sealers specifically designed for awning fabrics.

Q: Does the fabric color I choose affect how hot it is under my awning? Or, for that matter, how dark it will be shaded underneath?

A: Good question. Of course, the darker the color chosen, the darker the shade effect underneath will be. There are exceptions, however. Certain fabrics have a lighter-colored underneath side than the topside color, which gives a more pleasing shading effect. As for the temperature, while color choice has some slight impact, the type of fabric chosen and the overall ventilation of the installation will have a greater effect.

Q: Are awnings waterproof? Can I stay out under my awning in inclement weather?

A: Generally speaking, vinyl fabric awnings are waterproof and acrylic awning fabrics are usually water-repellent, not waterproof. There are exceptions, though, so consult with a local awning professional to chose the best fabric for you.

Q: What are the support frames made from? How durable are they?

A: Metal support frames are made from either galvanized steel or aluminum and will last a lifetime! Regular maintenance on a frame requires an annual inspections of fasteners, connections and metal condition. Frames are also available with a painted finish for additional protection and attractiveness.

Q: How long does it take to build once I place an order?

A: As with any custom-manufactured product, there is a short lead time for quality work to be accomplished.

Retractable Fabric Awnings

Q: If there are no poles, what supports the unit?

A: Retractable awnings have been designed to be self-supporting. This style of awning relies on secure mounting in conjunction with spring-loaded arms. The arm tension is created with internal springs, and large radius elbows keep the fabric tight by applying outward force.

Q: What kind of wind loads can a retractable awning handle?

A: Retractable awnings primarily are for sun protection and should not be left out in windy conditions. However, wind is a very unpredictable force, with a tendency to change direction and speed very quickly. In a wind-tunnel test, which is a very controlled environment, a retractable awning withstood straight-on wind forces at over 35 m.p.h. In “real-life” applications, the general rule of thumb is: If you are comfortable sitting outdoors dining or reading the paper, then it is probably safe to operate your awning. The concern with wind is the uplifting effect on the awning rather than the downward force; therefore the greater the pitch, the more windresistant the unit is.

Q: Why would I want my retractable awning motorized?

A: Nothing could be more convenient than simply pressing a button and watching your awning roll out on its own. Once fully extended or retracted, the unit will stop automatically. You may also stop the retractable in any position with the wall-mounted switch. Research has shown that a motorized awning is used four times as much as a manual unit. Don’t believe it? Consider how few times you would change the TV channel if you didn’t have a remote control.

Q: How long will the fabric last on retractable awnings?

A: Today’s acrylic woven fabrics are designed to provide you with years of protection from rot, mildew, and excessive fading. Most suppliers warrant these fabric “covers” for a period of ten years. Life expectancy of the covers, when cleaning and care instructions are followed, is typically 10 to 15 years or longer.

Q: When would I need a protective hood?

A: Protective hood, available at an additional cost, have been designed to provide adequate unit protection when structural protection is not available. Hoods often are purchased when the retractable awning is being roof- or fascia-mounted and when not located directly under a soffit or overhang.

Q: Are there any other weather conditions I should be concerned about?

A: Retractable awnings primarily are designed to provide protection from the sun’s rays and not from rain. However, it can be used in drizzle or misting rains with proper unit pitch. In heavy or driving rains, the unit must be retracted to keep water from “pooling” on the fabric and causing damage or irreversible fabric stretching.

Q: How will my retractable awning mount to my building?

A: Installers locate the structural framework and pre drill the mounting bracket holes through any siding to tie in directly to either the wall studs or headers. On roof-mount applications, the installers tie into the rafters, pre drilling to avoid cracking and silicone-caulking the hardware and brackets to prevent leaks.

Q: What does an average-sized retractable awning cost?

A: Because most retractable awnings are customized for each residence, prices cannot be given without verified measurements and on-site inspection. Your awning supplier typically can meet with you for a free, in-home consultation to design an awning that’s right for you.

Q: Will my awning give me water and weather protection?

A: Generally, however, today’s awning fabrics are considered water-repellent, not waterproof. Water-repellent awning and patio canopies will allow you to enjoy your deck or patio during most weather conditions that it is safe to be out side.

Q: How long will fabric on a stationary awning last?

A: Today’s manufacturers of residential awning fabrics generally warrant them for five years. With maintenance and care, they could last even longer. The metal frames will last a lifetime.

Q: Are there different types of awning fabrics?

A: As with many products on the market today there are also many types of awning fabric.

Q: Does the color affect the cooling offered by awnings?

A: Since awning are covering windows and patio decks and the awning are outside there is minimal heat buildup and usually this the heat dissipates with movement of air.

Q: Do I have a choice of colors in awning fabrics?

A: Awning Fabrics come in more than 350 solid and striped patterns.