Types of Patio Awnings

The typical patio awning has gotten a big makeover in the last few decades. These types of awnings used to just have a metal design and wrought iron columns. While this lasted a long time and provided great shade, it tended to have an oppressive feeling. Plus, if you’ve ever heard the rain hit one of these metal awnings then you know how noisy it can be. This is probably why the trend went more towards pergolas and wooden structures for a while. However, now awnings are back whether in decorative form or to provide shade for your decks and patios.

A wood awning helps to substitute for a pergola’s natural and more airy feel, and can be a good way to get into woodworking projects. Such a wooden awning might mimic a dormer if it has a pitched roof. However, it can be a more simplistic box style awning too. This allows you to bring in beautiful wood tones without having to go through the expense and work of building a deck or installing new garage doors. This is also one of the few ways to do a contemporary style of awning. To choose the awning that’s right for you, a good idea is to look at any existing wooden structures in your yard. Then define the style of exterior you have and choose a complimentary material even if it’s unusual.

The most unconventional material that I’ve come across was actually a glass and metal awning. This can be purely decorative. It might have a stainless steel cable system. It’s the most modern way to do an awning but is it actually functional? While typically you’d just find this in shopping centers there are different ways to use this in your backyard.

It can even be an entire patio roof but this probably won’t give you tons of shade although it does protect you from rain. Besides durability my biggest concern even with PVC is cleaning. You’ll have to worry about it scratching and also getting really dirty. Think about what a hassle it is to clean your windows and imagine having an entire roof made out of it. However, if you still want to get some sun but be protected from the rest of the elements then consider this.

This style can also just be used over windows or an entry. You can find stained glass awnings or have one custom made although you probably won’t have matching pairs. It allows you to use many beautiful jewel tones that are otherwise difficult to use just on your siding colors.

You can also fake the look of a glass awning with inexpensive vintage windows. Create borders around your pergola or porch and use a more practical roof covering. Usually these windows are no longer practical for use inside your home just because they aren’t energy efficient or even double paned. This gives you a faux awning look using salvaged materials.

It’s also a good idea to just coordinate your patio awnings with window awnings. The patio one might be the only essential piece. However, sometimes it tends to stick out like a sore thumb; especially if you have a more traditional style of home. This is also true of retractable awnings but you may just want them because it’s so functional and provides you with lots of different shade options.

The way that you can make a patio awning more classic is to change the context. Look for market style awnings with scalloped borders for the most traditional look. Also usually you’d find these pieces historically in darker tones like burgundy or the classic hunter green. Complete your patio with a traditional bistro set and adds in elegant dome awnings over your windows with iron planter boxes underneath. While you may initially be drawn to a patio awning for its functionality you can still coordinate it with the rest of your yard.

Typically when you think of an awning you envision a piece attached to your house. However, you can also consider unconventional fabric choices for your backyard. The first option is a sail cloth that looks like it’s suspended in air. While it isn’t a traditional awning it adds a sculptural effect and provides you with lots of shade.

You can even find a portable awning that mimics more of a canopy tent. If you don’t have a covered patio then this will make your backyard much more useable with all of the shade. It can also be a fun theme for parties. If you want this kind of atmosphere then striped awnings will be slightly more whimsical while still being a classic pattern. It’s also easy to coordinate with the rest of your patio furniture. You can probably find the same fabric to use on your window awnings. These types of structures are much cheaper than putting up a pergola and it’s a fun place to have a picnic.