When we say awnings you may think we’re talking only about window coverings, but there’s so much more to it than that. Awnings are an attractive and functional way to add value to your front or back yard. To get information about these versatile structures, we went straight to the source and spoke with Elaine Gregory of AAA Awnings & Repair.
She said that while a lot of people want wooden awnings, aluminum or alumawood are the way to go. Customers think that they “want real wood until they look at the full price and maintenance of wood. You have to constantly do maintenance, [such as] repainting-with this alumawood product that looks like wood you don’t have to do anything, it’s done so there isn’t any upkeep.” She said it provides the look and feel of a wooden structure without the hassle. The material comes in many different colors but “cream, white, brown are the most popular and they look like they have wood grain in them.” If for some reason there is damage, it can often be repaired versus replacing it. Gregory said, “There’s no lifetime on it – there’s awning that to this day we’re still repairing [that’s] 50, 60 years old.”
So, what all can awnings be used for? Well, additional patio space is a popular choice, because most homes only have “a little area already built in, [such as a] small stucco patio that kind of stands out in the backyard, but that’s really not enough to put any patio furniture or entertain or keep out of the rain, anything like that, so that’s where you need to extend your patio if you plan on doing anything outdoors.” This can open up a whole world of opportunities for your yard. Gregory revealed that misters and LED lights can make a great addition to awnings, especially if you plan on entertaining a lot. She also said that some people ”install a fan underneath there as well to help keep it cool if it’s a little bit hot, so anything they can do to get a little extra coverage.”
Awnings don’t have to be connected to your house either, freestanding structures can be built too, such as a lattice pergola over a pool-area bar, a carport, or covered RV parking. The same material can be used to create an extension above a wall to create a privacy screen, giving you and your family a more secluded yard and peace of mind. Another great thing Gregory said is that “they’re all custom so no one of them is going to be exactly the same,” ensuring that whatever your need, the finished project will be unique and tailored for you.
While you can purchase alumawood patio kits online to install yourself, Gregory doesn’t recommend this because, “the kits don’t really offer you any troubleshooting without directions and you don’t really have the tools that you need” to do the job, such as a 14-foot ladder. Also, these kits aren’t custom, so you may not end up with exactly what you imagined for your home.
If you are looking for ways to improve your entryway or backyard, aluminum and alumawood awnings are a great option that will not only look great but last (with low maintenance!) for years to come.