Maybe they were already there when you moved in, or perhaps you were smart enough to add them after the fact. As charming as hand-hewn shutters and window box planters, window awnings lend a distinctive, sweet and somewhat provincial or classic look to any home. But that’s just one of their many benefits.
Available in a vast array of styles, patterns and colors, window awnings offer noteworthy curb appeal. Whether you go for a bold contrast or subtle integrated look, a home with awnings gives off a well-kept, tidy first impression.
Another benefit is higher energy efficiency. Windows trap heat from the sun and transfer it inside. Have you ever driven on a cold, sunny day and been surprised at how warm you feel when the sun hits you dead on? Project that concept exponentially, and you’ve got a good picture of how windows absorb and release hot air into a home. Window awnings decrease direct exposure, saving you money on cooling costs.
Exposure protection is also vital for the day-to-day care and maintenance of interior furnishings, draperies and rugs. UV rays bleach or wash out the coloring of textiles, woodwork and even paintings over time. A common solution is to darken specific rooms during broad daylight, which only seems to fix one problem and exacerbate another. If you love natural light and want to enjoy it all day, window awnings are a great solution.
High winds, heavy rains, freeze-melt cycles and damaging solar rays wear directly on window awning materials. Keep an eye out for telltale signs that might indicate the need for repair. Do you have canvas or vinyl awnings? Check them periodically for ripped or torn fabric, as well as whether the pattern is fading noticeably.
Other issues to watch out for include bent or dented aluminum strips, faulty manual retraction, remote motor malfunctions and broken brackets or springs. As with any maintenance task, the earlier you detect and tackle a problem head-on, the less likely your home is to sustain significant damage as a result.
Once you’ve noticed an issue, one of the most difficult decisions to make is whether to repair or replace. Luckily, you can follow some common rules of thumb to help determine the best course of action.
If your vinyl or canvas awning is ripped, consider replacing the fabric where necessary. If, on the other hand, the coloring and design have faded significantly, price out new pieces for cost comparison. When you do, be sure to ask about sun and water protection treatments upfront.
Do you have aluminum awnings? You can also have strips replaced on an as-needed basis. If your problem centers on extension or retraction, make sure individual parts such as the arm, worm gear, springs, bracket and motor are working properly first. Switching out broken pieces will be more cost-effective than tearing the whole system down and starting from scratch.
If the awning fabric is torn, you’re in luck, because this is one DIY job you can complete in three simple steps. You will need:
Do yourself a favor: If any repair to the extension or retraction of your awning involves motor or electrical issues, contact a licensed service professional. It’s worth the extra cost of labor for accountability alone — never mind common-sense safety. Often, job quotes include disposal of old pieces as well.
Go ahead, enjoy all-day natural light while keeping energy costs down and curb appeal high. Your window awnings, in good working order, are a wise and fantastic accessory for your lovely home!