Awnings are predominantly a summer cover designed to greatly reduce or eliminate the effects of solar energy (sunlight). The main types of awnings are pull down awnings, pivot awnings, roll out awnings, patio awnings and hood awnings with each having a specific purpose.
PULL DOWN AWNINGS
Pull down style awnings are window hugging and sit very close to the building structure. The most popular of the pull down awnings is the canvas Auto Awning. At ground level it is a simple, easy to use awning that is very effective and to top it off is great value for money. It is a very robust awning and exceptionally effective in high wind areas. Not good for second floor level or motorisation.
Common variations of the Auto Awning are the Fixed Guide, Spring Roller, Crank Handle and Wire Guide. These variations have strengths and weaknesses depending on required application and are often used in patio areas. They are better suited to low to moderate wind areas and because they can be motorised it makes them ideal for second storey and other difficult applications.
Pivot awnings create a pseudo canopy or can be rotated to almost 180 degrees. They are very good if you want to shade the window and retain a full uninterrupted view at the same time. The pivot arm of the awning performs as a radius of a vertical half circle. Pivot awnings are very good in high wind areas, great for all around use and are operated with either a crank handle or motor.
ROLL OUT AWNINGS
Roll out awnings are like a retractable verandah and are available in a number of different styles. The most common style is the folding arm awnings. These awnings are great for deck and patio cover and depending on frame and arm quality can be used in moderate wind areas. When motorised they are generally fitted with a motion sensor so that the awning automatically retracts in excessive windy conditions. Domestic use folding arm awnings are commonly made up to 6 metres wide x 3.5 metre projection. Commercial use folding arm awnings can exceed those dimensions with almost limitless width restrictions and up to 4 metre projection.
Other styles of rollout awnings are Fabric Tension Systems (Giotto) and the Pleated Patio System (Pacchetto). These styles of awnings are generally fitted to an existing frame or above skylights and are always motorised.