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Outdoors: Deck Awnings

It can be hard to enjoy your patio or deck on those sweltering summer days - the heat from the sun can make you wished you stayed inside. But what better way to protect yourself from harmful rays than by installing a deck awning?

Deck awnings come in a variety of styles and sizes. Among the most popular awnings are retractable deck awnings; awnings that give you the freedom to choose when you'd like some shade or when you'd prefer sitting in the sun.  

A Retractable Deck Awning
A retractable deck awning (sometimes called a movable awning) will also shade your patio door and house wall.

To maximize the value of your dollar, you might want to think about installing a lateral arm retractable awning. These awnings can be opened any distance, from 1 to 13 feet, and are available in widths of up to 40 feet. When it is retracted, this type of awning is relatively unnoticeable. Because it doesn't require vertical supports, the awning blends in nicely with the wall of any house.

This particular type of awning is secured to the wall of the house and can be opened fairly easily. It is operated by either a hand crank or an electric motor. Spring-loaded arms support the awning when it is opened. Closed, the awning folds up and the arms easily attach to the wall of the house. A variety of decorative and water resistant fabrics are available. An interesting option to investigate is the wind and rain sensors which automatically close the awning when activated.

Create a Screened Patio

To avoid those pesky summertime insects, optional screens are available. These attach to the side of the awning and create a bug-free zone. Freestanding "butterfly" awnings are available for those who don't have an awning attached to their house. It is operated by hand crank, and folds into a centre roll when not in use. For those who like vertically supported awnings, try using a design that operates using side tracks.

Awnings can be covered in almost any material imaginable. Visit a local dealer to find out more about the various designs and fabrics available and that will best suit your needs.

Installing An Awning
Because of the width of most awnings, installing an awning is a two-person job. But they are not heavy or difficult to install if there is no one to help you out. If you do not have room to mount one on the wall, mount it on top of the roof edge or hidden under the roof overhang. Often, just four support brackets are needed.

When installing an electric motor model, consider also installing optional lights. These globe-style lights hang from the valance at the end of the awning. They provide soft relaxing lighting in the evening.