Every major purchase involving home improvement should be accompanied by research on the product so that you are confident with your choice. Buying an awning for your home is one of these major purchases. It’s important to be sure the awning that you choose is the best one for your home and your family. So it’s natural that you will need to ask questions. Here are ten questions you should ask before buying an awning.
1. Does the dealer also install the awning?
Ask if the dealer does the installation of your new awning or if they hire a subcontractor to carry out the installation. Find out if the installation is covered under warranty and ask if it includes any necessary adjustments or service.
2. Is the awning fabric 100% acrylic?
Acrylic fabric is preferred for awnings because most of them will not rot or fade excessively. They are also the same colour or pattern on both sides. Fabrics that are 100% acrylic and are sewn with UV stable thread have a life expectancy of 8 to 12 years with regular cleaning.
3. What type of fasteners is used to attach the awning?
Awnings are often quite heavy, so it’s important that they are properly secured. The installer should be using a shaft lag screw that is a minimum 3/8″ wide. The length of the lag screws is also important and is dependent upon the type of fabric used. They should reach to the centre of the home’s framework.
4. Is the warranty pro-rated or is it a full warranty?
Having a warranty is good insurance in case of any problems with the awning. Find out what type of warranty is provided with the awning.
5. Is the awning a manual crank or automatic?
There are pros and cons to each type. Be sure to discuss your options with the dealer and decide which one is best for your needs.
6. What creates the spring force in the retractable arms of the awning?
Retractable awnings have a spring loaded folding arm. This arm exerts outward pressure that keeps the fabric tight when opened. The springs apply tension to the awning using three methods; cables, chains or belts. Ask your dealer about how your awning is constructed.
7. Where is the awning manufactured and assembled?
Your best quality awnings will be made in Europe and North America. North American awnings are made to order and are often manufactured and shipped within a few weeks.
8. Is the awning waterproof?
Be sure that the fabric you choose is waterproof. This will provide you with optimum protection against the elements.
9. Should I also purchase a protective hood?
A protective hood is a good idea as it will help protect your awning from harsh weather such as rain, cold and sun. The hood will help to keep your awning clean.
10. What’s the difference between a national brand and a dealers own brand?
Purchasing an awning manufactured and assembled by the retailer can mean that parts may not be available for repair in the future since they often change their product sourcing from year to year based on where they can get the best deal. National brands are consistent from year to year and are able to support repairs or service when required.
If you would prefer to have someone local answer these questions about awnings feel free to contact Jans Awnings and Rollshutters. Located near Ottawa, we can offer you dozens of shade solutions to increase your comfort and decrease your energy bills.