Patio season is officially here and as the days get longer they also get hotter and sunnier. If you’re looking for a way to get the most out of the sunny season and enjoy your backyard space while beating the heat, a patio awning might be the perfect solution.

Gone are the days when tacky striped awnings were your only choice. Today there are many chic style options that will complement and even enhance the look of your home. Read on to learn about the different types of patio awnings and find the perfect one for your home.

Types of Awnings

fixed awning

Image courtesy of Awnings By Rolltec

Stationary/Fixed Awnings

Much like the name suggests, these awnings are permanently attached to the side of your home and cannot be retracted. Fixed awnings are able to cover a large area and can withstand strong winds and rain, however, you will need to remove the fabric in the winter. This will, of course, leave the exposed metal frame visible, which depending on your style, might not be ideal aesthetically.

The benefit of a fixed awning is that you do not have to think about rolling it out when you want to use it, it’s always there providing shade for you. While being permanently fixed to your home gives it more stability, you will only be using it for a handful of months due to the Canadian climate. If the stability and ease of use outweigh the need for a metal structure to be permanently fixed to the side of your house, then this is the awning for you.

retractable awning

Image courtesy of Awnings By Rolltec

Retractable Awnings

These awnings are the most common because they offer the flexibility of having an exposed or covered patio, all at the touch of a button. Depending on the fabric you choose, your awning can be used throughout the spring, summer and fall creating an extra outdoor room protected from the weather.

When it comes to winter, these awnings do not have to be removed at the end of the season. Again, depending on how they are built and the fabric used, you can leave your awning retracted against the side of your house all winter long. Be sure to consult with the company and see if they offer this kind of product before you go ahead with the install.

Due to the mechanics used to make the awning retract, retractable awnings are not nearly as strong as fixed awnings. This means you will have to conscious of the weather, and retract the awning in if the wind or rain gets too strong. Some models offer special sensors that will automatically retract when the weather becomes too harsh for them. Retractable awnings will not be able to handle harsh Canadian winters, so your awning will have to remain rolled up until the start of spring.

free standing awning

Image courtesy of Sonnen & Regenschutz

Free-Standing Awnings

This awning is a good option if you do not want to commit to having a fixture permanently installed into the side of your home. A free standing awning also gives you the flexibility to move it around for optimal coverage from the sun and light showers.

These awnings are bigger than a patio umbrella and are equipped with double sided awnings that come from the central frame. Depending on how large an awning you purchase, they can be stored in a garden shed or garage, or left closed in the corner of your patio.

Now that you have a better understanding of your options, the next step is to find a company to install your perfect patio awning. Did you know HomeStars has an entire category dedicated to Awnings & Canopies? Browse our reviews and photos, and ask for a quote right from the site when you’re ready to install. Last but not least, enjoy your new patio awning!

Posted by Jessica Greaves