Patios are great, but they're even better when you have an awning. An awning extends the amount of time you can use your patio because it protects you from the noon-day sun and from light rain. What's more, awnings also extend the life of your furniture.
So, you're sold on a patio awning. When you go shopping for one, though, you may realize a lot goes into choosing one for your space. Below are some styles that can complement your patio.
1. Retractable Awning
A retractable awning is usually attached to your house. It extends over your patio with mechanical arms. You can choose between a motor-driven or hand-crank extension. You can even choose varieties that you program to move at certain times. Retractable awnings are more expensive, but they afford you the most options in patio coverage.
2. Freestanding Awning
A freestanding awning looks similar to a retractable awning in that it consists of a large rectangle of weatherproof fabric. However, rather than be attached to the house, the freestanding awning comes with its own structure. This structure can consist of four posts, one at each corner, or two posts in the center with arms extending the awning out.
A freestanding awning can be either retractable or immobile. If it features the four poles, it's immobile. When it features the posts and arms, it's another version of a retractable awning.
3. Sail Awning
A sail canopy consists of a large piece of waterproof fabric, usually in a triangular shape. You attach the awning to hooks to pull it tight. The hooks can be attached to the house, posts, or other structures in the area. The need for such structures is a downside to shade sails. However, sail canopies are budget-friendly and very easy to store.
4. Sun Umbrella
A sun umbrella is exactly what it sounds like — an umbrella meant to protect you from the sun. This style of awning is essentially an oversized umbrella, one that's big enough to cover a dining or lounge area. Indeed, some patio tables feature a hole in the center to place such a sun umbrella.
A sun umbrella can also be a more involved style of awning. Instead of a single pole, you can find ones with an extension arm. The sun umbrella opens out from this extension arm. You also see mechanical versions. Like the motorized retractable awning, the motorized sun umbrella can be programmed to move.
Once you've decided on a style of awning for your patio, look into the wide array of colors and patterns available from the awning manufacturer you choose to buy from.