Types of Retractable Awnings
When the sun is out, you have options! That’s because there is a retractable awning for virtually every need. Whether you’re looking to protect a single window or the entire side of a glass house, there is a retractable awning for your needs.
Lateral Arm Retractable Awnings
This is the awning that most people think of when they hear 'retractable awning'.
With this awning design, folded arms extend horizontally from beneath a rolled up awning cover, extending that cover to any desired projection. Manual or powered operation is available, as are a variety of mounting options and sizes.
Cassette awnings are simply lateral arm awnings where the entire mechanism is self-contained when retracted. Semi-cassette awnings are very similar, however in these the arms are not contained within the enclosure. Semi-cassette designs are far more common than full-cassette, as the arms are typically some of the more weather resistant parts of the awning, and designing them to fit within a cassette generally involves a trade-off in other areas.
Side or Drop Arm Awnings
A drop arm awning allows a great degree of control over the position and angle of the awning. Using a manual crank or motor, the awning can be extended as much or little as needed and can be lowered to completely cover the window it is housed over.
These awnings are very popular in the commercial market, known there as the bistro awning, due to their durability, simplicity, and classic aesthetic. The stronger geometry of the arms mean that hardware can be thinner and cheaper for the same degree of strength and weather resistance.
The greater vertical shading possible with this type of awning makes it great for areas like windows and front porches. Especially because these are areas where the increased horizontal projection a typical retractable can provide is less useful.
Drop-Down Shades (Solar Shades)
Drop-down shades are a brilliant solution when you have large windows, decks, or patios that get a full on assault by the sun's rays at a particular time of day. Also known as solar shades, these retractable fabric screens are mounted on either the interior or exterior home and are accessed by remote to give you control over the amount of light entering your space at the touch of a button.
Solar shades are made of a material that can block most UV rays, which protects not only your skin but also your furniture, rugs, flooring, deck, and other textiles that may be exposed to the light streaming in from your windows. Solar shades also block direct sunlight from entering and heating up your home, saving on cooling bills when the sun is at its hottest. Best of all, drop-down shades are transparent, so they allow you to enjoy the scene outside even when they are in use. They do not, however, allow anyone to see in, so they act as privacy shields on top of all their other benefits.
Drop-down shades are both practical and beautiful in almost any area of the home. They are particularly well suited to sun rooms, rooms that face south or west, partially enclosed patios or decks, and balconies. They can also be mounted easily to fixed awnings, like our patio canopies.
Pergola Shade Awnings
The luxurious, Mediterranean feel afforded by a pergola is unique. A pergola is a useful design element that provides partial respite from the sun, but in the heat of the afternoon, you may find yourself plotting an escape into the house!
We offer a few ways to make your pergola structure fully functional throughout the day. A retractable pergola awning transforms your pergola at the click of a button. We can install a shade awning to cover the slats of the pergola as well as one or more vertical drop-screens to provide even more protection at strategic times of day.
We also offer several styles of deluxe pergola with either louvered or glass roofing. These fully weather-proof roof options turn the pergola into a true outdoor haven -- sealed from the weather when needed, and open to the air and sky when the weather is enjoyable. No retractable awning options come close to this level of comfort and luxury. Our deluxe pergola truly is a no-compromises outdoor experience.
Limitless canopies are fairly simple, consisting of weather-resistant solution-dyed acrylic fabric suspended between two very taut cables with a simple mounting system. The result is a luxurious and modern looking retractable fabric shade -- as easy to adjust manually as if it were a window shade.
The simplicity of this shade option also means that it is extremely versatile. It can cover almost any space, provided there is a structure from which to affix the cables on each side. Even if there isn't, a free sanding structure can be erected to hold one or both sides of the canopy. It can also fit beneath free standing structures like pergolas, offering another good way to extend their utility.
These canopies offer partial weather resistance, and are quite easy to clean and maintain. They are quite trendy, and can fit many design aesthetics where other retractable awnings would be out of place.