The 7 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Purchasing an Awning

The 7 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Purchasing an Awning

I’m going to share the 7 biggest pitfalls people run into when they purchase an awning. If you’re looking for an awning supplier that will give you the best possible service and install a retractable awning that will protect you and your family for decades, you needn’t look further.

Breslow Home Design Center is the awning supplier for you. Those of you located in New Jersey will be happy to hear we offer a free in-home consultation to discuss all the options available. Purchasing an awning isn’t as easy as 1,2,3. There are many considerations that need to be addressed before you put your money down.

Most of my clients are shocked by all the choices they have to make before their awning is installed.  So why not put your feet up and I’ll give you some of my best advice. Remember being forewarned is to be forearmed.

Words Of Advice from An Awning Supplier: What You Should Look For


If you’re looking for a retractable shade system you need some words of advice from an awning supplier, because we know the ins and outs of all the manufacturers… not to mention the typical mistakes clients make! 

I can’t count how many times customers have called me looking to sort out the issues they encountered because they bought a shade system without doing their homework. So I’m going to share the 7 biggest pitfalls people run into when they purchase an awning so you can avoid them altogether:

1. Never Buy An Awning Because It’s Cheap!


I get it! I’m a penny pincher too. There’s never a reason to throw good money after bad. That being said, you often do get what you pay for. Quality is a very big part of buying the right shade system for your family. One of the biggest selling points of the manufacturers we promote is their parts are strong and safe. For example, Aristocrat’s shoulders are drop forged. This is the same process they use to create professional golf clubs. Their frame is also guaranteed for life – so this sort of says it all. Aristocrat is so confident in their product they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is, which we LOVE.

The truth of the matter is, your awning will likely weigh hundreds of pounds. Who wants to second guess the strength of the parts used to create your new shade system? Having it come down on people’s heads isn’t something you want to risk…

Not to mention the fact that if the manufacturer uses substandard materials the frame will NOT last a lifetime. Before long you’ll be calling us looking for a replacement. This negates the savings of purchasing an inexpensive awning. You may actually even end up forking out MORE cash in the long run, which completely defeats the point.

So as an awning supplier, I can honestly tell you buying that super cheap model you found online may be a serious headache in the long run.

Don’t do it!

2. Awning Material MATTERS!


As I mentioned above, Aristocrat offers a lifetime guarantee for their awning frames. Hmm well, that’s terrific. Now I don’t need to replace it EVER. YES and NO! You will absolutely have to replace the fabric if you want to use your shade system throughout your life. The material you use will wear out over time and look tatty. A big part of our business is recovering awnings, so we know a lot about this subject. 

First of all, you always want to buy fabric from a reputable manufacturer. One of our favorites is Sunbrella. If you’re wondering why I’ll let you know right now. Sunbrella has an incredible selection of colors and textures. Not to mention the fact they also use cutting edge technology that makes their offering both resilient and extraordinarily water resistant. If you have an eagle eye maybe you’re wondering why I didn’t say waterproof. 

Which brings me to the next point. Sunbrella fabric BREATHS because it’s NOT waterproof. This is very important on those hot and humid days because if a fabric doesn’t breathe it will trap hot, humid air under the awning. Making for a very unpleasant environment for your guests. This actually goes back to point #1. If you purchase a cheap awning, chances are the fabric uses will be plastic and create exactly the circumstances I outlined just now. 

…but that’s not all! Sunbrella fabric protects your family from damaging UV rays. They received a seal of approval from the Skin Cancer Foundation. With skin cancer growing every year this is a wonderful selling point. Not to mention their 10-year warranty! They have that much confidence in their product. 


3. Don’t Underestimate Your Space!


This is a biggie! Way too many people are unsatisfied with their outdoor space because their awning comes up short…literally 🙂 

You need to really get outside and explore the area you’re looking to shade before you decide on the projection of your awning. Of course, every home has different restrictions, but you definitely don’t want to underestimate your needs. We have a lot of clients that come to us because they failed to do this and now realize the awning they selected doesn’t completely cover their guests when inclement weather sets in.  

People shift around when they’re eating – stretch out their legs and move their chairs back. So if you haven’t nailed down your outdoor furniture – you should do this BEFORE you buy an awning. That way you can play around with the space to see what you really need to keep everyone covered. 

4. Get A Handle On Your Options! Motorization & Wind/Sun Sensors are GREAT!


A traditional awning has a hand crank. It’s a simple and easy way to operate your shade system and costs a bit less. The thing is, we’re all very busy. You need to think about the reality of cranking your retractable awning in and out every time you want to use it. 

If you get distracted, there’s always the chance you’ll leave your awning open during a storm. This can be disastrous as wind and awnings don’t mix well. To avoid human error I suggest that my clients purchase a motorized system with sun and wind sensors. 

