A retractable awning can offer the most versatile option for your patio

Your patio is the one area in your house that offers comfort similar to the other rooms, but also the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. To make sure that you can enjoy this area no matter what the weather, you should cover it with an awning.

Choice of awning design

When you choose the design of an awning to cover your patio area, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • How large is the area you wish to cover?
  • What is the purpose of the awning?
  • Do you want a permanent or a retractable awning?
  • Do you want the whole awning to retract at once, or in different sections?

The answers to these questions will determine the details of the design and construction of the awning. The design of awning that gives you the most options is an awning that can be deployed or retract as you choose.

Retractable awnings

Retractable awnings have two basic designs:

  • The fabric of the awning is stretched over two or more spars or arms, that can fold outwards or inwards. Usually, this type of awning will cover a large area, although it is possible for this type of awning to be in sections that can be folded out separately.
  • The fabric of the awning is suspended from a series of wires or rails and can be drawn across your patio almost like a curtain. This type of awning can be in one large section that covers the whole area of your patio, or it may be in separate sections. This design of retractable awning is very versatile. The 'one piece' awning allows you to cover half or the whole patio as desired. The design that is in different sections allows you to choose different parts of the patio that can be covered or left open as desired.

Retractable awnings can be operated by hand or they may be motorised.

Fabric for the awning

You must use a weatherproof fabric for your awning so that it will last through all the seasons and for a number of years.

If your aim is to have the awning only to provide shade, you could use a loose-weave fabric like shade cloth, which is light and rolls up of folds away easily. If you want your awning to offer protection from the rain as well as the sun, it is better to use a thicker fabric that has been treated. Canvas is possibly the most popular fabric for this, but you could use any fabric that has been treated for weatherproofing. These fabrics usually allow air to pass through and so your patio area will still be well ventilated, even on the hottest days.

For more information, contact companies like Patioworld NSW Pty Ltd.