What Are the Different Types of Garden Awnings?

T. Carrier

Garden awnings protect garden contents and visitors from the elements and can also be used as decorative additions. There are several types of garden awnings that can serve these purposes. The structures may be free-standing, portable, or affixed to a wall by metal bars and a bracket. Aluminum awnings and retractable awnings serve as two examples. Garden awnings may also be either manually or electronically operated.

Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

Awnings are a type of durable fabric covering generally made of acrylic, cotton, or vinyl. They are used as shelter for various activities, such as camping, boating, gardening, or simply lounging outdoors. In the latter cases, the awning is either attached to a home wall and extends over the garden or it is placed directly over parts of the garden. While some of these awnings are fixed in place, others are portable.

One type of small awning extends from a window and over a garden. These devices may thus connect the home to the garden, providing individuals an attractive and peaceful sitting area. Such awnings typically function as a shade covering that prevents excessive amounts of light from entering through the window. They come in shapes ranging from domed to arched. The drop-arm awning — in which metal arms control the amount of canvas rolled from the window — is one example of this type of awning.

Other garden awnings cover entire patio areas and are stationary. They typically have a metal framework called a truss. Larger-sized awnings should be able to withstand outside forces like snow load and wind load. Awnings made with metal coverings are popular for these purposes, particularly aluminum awnings. Many prefer these awning types for their cool temperature atmospheres and long-lasting durability.

While the aforementioned garden awnings are affixed to a specific structure, alternative types are portable. A freestanding awning, for example, typically contains a frame made of stainless steel and aluminum powder. These materials provide support and prevent rusting and other types of wear. The awning is held up by poles. One may move this type of awning by tilting it over.

Retractable freestanding awnings, on the other hand, can be folded and transported. They contain special devices known as torsion bars that allow folding and angle adjustment. Awnings that are retractable have the advantage of controlling sunlight exposure and thus controlling temperatures underneath the structure.

Another distinction between garden awnings is manual versus electric. The former awning type must be opened with one’s hands, while the latter functions by a remote-controlled electric motor. Manually operated awnings have vertical arms that provide extra strength and support. Electric counterparts can have added features like automatic awning retraction in high winds.

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