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Top 7 Benefits of Awnings

Thursday March 7th, 2024
Awnings are one of the best ways to enjoy your outdoor space on warm summer afternoons as they provide shade, comfort, and sun protection. While typically installed above decks and patios, awnings can also provide much-needed shade over windows and doors. Whether you install an awning over your patio, door, or window, you’ll receive a host of benefits, including: 

7 Benefits of Awnings 

  1. Weather Protection
  2. Energy Efficiency 
  3. UV Protection 
  4. Cost Savings
  5. Curb Appeal 
  6. More Living Space
  7. Low Maintenance 
Getting a top-notch awning brings lots of benefits, but it's important to understand what an awning is. There are also different kinds of awnings for homes. It's smart to explore each type to find the right one for your needs. We'll go over each kind in detail, giving you all the information you need to make a confident choice. 

What is an Awning? 

An awning is a covering that extends out from a building at a downward angle over a porch, deck, window, or door. While most awnings extend from a building, there are awnings that are free-standing and independent of the building. An awning's purpose is to provide shade for the area it covers. 

Awnings can be made with a variety of materials, depending on durability and aesthetics. Most homeowners choose fabric awnings made from cotton, heavy-duty polyester, or acrylic. The benefits of fabric awnings include flexibility, affordability, and aesthetics. 

With fabric awnings, a homeowner can choose which type of fabric they prefer, as well as the color and pattern. In this way, there is room for creative expression, and the patio or door awning easily be made to match the home’s external decor style. 

Awnings can also be metal, such as aluminum or copper. Many store-front businesses opt for sturdy metal awnings so that they can better withstand weather conditions. Metal awnings are more expensive than fabric awnings, but are much more durable and long-lasting. Designing a custom metal awning allows you to match the awning's color to your home’s exterior style. 

7 Benefits of Awnings 

Now that we’ve covered what an awning is, let’s explore the ways homeowners can benefit from adding an awning to their porch, deck, windows, and doors. 

1. Weather Protection

With a sturdy awning, you can protect your outdoor furniture, front door decor, windows, and doors from harsh weather conditions. 
When you invest in high-quality patio furniture and decor, the last thing you want is for it to be damaged by rain, snow, wind, or harsh UV rays. With a deck awning or patio awning, it will keep your quality furniture protected. That way, you can enjoy your outdoor furnishings for many years to come. 

Without the protection an awning provides, you’ll have to replace your patio and deck furnishings sooner than you’d like. With an awning, you’ll save money in the long run by increasing the lifespan of your outdoor furniture. 
Smaller awnings over windows and doors can protect the door or window from weather damage, such as hail or strong winds. The awning will provide a buffer between the weather and the glass, ensuring its longevity by keeping it clean and protected. 

2. Energy Efficiency 

One of the main benefits of awnings is the cool shade it provides on hot summer days. This not only benefits the patio or deck area, but also the home’s interior. 

Awnings above windows and doors, including back patio doors, help prevent direct sunlight from entering the home. We all know that direct sunlight on glass windows and doors causes the house to heat up. During the warm summer months, this direct sunlight can cause your AC unit to run consistently, spiking your energy bills. 

With an awning over your south-facing doors and windows, it will block that direct sunlight and keep your home cooler. In this way, awnings support your home’s energy efficiency, as they provide a thermal break between the glass and sunlight. 

It’s truly amazing how much shade an awning can provide to help keep your home cooler in the warmer months. With this awning benefit, you’ll save money on electricity bills because your AC unit won’t have to turn on as frequently. 
If you like the natural warmth that sunlight provides in the winter, consider a retractable awning for your large south-facing windows or patio doors. That way, you can roll up your awning when it’s no longer needed. 

3. UV Protection 

Just as awnings protect your outdoor furniture from direct sunlight, they can also help protect your indoor furniture from harsh UV rays. Over time, indoor furniture will fade and lose its vibrancy if it is located near windows exposed to direct sunlight. 

Most of us like sitting near windows so we can enjoy the natural views. With window awnings, we can protect the longevity of our indoor furniture while still enjoying their proximity to the outdoor world. 

While protecting furniture is important, what’s even more important is protecting your skin. A front door awning or porch awning allows you to enjoy your outdoor space while keeping your skin protected from UV rays. 

We all know the importance of staying protected from UV rays for our health. However, fresh air and natural light are also beneficial for physical and mental health, which is why it’s important to spend time outside in the fresh air. An awning above a deck or patio can provide the best of both worlds: UV protection and outdoor time. 

4. Cost Savings 

When you think about all of the above awning benefits—from their weather protection to their energy efficiency to the UV protection—those benefits boil down to the cost savings awnings provide. 

