All About Awnings All About Awnings

Walk down any Main Street in Anytown, USA, and you will see colorful
awnings
attached to stores. Awnings not only provide needed shade,
but are often seen as a trademark for many businesses. They offer both
"curb appeal" and shade for windows in sunny locations. Here we will
discuss awnings, their uses as both a practical and design device, and
different installations.

A Brief History

Awnings have long been associated with business. In ancient Egypt
and Syria, centuries ago, the use of woven mats for shade has been
documented. Large fabric awnings were used to shelter the seating
areas of amphitheatres and stadiums, including the Coliseum, in the
Roman Empire. In 50 B.C, the Roman poet Lucretius said that thunder
sounded like a "linen-awning, stretched, o'er mighty theatres, gives
forth at times, a cracking roar, when much 'tis beaten about, betwixt
the poles and cross-beams." Awnings have been used throughout the
world, in basically the same configuration, for at least two
millennia.

Awnings began to appear in America during the first part of the 18th
century, and were utilitarian and often something improvised to meet a
need. Store owners would nail canvas duck to the building, drape it
over iron poles in an overhang, and allow the fabric to drape down in
a valance. These became the forerunner of awnings we see today.

Awnings fell out of favor in the 50's and 60's, when the modernistic
style of architecture became fashionable. Although still seen on
swank homes and residential buildings, most modern office buildings
and store fronts discontinued their use. Air conditioning took away
the need for protection from the sun. Aluminum awnings replaced the
cloth ones, being easier to care for and more long lasting.

Today, the awning has once again come into favor. New materials that
are more resistant to the elements, aluminum poles and fittings that
don't corrode, and plastic fittings make awnings more of a
consideration for businesses and residential homes. And now, with the
advent of higher energy costs, they make more sense than ever. The
trend towards revitalizing and restoring old neighborhoods has once
again brought awnings to the fore.

Some Considerations

If you have decided on an awning for home or business, keep in mind
that they come in many different styles and configurations. You can
pay just about any price you could name for awnings, depending on
budget and need. They come in many forms, including window and door
awnings, stationary awnings, retractable awnings, patio covers,
entrance canopies and free standing cabanas. Anywhere that shade is
needed for protection of people and businesses, an awning is built for
that purpose. They are built in motorized versions that can be
retracted by a push of a button when not needed. They are also made
in a fixed style that complements any business exterior.

Different Types and Styles

There is no lack of variety in awnings, and you can be sure to find
the type best suited for your application. If considering an awning
for a business application, the choices are only as limited as your
imagination. Custom designed awnings may feature a back light that
illuminates the awning, the size and shape can be designed to meet
your needs, and many different design styles are available. A popular
design is the dome shape and extended dome shape over doors and
windows. Almost any color imaginable can be put on an awning today,
and designs and logos are also an important part of branding your
store. Not only are these awnings aesthetically appealing, but are
practical, too. They protect the interior furnishings, help reduce
energy bills, and enhance architectural appearance.

Design Considerations

First, determine whether you want the awning to blend in to your
surroundings or make a statement. Some cities have regulations that
may hamper the wildest design, so check with local authorities before
erecting any awning.

In a residential setting, it is a good idea to have awnings blend not
only into the home design, but the surrounding landscape. Neutral and
earthy colors work well in country settings. At the seashore or a
lake cottage, you may want to go with a more festive, colorful design.
In quaint shops, consider the classic black and white striped awning.

Price considerations

You can find a wide variety of prices when installing an awning,
depending on who you contract with and the availability of awning
outlets. 0n the internet, a 5 foot window awning will run about
$250.00, with shipping around 20 dollars. A typical awning for a
store front will run around $1,800.00, which includes installation.

An awning is always in fashion. It protects your home or business,
and makes a statement about who you are. Consider an awning in your
spring retrofit.

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