This takes YOU out of the equation, not only will you be able to operate your awning at the touch of a button, but it will know when to open and close based on weather conditions. If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint or lower your energy bills this is the best possible way to achieve this goal. Your awning will be optimized for success and you won’t have to think about it constantly. 

The best news is these additions are not particularly costly. It’s a win-win.

In the spirit of full disclosure sun and wind sensors aren’t 100% fail-proof but they are far more consistent than humans are. 

5. Know The Strengths Of The Manufacturer You Choose


As with anything not all manufacturers are created equal. As an awning supplier, I’ve encountered a lot of people who believe all shade systems are pretty much the same. NOT true at all. In fact, I would go as far as to say that each manufacturer we carry has its own niche.

A good example of this is the Alutex Madera. The Madera Giant is the only awning in the industry that claims to have a 20′ projection. They accomplish this incredible feat by installing a double torsion bar with large shoulders to support the weight of the arms. So if you’re looking to cover a very large space this is the option for you.

This is just one area of expertise. There are many more and this is why you should check out our retractable, awning and pergola guide for more information…CLICK HERE! 

Or simply call the professionals at Breslow Home Design Center! We are here to help.

6. Proper Installation Is Incredibly Important


I can’t stress this enough. If you don’t live in New York or New Jersey and can’t use us, you should make sure the company that installs your retractable awning knows what they’re doing. Your safety and the safety of your guests is of the utmost importance. The last thing you need is a system that weighs hundreds of pounds hanging off your home by a thread. 

At Breslow Home Design Center we do some additional work to stabilize your awning. My team and I always affix a solid piece of 2′ x 8″ ledger board to your home or structure. This creates a solid surface to install your awning.

Details like this are what separates us from almost every other awning supplier in the region.  

Whatever you do, check out the credentials of the company that is installing your awning. You want to work with people who take pride in their workmanship and who will be there years later if you need assistance. 

7. Bear In Mind Your Environment


Your environment is an important part of the decision-making process when it comes to selecting an awning that works for you.  Even in New York and New Jersey, we have to take this into consideration. A good example of this sort of situation is installing an awning in an area that is protected by trees versus installing an awning on beachfront property. 

These are two very different jobs. The beachfront property will be subjected to relentless sun, sand, wind, and humidity throughout the year. The owners can expect their material to take a real beating. Sadly this means they will have to replace the fabric sooner than the awning owner who lives in a house sheltered by trees. That being said, we have an answer to this conundrum. Our beachfront property dwellers will likely opt for a fully cassetted shade system. 

This allows them to completely enclose the fabric and arms inside a concealed box when the awning is not in use. Providing top of the line protection from the elements. If you live in an area where the weather conditions are more extreme I would always suggest a fully cassetted shade system with wind and sun sensors to get the most out of your purchase. 

Awning Supplier Extraordinaire: Breslow Home Design Center!


As one of the top awning suppliers in the US, we’ve encountered all the potential issues that can crop up if you don’t do your homework. The best way to get what you want and spend as little money as possible is to do things right the first time around. 

In my personal experience, very few people are happy when they install a cheap awning. While I fully understand we all have budgets, sometimes it’s best to wait to buy something that’s going to work well long term rather than to jump into an ill-conceived purchase. There’s nothing more disappointing than planning a party under a small humid awning that doesn’t achieve your goals. 

To really get a handle on the direction you should go with your new awning why not give the professionals at Breslow Home Design Center a call? We’ll send a designer to scope out your space and to speak with you about your goals. Once we nail that down we’ll review the manufacturers to see which one best suits your needs. Then it’s all about fabric and design. Remember an awning can change the feel of your whole home. Call us today and we’ll make sure you skip past all the potential pitfalls! 

Breslow Home Design Center: The Best Awning Supplier in NJ!


Breslow Home Design has been in business since 1924. Our Grandfather Louis Breslow had an incredible work ethic which has led our company through three generations of success. If you own a business you know this is no easy feat. 

The recipe is simple. Offer the best possible products, give consistently great service and treat your customers like they are family. This is why I love writing these blog posts. 

This puts you in the driver’s seat, enabling you to make the best choices. To be honest, knowledge is what saves people time and hassle in the long run. Rushing to make purchases is typically a bad move and buying an awning is no different. 

March, April, and May are really big months for awning sales on the East Coast. Winter is winding down, the snow is melting and people are thinking about barbeques, firepits and family gatherings…

…and buying a retractable awning for your backyard is one of the most cost-effective ways for you to reduce your carbon footprint, add entertainment space, protect your family from damaging UV rays and increase the value of your home. 

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