When you protect your outdoor furnishings from weather damage and UV rays with a sturdy awning, you save money by not needing to replace damaged or faded furnishings. 

With window awnings and patio awnings shading your south-facing windows, your home stays cooler. When your home is cooler, you save money on energy bills during the warmer season. 

As you can see, awnings can help you save money in the long run. And even though they can be an investment up front, they’ll pay for themselves in the long term, as you won’t need to replace furniture as often and your energy bills won’t be as expensive.  

5. Curb Appeal 

One of the lesser-known but equally substantial awning benefits is that it will help boost your home’s curb appeal. 

Curb appeal is how beautiful and put-together your home appears to others. While we often think of impressing our neighbors with increased curb appeal, it’s super important when it comes to selling a home. Curb appeal is the first impression of a home, and for potential buyers, the first impression is everything. 

A high-quality awning for your front porch or deck can make your home look more inviting by showing that you value function and beauty. With fabric awnings, you can add pleasing colors and designs to complement your outdoor aesthetic. 

If you plan on selling your home one day, know that an outdoor awning is a worthy investment that will increase the resale value of your home. An awning makes outdoor spaces more comfortable and adds beauty to front porches, decks, windows, and doors. All of these factors will entice potential buyers, and help speed up your home’s resale time. 

This advantage comes back to how awnings can save you money. If an awning boosts your home's resale value, it can pay for itself by increasing your home's worth. Over time, the money you save with awnings might even exceed what you spent on them.

In this way, awnings are well worth the investment no matter what way you look at it, especially if you invest in a high-quality, durable awning. 

6. More Living Space 

When a home has a nice porch or deck, homeowners often want to make the most of their outdoor space. But when that space lacks shade or cover, it can go weeks without use due to harsh sunlight and hot weather. 

A porch or deck awning makes the space much more inviting. With the cool shade an awning casts, you and your family can enjoy more time outdoors in this extended living space. Set up a dining table and enjoy summer dinners beneath the awning, or invite guests over for a meal on your covered deck. 

Complete the porch or deck setup with comfortable chairs and a table, and the kids can do their homework or a family member can work from home while enjoying the outdoors. 

An awning converts a rarely used deck or patio into an extended living space. This is highly beneficial for families who enjoy spending time outside and wish to be more in tune with the seasons. With the extra shade an awning casts, you may find yourself spending more time outside than inside during the summer. 

7. Low Maintenance 

You may be surprised to know that awnings are low maintenance. With a high-quality, weatherproof awning, cleaning and routine maintenance is quick and easy. 

While an awning is low maintenance, they are not no maintenance. In other words, if you want to increase the lifespan of your awning, it will need regular cleanings. Luckily, with a fabric awning, all you have to do is brush off the loose dirt and use a soft bristle brush with warm soapy water to scrub it clean. Once scrubbed, let it air dry and it’s good to go! 

A metal awning can be power-washed on the lowest setting to remove dirt and debris. In general, metal awnings are more durable and lower maintenance than fabric awnings, as they can quickly be sprayed down. However, you will need to routinely check the integrity of the metal and the awning frame to ensure they remain in good condition. 

6 Types of Awnings 

At this point, there isn’t any doubt or confusion about how amazing and beneficial awnings are. But to reap the benefits of a high-quality awning, you need to choose the right awning type for your space. Each of the following awning types has its own benefits and drawbacks. By understanding each one's pros and cons, you can choose the perfect awning for your home. 

1. Fixed Awning

As the name implies, a fixed awning is secured to a building and cannot be moved once installed. Also known as stationary awnings, fixed awnings cannot retract. 

Commercial awnings are almost always fixed awnings, and they are the most durable and strong of all the awning types. Made with metal or high-durable fabric, fixed awnings are designed to handle harsh weather, including heavy wind, snow, hail, and rain. 

Fixed awnings are less common in residential settings because they are generally more expensive and heavy-duty. However, that more so applies to large deck or patio awnings. 

Fixed window and door awnings are more common in homes, as they are easier and cheaper to make than large, fixed patio awnings. Plus, if there are multiple window awnings, it doesn’t make sense for all of them to be retractable. Thus, fixed window awnings are preferred. 

While generally more expensive, fixed awnings have the benefit of being extremely durable. Because of their high-quality, sturdy material (such as aluminum), they are usually very low maintenance and will last for several decades. 

You’ll need to be completely sure of your awning location before installing a fixed awning. Furthermore, it’s highly recommended to have the space evaluated by an expert awning installer to ensure the space can accommodate a fixed awning. Discussing a fixed awning with a professional will also help you pick the right fabric or metal for your home and region. 

