Summer is almost here, and what does that mean? It’s time to get out and play in the sun! Of course, you probably also appreciate the shade for anyone who’s ever spent some time in the sun. Whether you’re looking for a break from your outdoor activities or you just a cool place to relax, a backyard patio awning can be a great way to turn your backyard into a cool escape from the summer sun. The following backyard patio awning ideas are great ways to create some shade so you can keep your cool in the summer heat.
What is an awning?
The simple definition of an awning is a covering that extends over a certain area to provide shade beneath. In some instances, depending on the type of awning used, awnings can also provide privacy and protection from insects. Awnings can come in many styles, materials, shapes and dimensions, with some awnings being fixed, others being portable and others being retractable.
With a retractable awning, you get a little bit of everything. During sunny and hot weather, you can extend a retractable awning to provide shade over a patio area, protect outdoor furniture from excessive weathering in the sunshine and keep your patio area cooler. Since most retractable awnings are also oriented toward entranceways with windows, retractable awnings can be retracted so that sun can come in during the winter and provide some thermal gain. Retractable awnings require some modification of the pre-existing exterior of your house in order to create a support for the awning but create little intrusion as far as extending and retracting the awning (some can even be mechanically retracted!).
One of the challenges of a retractable awning is that it may not be as secure depending on the weather you experience or you may have to deal with posts to support the awning when it is extending, depending on the model. An alternative to retractable awnings is stationary awnings that are suspended from your home.
This is often done with cables or chains that extend from the leading edge and are secured to your home, providing extra support. With a suspended awning, the benefit is that there are no fixed posts, although the limitation is that they can only extend so far.
In a similar vein, fixed awnings offer a greater area of coverage and are better for permanent patio settings where winter light exposure isn’t necessary. Posts or beams are installed to support the awning frame, and in some instances, a retractable cover can also be installed for those who want to modify the amount of sun exposure on the patio area.
Another example of patio awning ideas is portable awnings (a tent isn’t what you’d think of but let us explain). Portable awnings are a great option if you want to have shade on your patio area or be able to move the awning around to other parts of your backyard. Portable awnings can come in tent form, which can allow you to roll up or roll down the sides, providing more privacy as well as protection from insects.
You can also find umbrellas awnings which offer slightly more coverage than an umbrella and the freedom to not have the awning restricted by a supporting table underneath.
For those who like to think outside the box (or patio), pergolas offer another awning option for your patio. While a variety of stationary awnings, including shade cloths, are typically suspended in part from your home, requiring attachment to the side of your home, pergolas can provide shade as free-standing structures.
Typically, pergolas are made of treated wood, allowing them to withstand the elements as they stand outside your home. Pergolas can be designed in a variety of styles depending on your shade preferences. Pergolas can have open slats that provide varying degrees of shade depending on surrounding structures and the time of day. Pergolas can have permanent roofs made of shingles, polycarbonate or metal or even feature retractable roofs. Pergolas also make great opportunities for various vining plants to grow and provide shade.
If you’re looking for backyard patio awning ideas, these are just some of the many options that you can find on the market today. Hopefully, you’ve been inspired to decide which patio awning ideas would work best for your home. If you’re looking for consultation or awning installation, please let us know how we can make your patio awning ideas a reality.