When it comes to awnings for your home, you may have more options than you realize for the material, style, size and so on. While only you can determine the right type of awning for your home and outdoor area, you might note some pros and cons of your various options so that you can narrow down those choices, and make your selection quickly and easily.
Awnings are usually metal, glass, fabric, or vinyl. Metal and glass awnings will offer the most protection against rain, if you want an awning for over a patio or deck area and still want to enjoy the outdoors even in inclement weather. You may also need this added protection for your home's windows during a storm. Metal and glass are also the easiest to clean, needing only an occasional wash with a pressure washer. Fabric and vinyl awnings may need dry cleaning or actual scrubbing with a scrub brush to get out stains and other such damage. Metal and glass are also more durable, and won't sag, shred, or tear in high winds, or because of having heavy snow and ice piled on top of them during wintertime.
The downside to metal and glass is that you may have fewer options for colour and style, whereas fabric and vinyl may be dyed or painted a variety of colours and designs. Fabric and vinyl might also soften the look of your outdoor space, something to consider if you have a concrete patio floor, or aluminium siding on the home's exterior.
Retractable versus fixed
The obvious advantage of a retractable awning is that you can adjust it, even closing it up completely, when you're on your patio or deck. Not only is this a good option for enjoying the deck during the summer, but closing the awning protects fabric or vinyl from damage during wintertime. However, note that the framework for a retractable awning might be a bit unsightly, as all its joints need to be hinged. There is also maintenance to the mechanics of the awning to consider, as the motor that controls the arms of the awning may eventually break down and need replacing.
A retractable awning may also move around or "flap" more often in high winds, whereas a fixed awning's framework will be without unsightly hinges, and may be more sturdy and durable in inclement weather. Also, retractable awnings need to be fabric or vinyl, so you will need to consider how these options will be cleaned over the years.