When you build a deck for your home, you should consider the different types of deck awnings to help provide some cover. A deck is a great place to enjoy the warmer days and watch the kids or the dogs in the yard. Decks also make an ideal gathering point for friends and a destination for summer barbecues.

Without an awning overhead, your deck can quickly become uncomfortable in the peak heat of the day, not to mention the risks as a health hazard. The right awning choice can make your deck a refuge even when the sun is blazing or the day is rainy. There are a few different awning options that are popular with deck owners.

Retractable Deck Awnings

A retractable awning extends out over your deck when you need it and retracts into a roll or case when you want open air. Many deck owners view this as the best of both worlds because you choose when you want the awning cover and when you do not. Most models feature easy controls with either push-button systems, a remote control or a manual crank handle to extend or retract the awning.

Retractable awnings are popular for many reasons. Not only do homeowners appreciate having the choice to use the awning or not, which you sacrifice with a fixed structure, but retractable awnings often last longer because you protect the material from weather damage and deterioration by keeping it retracted when you aren’t using it. This extends the lifespan of your awning and provides a greater return on your investment.

Some retractable deck awnings integrate with a sensor system so that the awning automatically extends when the sun is out and retracts in times of high winds or severe weather. If you are not always there, this is a convenient way to protect your awning.

Independent Awning Structures

If you want an awning that stands alone without an attachment to the structure, you can cover your deck with an independent awning structure. The key to stability with this type of structure is anchoring the posts so that wind and severe storms do not jeopardize the structural integrity of the frame. In addition, a secure frame needs durable material for the awning itself. Choose material that is resistant to weather, puncture damage and wildlife, especially if you have birds on the property.

Portable Awnings

A portable awning is a great investment when you want the benefits of an awning overhead without the structural commitment. You can easily move a portable awning when necessary, making it customizable and easy to adjust as your gathering moves or your party’s needs change. With wrap-around decks, portable awnings let you take the awning with you if you move from one section of the deck to another.

Fixed Deck Awnings

A fixed deck awning attaches securely to the house the same way that a retractable awning does, but the awning fabric itself does not retract. This leaves the entire structure, including the awning fabric, exposed to the elements at all times. It eliminates the vulnerability of the moving parts, though.

Consider which is a greater concern for your situation to determine which one might be the better fit. A fixed awning needs more extensive and frequent cleaning to maintain the awning fabric, so account for that in your decision-making. Consider additional reinforcement for the frame and tie-down equipment for deck awnings to add greater resistance to storm hazards.

Solar Screens

Whether you opt for a fixed or retractable awning, you may feel that your deck could benefit from more coverage. Some awning systems will accommodate solar screens as well. These screens provide added shade to reduce the sun’s rays from passing through, which is ideal when your deck gets direct sunlight during the sunrise or sunset hours. Adding solar screens expands the time you can spend enjoying your deck space without struggling with harsh sunlight. Most solar screens are adjustable, making it easy for you to position them as needed.

Accessories for Deck Awnings

As awnings become more popular, the accessories that enhance those awnings increase in variety. When you choose an awning for your deck, consider incorporating some accessories to improve your experience and make your space more comfortable. The right accessories can completely transform the space.

Awning heaters are a great option for extending the usable season for your deck. If the fall and early winter periods get colder than you’d like or the evening temperatures are starting to drop a bit, an awning heater may be enough to make the space inviting deep into the cold-weather season. The heater mounts directly to your deck awnings to radiate into the space beneath.

Awning lights are another accessory that many people choose to add. Awning lights attach directly to the awning frame as rope lighting or LED strands. These extend the usable time under your awning so that you can enjoy your gatherings beyond twilight hours.

Drop shades are another feature you can add to the outer perimeter of your awning frames. Drop shades provide barriers against sunlight and often block more light than solar screens. If you want greater protection from the sun in the peak daylight hours, drop shades are a great investment.

Important Considerations for Deck Awnings

If you plan to install an awning over your deck, you should explore all of your options. Understanding the different styles, models and features will make it easier to decide which one is the best fit for your structure. If you want a retractable awning, consider the enclosure choices. Look for an enclosure that’s vinyl to reduce the risk of corrosion or aluminum to ensure durability. The right awning material will be thick, durable and coated to protect it from sun damage, weather and scratches. Finally, professional installation is essential to ensure structural integrity.

A company like Apple Annie Retractable Awnings can help you explore your options and find the right style for your deck. We can assist with installation as well. Contact us today for a quote and to schedule the awning installation for your deck.