2012.08.29

Choose a retractable awning for a terrace

How great it is in summer in the country! What can be better than spending several pleasant morning Sunday hours with a book or a notebook on a porch, or invite your family and friends to a dinner, and celebrate summer and good mood together with close people on a fresh air!

Burning sun or summer rain can be absolutely out of season when you want to spend time on a terrace of your country house. That is why retractable awnings for terraces and porches are inherent part of exterior of country houses and cottages.
How to choose a retractable awning in a right way, so that it responds all your demands, and delights you for a long time with its irreproachable work and excellent appearance? In this review we will see what retractable awnings exist, as well as their advantages and characteristics.
When you choose a terrace awning, first of all you should decide what type will be preferable for you; there are two main types, open (Fig.1) and cassette (Fig.2) models.
 

Fig. 1. Folding arm awning of open type Ventura Premium Fig. 2. Folding arm awning of cassette type Riva

 
Open folding arm models are the most popular type of terrace awnings. They are called “folding arm” because the main part of it mechanism, movable levers-arms that, folding and unfolding, open the awning. The awning fabric is attached to the roller tube and front profile; when the awning is folded up, the fabric rolls up on the roller tube.

The principle of action of cassette folding arm awnings is similar to the one of open models; their main difference is presence of a special protective cassette which, being closed, completely covers the mechanism and roller tube with fabric from influence of environment. Thanks to that, cassette awnings keep their characteristics and respectable appearance for a longer time; however, they are also characterized with a higher price. Different forms of protective cassettes permit to choose a cassette awning according to your taste, and the exterior design.

Awning appearance

After you have settled the type of awning, you should choose a certain model. Open folding arm awnings are represented with two models: premium class awning Ventura Premium (Fig. 3.), and more economic one ECO (Fig. 4.). Cassette retractable awnings are represented with a line of four models. (Fig. 5., Fig. 6., Fig. 7., Fig. 8.). they differ by design, and some technical characteristics.
 

Fig. 3. Folding arm awning of open type Ventura PremiumFig. 4. Folding arm awning of open type Eco
Fig. 5. Folding arm awning of cassette type ComoFig. 6. Folding arm awning of cassette type Riva
Fig. 7. Folding arm awning of cassette type T-LineFig. 8. Folding arm awning of cassette type S-Line

 
The first thing you see when you look at an awning is of course the colour of fabric. Everything depends only upon your wishes; awning fabrics of any colours from the catalogue have similar characteristics; that is why the colour does not influence on the price.

Apart from the fabric colour, one can choose the colour of aluminium components. In standard performance, they are white, but they can be powder coated in any colour according to the RAL catalogue. It is possible to powder coat square bar, profiles, brackets, and, in case of cassette models, protective cassettes. One should remember that it is not possible to powder coat folding arms, as they are movable parts of the awning. For some sizes of open folding arm awnings brown arms can be available, but more often they are white.

Select the operating mode

So, you have chosen the model and fabric colour of your future awning. So, how to operate it? In the basic complement, both open and cassette awnings are operated manually with help of a crank (Fig. 9). It is inserted into the “eye” of an awning, and, by turning it, you activate the gear that folds and unfolds the arms; they, in their turn, move the front profile with fabric attached to it. Thus, eve awnings of big sizes are operated manually without big efforts.

At the same time, all retractable awnings can be equipped with electric motor (Fig. 10.) which is activated by a remote control or button switch attached to a wall in a place convenient to you. More often our clients prefer remote controls, though button operation is also convenient; when they choose this variant, it is mainly because the button cannot be lost.

Fig. 9. Operating with help of a crankFig. 10. Electric motor that is activated by a remote control

 
Electric motor is installed into the roller tube of the awning; they are noiseless and very durable. If an awning is equipped with a motor, it can be additionally equipped with sun (Fig. 11), rain (Fig. 12.), and wind sensors (Fig. 13.), that are programmed on certain parameters, and operate the awning automatically according to weather conditions.

Apart from comfort in operating, installation of a motor with sensors gives one more advantage that is prolonging working term of an awning. Just imagine that you have left your summer cottage, not closing your awning, and the next day storm comes. During strong wind, retractable awnings should be folded up, because they have shielding, and when wind rocks the awning strongly, it can damage its mechanism. However, the motor with wind sensor permits you to forget about the necessity to fold up the awning, as the automatics will do everything for you.
 

Fig. 11. Sun and wind sensor Fig. 12. Rain sensor Fig. 13. Wind sensor

 
And, in conclusion, some more samples: