For both home and business owners alike, awnings are a wise investment that pay back dividends in multiple ways for many years to come. 

A few of the most important reasons to invest in a high-quality awning include:

  • Add a stylistic accent to your building.
  • Reduce heat intake through windows and thus lower your energy bill.
  • Awnings that bear text and logos do double-duty as advertising mechanisms.
  • Awnings create sheltered areas near the building where guests or customers can escape from heat, rain, snow, wind and other inclement weather.

But given the benefits of equipping your windows, entryway, patio, or walkway with an awning, how do you cut through the plethora of options for awnings out there and find the awning that best fits your needs?

Here are three of the most important options for awnings that you should consider:

1. Traditional Window Awnings

When all you need is a few feet of shade and weather protection right next to a window or door, you will find there are a wide variety of traditional options for awnings that fit the bill.

Frame styles to consider include: short slope, domed, squared, convex, and more. You can also order a custom-built shape from an experienced awning company

It is possible to get metal, leather, or wood awnings, but the most practical, affordable, and durable material to look for is a high-quality vinyl fabric. Vinyl is also extremely low maintenance.

As to color retention, you will want to look for 100% solution-dyed acrylic colors to ensure you have bright, sharp colors for years to come even in harsh climates. And you can have your company name or logo printed on the awning's sign band (if you choose to include a sign band).

A final option to weigh is whether or not you want to include scallops, which would hand down from the edges of your awning to add a stylistic touch and reduce wind exposure. Scallops come in many styles, including: straight-cut, rolling wave, semi-circle, and half-hexagon.

2. Gabled Awnings

Awnings with gabled centers are ideal when you want to provide a large, shaded area by a main entryway or elsewhere. Gabled awnings also work well when set along a walkway that customers must traverse to reach your business' main entrance.

However, gabled awnings can be freestanding, and thus, they can act as a cover for even a detached area, such as over a bicycle parking zone or as a restaurant smoking shelter in cities where public indoor smoking is illegal.

A final note: you can also get area awnings with a rounded top (called a "marquee" awning), so you are not limited to a gabled style. 

3. Retractable Patio Awnings

Patios, both at home and at restaurants with outdoor, scenic eating areas, can be well protected by installing the right size and shape of awning. It is possible to use a long-sloped, non-retractable awning to cover your patio, but retractable awnings are often a good choice for patios.

It is critical to have a reputable awning provider install retractable patio awnings since they require strong support structures and involve complex mechanics.

By retracting your patio awning on pleasant days and extending it on sunny or rainy days, you help your awning to last as long as possible and yet get the maximum use out of your patio.


Whichever type of awning you choose, be sure to order from high-trust company like Dean Custom Awnings.

Dean Custom Awnings offers full options for awnings and handles both manufacturing and installation. They have provided residential and commercial awnings to the Mid-Atlantic Region for decades.