Installing an awning: 9 mistakes not to make

We may like the sun, but it is better to moderate our ardor if we want to enjoy our terrace in summer. Want plenty of shade outdoors? Having an awning installed is the solution! Before ordering an installer, here are some mistakes not to make to save time. And a little more time means more rest on the terrace…

1 – Not choosing the right location

If you want to take full advantage of it, do not fix the location of your awning at random. Take into account the course of the sun, your lifestyle, the configuration of your house… Here are some good questions to ask yourself:

  • What is the outside resting space where you would like to have shade? Identify the hot spots (indoors and outdoors) in your home and the times when you need freshness. Usually, the awning is installed on the facade, above a bay window, a terrace or a balcony. At what time do you occupy certain spaces, when they are subject to strong sunlight?
  • Take into account the orientation of the facade in relation to the sun, during the day and the seasons. It is in the middle of the day, when the sun is high, that we need shade the most. Your objective is to take advantage of the shade in the right place and at the right time.
  • What is the configuration of the places to be protected from the sun? Should the awning cover a bay window or several windows? Also check the type of support that will accommodate the structure of the awning. Is it a masonry or wooden support? The binding will have to adapt accordingly. The configuration of the premises sometimes requires the design of a tailor-made store.
  • The inclination of the awning is important. It is generally 5 to 30 degrees. Calculate the ideal inclination in relation to the sunshine of your outdoor space. We recommend an inclination of 5 to 15 degrees for a terrace located to the south or north. If it faces east or west, the inclination can go up to 30 degrees.
  • Plan the height of the installation. An awning is installed about 2.50 to 3 meters high. But it also depends on the desired configuration. If it must overhang a bay window, allow 30 cm of space at the top of the bay. We recommend a height of 2 meters at the end of the canvas, for easy movement and optimal shade.

2 – Underestimate the dimensions

The precise size of your awning is essential. The dimensions are assessed according to the width, the height and the projection.

  • The width of the awning must be able to cover all the space you wish to shade. Standard sizes are 3 to 6 meters. If you do not find sufficient width on the market, do not hesitate to order custom-made.
  • The height must be evaluated according to the particular realities of your home. Take into account the height of any patio doors or bay windows. You should be able to close the shutters without touching the awning (and without having to fold it up).
  • The advance is the most important dimension in terms of shading. It corresponds to the complete deployment of the awning. The greater the advance, the greater the shadow zone. For a medium-sized terrace, plan a projection of at least 3 meters. And don’t forget an important detail: when unfolding, the awning lowers! The greater the projection, the greater the overhang. The end of the blind is significantly lower than the load bar (at the start). Progress is based on the deployment of bras ; their quality depends on the resistance and lifespan of your awning!

3 – Choose an awning model that does not suit you

There are three types of awnings. Your choice should fall on the one that suits your needs – and also a little bit your budget.

  • The monobloc stores is the cheapest. Its canvas is on a reel, which rests on a square tube. Since the canvas is not protected from the weather, you can add an awning to it. In any case, it will have to be maintained carefully. It has the advantage of being compact and easy to repair in the event of a problem. It is suitable for a small space, such as a balcony, or for occasional use.
  • The awning with semi-box makes it possible to store the fabric and the engine, in particular in winter or in case of bad weather. The awning is protected. The arms remain outside, folded under the trunk. It’s not very aesthetic… Above all, they are subject to bad weather all year round.
  • The awning with integral box is the most complete… and the most aesthetic. The box allows you to store the canvas, the arms and the motor as soon as they are no longer used. It requires less maintenance. However, this model is more expensive to buy and maintain. If you need a repair, the repairman will have to spend a little more time on it. The little extra: in the range of awnings with integral box, you can benefit from certain options such as integrated LED lighting, the fogger or the remote control.
  • Manual or motorized? Choose according to the frequency of use. The manual system tends to wear out faster. It is suitable for a small area or occasional use. But motorization is preferable if you plan to use your awning often.

4 – Choose a first price canvas

The performance of the awning largely depends on the quality of the fabric. Don’t choose her for the wrong reasons. If you favor a canvas because of its low price, you may not get the quality you want. To choose well, know that there are several types of materials.

