Retractable awnings are a popular solution for outdoor shade. Because they can be partially or fully opened and closed, either by hand crank or motor, they allow a homeowner to control the amount of sunlight or shade that a patio, deck, or porch receives throughout a day. Traditional retractable awnings, though, are not ideal for every homeowner or every situation. Luckily, not all are built the same. Two alternatives which often meet the specific needs of many homeowners are Fiesta patio and freestanding awnings.
Fiesta patio awnings are an ideal option for shade when a patio, deck, or porch receives a significant amount of direct sun throughout the day. In a situation like this, retractable awnings are not necessary because homeowners may wish to have their outdoor living area shaded at all times. The Fiesta patio awning is simple and does not retract. Because of this, the Fiesta is supported by its own legs at the front of the canopy, unlike with a retractable awning which has no front support legs. The advantage to support legs is that they take a large portion of the awning's weight off of your home's outside wall to which the awning is attached. That weight is then distributed to the support legs. The frame on a Fiesta patio awning is constructed of a rugged and heavy duty galvanized steel tubing for superior strength and durability. Some additional features of a Fiesta include a choice of multiple widths to accommodate just about any size patio, deck, or porch as well as a choice of valance styles.
Another alternative to retractable awnings are freestanding awnings. Freestanding awnings, unlike retractable or Fiesta patio awnings, do not attach to the side of the home. Instead, the awning's legs are mounted to a deck or sunk into the ground, or they are supported by two freestanding bases. Freestanding awnings are an ideal choice for shade when mounting a structure to the side of a home is not desired or simply not an option. These awnings offer a great deal of flexibility, too, which cannot be matched by awnings that attach to the side of a home. A freestanding awning can provide room-sized shade on the porch, patio, and deck, but also in the garden, by the pool side, or in any sitting area that is situated away from the house. The freestanding awning has the ability to tilt from front to back to provide the best coverage throughout the day as the sun's position changes in the sky. In addition, the canopy on some freestanding awnings retracts with the help of a patented drawstring. This feature allows homeowners more control over the amount of shade or sun to which they are exposed.
To ensure that Fiesta or freestanding awnings stay in top shape for the duration, they should be protected from heavy snow accumulations. In the case of Fiesta patio awnings, this means taking down the canopy top and storing it away until spring. For the freestanding style, this means closing the canopy and using a protective cover to keep harsh weather out. No matter which type of patio awning is preferred, one feature that every homeowner should insist upon is a high quality, durable, and weather-resistant fabric canopy. A fabric, such as Sunbrella fabric, that blocks a significant amount of ultraviolet rays, is resistant to mildew and fading, and is easy to clean is the best choice and will last for many years.
Overall, when retractable awnings are not a viable or desirable option for providing shade, it's good to know that there are alternative types of shade that will more than adequately meet the needs of any homeowner.