2. Retractable Awning

A retractable awning is the most common awning type for residential buildings. Retractable awnings are easier and less expensive to install than fixed awnings. Many homeowners also prefer retractable awnings because they can control when the awning is extended out. 

When bad weather is expected, you can pull back retractable awnings to avoid damage and make them last longer. You can also choose how far to extend the awning. This control over the awning's position is a major plus for homeowners.
Traditional retractable awnings are controlled via a hand crank. However, there are now motorized retractable awnings available. While more expensive, motorized awnings are controlled via a remote control or button, making them much easier to use. 

Some motorized awnings come with motion sensors. They extend when the sun shines on them and retract when it gets windy. These modern and technologically advanced awnings will add a contemporary and industrial edge to your home’s aesthetic, but they are more expensive. 

Retractable awnings can be fabric or metal. Fabric is more common, but you can also find metal ones that are motorized.

3. Freestanding Awning

This awning type is not secured to a building, and is considered a portable awning—meaning it can be moved depending on where it’s needed. Freestanding awnings are almost always heavy-duty fabric awnings. 

Freestanding awnings have the benefit of mobility—they can move with the sun’s path, ensuring the area is always shaded. Due to the slanted angle of the canopy, portable awnings offer more sun protection and shade than traditional patio table umbrellas. 

Freestanding awnings require more physical work, as you have to physically move them from place to place. That said, they are generally less expensive than secured retractable awnings. 

Freestanding awnings are perfect for homes or businesses that want an awning, but don’t have the space to install a permanent one. They are also ideal for events, parties, or as a temporary setup.

The greatest disadvantage of freestanding awnings is that they are less durable and secure than fixed or retractable awnings. This is something to keep in mind if you plan on using your awning frequently. 

4. Vertical Drop Awning 

Vertical drop awnings are more like exterior curtains than awnings, but are comprised of the same heavy-duty canvas material. This unique awning type is installed on porches or outdoor living areas that have an extended roof. 

When desired, vertical drop awnings can be lowered to provide shade and block direct sunlight. They can be manually brought down or controlled via button or switch. 

Vertical drop awnings are a type of awning that only works in specific exterior areas. As such, they are less common than the other awning types. They are also slightly more expensive due to their particular installation requirements. 

Despite these drawbacks, vertical drop awnings are ideal for homes with large, south-facing porches that can benefit from added shade in the afternoon. Furthermore, this awning type is aesthetically pleasing, and will boost curb appeal and home value. 

5. Window Awning 

A window awning is a small awning specifically designed for windows. These are usually fixed awnings installed right above the window and can be fabric or metal. Metal window awnings are easier to maintain and last longer than fabric window awnings. 

Window awnings are ideal for adding extra shade over your windows to help keep your home cool and your windows protected from the elements. They are also highly decorative, and add aesthetic detail to your home’s exterior. 

To clarify, a window awning is different than an awning window. There are many types of windows, which are differentiated by their shape and function. 

An awning window is a specific window type that opens up and out—when opened, the window panel is slanted like an awning. A window awning is separate from the window itself and sits above the window as its own fixed construction. 

6. Door Awning 

Whether you have a single front door or large patio doors, awnings can add the extra shade and protection your doors need. With a door awning, you also protect your door glass from dirt and dust. Because a fixed awning will protect your door from rain, snow, and wind, it will help maintain the structural integrity and quality of your door. 

Front door awnings are ideal for homes that don’t have a covered front porch. With a door canopy, you can comfortably walk outside or enjoy your front door area without being blinded by the sun. They also provide shelter from the rain while unlocking the door. 

As with window awnings, single-door awnings are usually fixed awnings, unless your large retractable patio awning extends over the patio doors. Door awnings can be fabric or metal, though metal is more common because it’s more durable and easier to maintain than fabric. 

Intricately designed metal door awnings are beautiful additions to the home and greatly complement matching window awnings. With high-quality awnings on your windows and doors, you can significantly boost your home’s curb appeal. 

Improve Your Home’s Comfort and Design with a High-Quality Awning 

An outdoor awning is a great addition to any home. Placed over a patio, deck, or window, it cools the area, protects from weather and harsh UV rays, and doesn't need much upkeep. Awnings also save money, enhance outdoor living spaces, and improve the look of your home. With the many different awning types available, you’ll be sure to find the perfect type for your home and needs. 

If you’re interested in metal window awnings or door awnings for your home, check out Rustica’s new Securus Awning. This high-quality metal window and door awning has a modern design, and is perfect for adding shade to your windows and doors. Fully customizable, you can choose the exact width, projection, and metal finish you want for your new metal awning. Start designing your custom window or door awning today and gift your exterior with shade and protection! 

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