  • The acrylic canvases are made of a synthetic fiber that is resistant to weather and UV rays. It is a very high quality material, strong, effective against heat and waterproof. As a bonus, the island does not fade and humidity does not cause it to mold.
  • Polypropylene fabrics are less expensive to buy. But they are less resistant to UV and last less long. And a little less pretty too… The advantage of polypropylene is that it can be recycled.
  • Micro-perforated fabrics evacuate the hot air, bringing more freshness. They are weatherproof and filter at least 90% of UV rays.

The choice of a canvas must correspond to your needs. Consider the regional climate; it has an impact on the lifespan of a blind.

  • The fabric must be resistant to bad weather, rain and especially wind. Take this into account to select a fabric adapted to the climatic aggressions of your place of residence.
  • Choose the color well. It must harmonize with your environment. For the quality of the color, check if it is only dyed or integrated into the fiber. In the first case, it may fade faster. Each color creates a different mood. Blue cools the light, yellow warms it, white or gray are neutral… In this way you create a rather refreshing atmosphere, friendly or calm, it’s up to you.

5 – Neglecting motorization

We have seen that an awning can be operated manually or have a motor. If you’re tempted to opt for manual mode for the sake of saving on price, read on.

  • Manual control cheaper, of course. But if you want an awning that extends more than 3 meters, you risk getting tired of the crank very quickly. It takes time and energy, and that’s it in less idleness on the terrace…
  • With a motor, you operate your awning by wired or radio control. The first consists of a switch placed nearby, in the house or outside. This requires an electrical connection. With a radio control, you open the awning with a simple remote control.
  • Guaranteed for 5 years, motors last longer than manual controls, which painfully suffer the jolts and repetition of the opening and closing movement. However, it is prudent to ask the installer for a emergency engine. In the event of a power outage, you can still operate the blind manually.
  • A motorized awning fits into your landscape Automation. You can control it remotely from your smartphone, like any home device. With a dedicated application, manage the amount of sun in your space, and the degree of brightness or shade desired.
  • In addition to the motorization, have a wind or rain sensor. This system allows the awning to close automatically in your absence if it detects the slightest gust of wind or the start of a downpour. This is an option that turns out to be very useful in the long run.

6 – Do not anticipate the maintenance of the awning

An awning is strong, but let’s not forget that it is permanently outside. It is not designed to remain exposed to wind and heavy rain. Bad weather can seriously damage your awning: bent or broken arm, torn fabric, etc.

  • Consider closing it when the weather is bad, always being one step ahead of weather variations. Installing a sensor can make your life easier.
  • Clean the canvas regularly. Brush it; in case of stain, simply wash it with soapy water. An anti-stain treatment will simplify maintenance. Never roll up a fabric that is still damp; this is the best way to promote mold.
  • Some fabrics also require a treatment anti-fungalonce a year.
  • Grease the mechanism regularly with a silicone spray. The arm joints, the winch, the crank and the spindles need to be lubricated from time to time, at least once a year.
  • In case of breakdownmost parts can be changed easily.

7 – Save on quality

An awning represents a certain budget. That’s no reason to skimp on quality. The efficiency and durability of the awning depends on the quality of the materials and the mechanism. Invest in solid, you will be quiet longer. Overall, plan on average 1000 euros for a quality blind, installation included.

8 – Neglecting comfort options

We appreciate spending time in a well-shaded outdoor space. And by dint of spending time there, you might regret not having chosen certain options…

  • lighting LED, installed for example under the arms of the awning, is particularly pleasant in the evening. The light is controlled remotely. This option is only available for full box awnings.
  • A heater infrared is available as an option. This is appreciable in regions where summer evenings are sometimes a bit chilly…
  • The lambrequin is a vertical blind, which is added to the load bar. It is perfect for protecting against the rays of the low sun in the evening. On a portico, it brings a certain intimacy without masking the sight on the environment. Along a bay window, it protects the interior space from excessively hot radiation.

9 – Forgetting to tidy up your little mess

Okay, you’re more the type to tidy up the terrace or the veranda. But just in case, remember that installing an awning requires space. So that the professional can install yours without any problem, plan to clear the surroundings and secure the area. Remove furniture, equipment, plants, in short, anything that can move into an adjoining room. Another thing: the works will make dust. Plan something to protect the spaces if you don’t want to spend hours cleaning everything. That being said, it is possible that the installer will take precautions not to mess everything up. Do not hesitate to ask him in advance what is planned. Two tarps are better than one…

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