Awnings are covered shelters which are usually installed at the side of the wall to provide shade and protection against the rain for outdoor purposes. They are usually made of polyester for the cover supported by aluminum or wooden frame. The most common of awnings are used at coffee shop and alfresco diners where it is used to provide shelter for outdoor dining.
Awnings first originated in Egyptian and Syrian civilization where they were used to provide shade for perishable products like fruits against the sun, rain and birds. From then on, it has shifted to provide shelter not only for food, but also for us at the walkway as well. The popularity of using awning has even became an advertising avenue for shop owners to print the stall front or name of their hotel on the awning itself, serving the business in more ways than one.
The benefits of awning go beyond providing shade and shelter from the natural elements. Houses with windows attached with awnings are proven to reduce the indoor temperature by as much as 4 to 5 degrees Celsius; which in the local context would mean the need to switch on the air-conditioning. Aesthetically, it gives a place a feeling of class and grandeur when paired with the appropriate designs on the fabrics. This could transform a food eatery along a busy street to one of class and style where customers will be willing to pay more due to its design element that is added to the eatery.
Awnings can also be used at a residential area for a variety of reasons. One of them is to provide shelter from your vehicle to your main door in a bungalow or terrace house. It is also lightweight and easy to maintain and thus provide an inexpensive means compared to creating a concrete shelter with obstructive pillars which could be hard to clean sometimes. It is also a great addition to condominiums or HDB flats with a small balcony as it can be kept when needed for those days where you are drying your clothing and cranked out to provide shade for that lazy Sunday afternoon.
There are a few things to look for if you are looking to install an awning. One of them is the underlying support. The usual choice for the support under the fabrics is usually aluminum because of its benefit of a lightweight weather resistant nature. This works especially well in the local context where wood is not preferred due to the humidity in the air and the rain it may be exposed to outdoors.
The next thing to be aware of is the materials for your awning cover. The preferred choice for this is polyester fabric with vinyl laminated on it. The reason for this is its durability in the rain, the light weight of the canvas and also its ability to print on a variety of designs to suit the locale.
The last thing to consider after the materials is how it is operated. Awning usually comes in manual cranks or an automated system. The manual crank is prepped up against the wall where the top of the awning is and currently has handles which can be removed to give it a cleaner look. The automated system is prepped up at the same place but with an electronic switch to open or close it, or a fully automated one which detects rainfall or intense sunlight to open it up. It is recommended to install the manual crank under a shelter as it needs to be fully protected from the element to ensure that the gears stay in tip-top shape for years to come.