Many awning companies sell both retractable awnings and fixed canopies. There are pros and cons to both fixtures so it is important for you know to know the difference before you shop.
Today there are many options and it really depends on what you want the fixture for as to which one you purchase.
Retractable awnings have gained popularity over the years because they are so easy to use and install. Many people have found that they can get awning fabric to match the color of their homes very easily. Because they are retractable they also have the convenience of being able to be open when the weather is nice and closed when it is not.
Retractable awnings have also gone through many changes over the years that make them the sunshade of choice. People can now find Sunbrella awning fabric that not only shades you from the sun but also adds sun screen that protects against skin cancer. This is a revolutionary improvement on these types of awnings. You can find them with the old fashioned hand crank or with remote control. The average life of a retractable awning is about 25 years.
You can generally decide how much slope you want in a retractable awning and this slope can be helpful when you are attempting to put a serious dent in the sun. You can have a sensor put on them to block more or less sun and you can also use a wind sensor to change the retractable awning as the wind picks up.
Fixed canopies can be more difficult to use and maintain because they are a permanent fixture on the side of your house. They cannot be retracted for bad weather so they are there permanently. They also can cause problems when you are looking out of a window or from underneath the canopies: your view is usually blocked.
The fabrics that are used for fixed canopies are often opaque which blocks the view of the scenery from any point. They also require more maintenance than retractable awnings because they cannot be removed from the damage from the elements. In fact, the average life of a fixed canopy is about five years. They are usually less expensive than retractable awnings.
You also have to keep in mind the purpose of the fixed canopy. Usually the purpose is to protect one area of your home from the elements. Traditionally a fixed canopy is used at the entrance of a home or over a window that needs shelter from the elements.
The bottom line is that purchasing a particular awning depends on what purpose you are going to use it for and your budget.
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