Awnings can serve a lot of different functions for homes and businesses both. Not only do they cut the glaring sun and provide valuable shelter from the rain — they also provide a valuable aesthetic lift to many properties, especially businesses. The need to stand out and look professional is something that businesses of all types have to think about, and a professionally designed and installed awning can really push that aesthetic factor to the next level.
Likewise, for homes, awnings can boost curb appeal in addition to providing those practical functions of shade and protection from the elements.
But an awning isn’t something you want to think much about after you install it. It’s something that should “just plain work.” And yet, this isn’t always the case. Either due to faulty designs, poor materials or sub-standard installation, many awnings fall apart or otherwise fail to serve their purpose. This amounts to wasted time and money for homeowners and business owners.
Here are three simple ways to avoid pitfalls and get the most out of your awning installation.
1. Choose the design and materials carefully
A lot of bad awnings are just poorly designed and installed; and the only thing worse than a poorly designed awning that breaks down is one that stays put and sends the wrong message. Every property is different; that’s why customized awnings are really where it’s at. If your awning specialist doesn’t offer an array of custom designs, shapes, materials and dimensions (and can help you settle on the right design), you should probably look elsewhere.
2. Find a reputable professional with guarantees
Another important thing to look for in an awning specialist is a written guarantee. You want to know for sure that the awning is going to be covered if it breaks down. Normally, a contractor with strong guarantees is simply confident in their work, and doesn’t expect anything to break down, even when the weather gets tough. This is the kind of specialist you want.
3. Don’t ignore routine maintenance
Awnings can last a long time with a minimum of maintenance, but periodic cleaning and repairs may be necessary. The trick is to stay on top of things, and address problems before they get worse, rather than waiting until things get bad. After a certain point, repairing a damaged awning will become counter-productive and the best approach will be to scrap the old awning and have a fresh one designed and installed. This is, of course, an added cost. That’s why staying on top of regular maintenance (according to the instructions of the manufacturer and/or installation specialist) is so important.
The right awning specialist for your project
There are probably a few different awning installation specialists in your area, and finding the right one can make the difference between a beautiful and durable awning that works exactly like it should, and a problematic installation that breaks down over time. Look for contractors who have plenty of experience, good client reviews, and information-rich web sites. These are more likely to be true professionals who take pride in their work — and in the results they deliver.