Exterior awnings can make any home's exterior look more stylish and attractive, as they add a bit of colour and texture to an outside wall and can tone down the look of too much brick or aluminium siding. Awnings are also often functional, providing shade for the home's interior and some coverage over a deck or patio space. When you are ready to shop for awnings for your home, note some common mistakes you'll want to avoid so you know you'll get pieces that will work as intended and that look attractive outside the home as well.
Retractable versus fixed
If you want awnings over windows just for decoration, then you'll no doubt want fixed pieces that don't open and close. However, for shade over a patio or deck, you'll need to decide between retractable versus fixed, and they both have their own pros and cons. For example, if you enjoy your patio on milder days, you may want to retract the awning slightly for some sunshine and warmth. You might also want to retract the awning for any plants you have on the patio or deck area so they can get adequate sunshine. Don't assume a fixed awning that extends over the seating area will be best, but ensure you note any possibility that you'll want to be able to adjust its depth.
On the other hand, be sure you look at the arms and framework of a retractable awning, as these might be more cumbersome and unsightly than the framework for a fixed awning. Also, note how the retractable awning would open and close; don't assume that one with a crank will be easy to operate, as these may take more cranking to get into position than you realize! Investing in a motorized awning may be a better choice, even if it means more expense for its purchase and installation.
Shade inside the home
If you're choosing decorative awnings, these may be very small and may not block the windows, but larger awnings will provide shade in the home, as said. It's good to consider how much shade you need, versus how much shade would make the home dark and uncomfortable. Don't choose your awnings based on their outside appearance alone, but note carefully how much sun they would block from a window; be sure you don't get large awnings that would cut off too much sunlight from your houseplants or create a dark and dim interior that's actually uncomfortable and even downright cold.