Retractable awnings are convenient. Their convertible nature makes them an especially good choice for applications where you won’t want to use them all the time, since you can simply roll or fold them out of the way. Retractable awnings enhance outdoor space, making it more livable. They can give your patio or deck the look and feel or a separate room, or visually and functionally connect indoor and outdoor spaces.
A penthouse patio is an ideal location for a retractable awning. Before you buy, though, there are a number of factors you’ll want to consider so you can make the right choice. You’ll want to consult a professional awning company, of course. But determining what you want and need in advance will enable you to have the most productive conversation.
Think about these things:
- A retractable awning can serve as both shade and cover. You can install individual window awnings or something larger that covers living or eating areas. With your awning extended, you can invite family and friends over for a rainy-day bar-be-que.
- A retractable awning is great for summertime – you can easily switch between sun and shade. But you may find your awning is so versatile you’ll use it more than you originally expected. Take that into account up front, so your awning can continue to serve you well no matter how often you want to use it in the future.
- There is a limit to how large a retractable awning can be and still function properly. If you’re planning to shade a sizeable portion of your sizeable penthouse patio, you’ll want to discuss the dimensions with your awning company. Not all framing and fabrics suitable for small awnings will be appropriate for a large one. Not to worry, though, you’ll still have plenty of choices.
- Retraction can be via manual crank or motorized, with a wall switch or remote control that lets you operate the awning from indoors.
- It’s likely your penthouse location experiences breezy or even very windy conditions, at least now and then. Your awning can stand up to lighter breeze, and you can simply retract it if things get too windy.
- State building codes often regulate awnings, but your local municipality or even your neighborhood could have rules that limit your options. It’s best to check in advance.
With these details in mind, you’ll find a tremendous range of smart-looking, highly functional fabrics to choose from. Or you can go with aluminum. Either type of covering offers a great range of colors, combinations or customized looks. Design your awning to match your window trim or create a colorful contrast.
Be nice to your retractable awning.
You undoubtedly want to establish a long-term relationships with your awning. And why not? With the right choices, it could last for many years. Your awning can be water-repellant and mildew-resistant. It can provide superior protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.
But it won’t be bullet-proof. You’ll still have to care for your awning so it will look good and last a long time. Follow these common-sense procedures:
- Keep it clean. The longer you allow dirt, dust or urban grime, leaves, water, etc. to build up, the more likely you’ll see mildew or stains. Wipe it off periodically with a damp cloth. You can use a little mild soap on most materials, but be sure to rinse thoroughly and dry your awning.
- Water build-up will encourage fabrics to sag. But never roll or fold your retractable awning closed when it’s dirty or damp.
- Avoid spraying with insect repellant as that could undermine water-repellency.
There’s no doubt a retractable awning will make your penthouse patio more attractive and comfortable, and it can help save energy and air conditioning bills.
Photo Credit: JMR_Photography via Flickr