EDITION 117: June - August 2023

Awnings for Outdoor Comfort

By Jerome Allen
Outdoor living is one of the great pleasures of life in Ibiza, and well designed awnings can make it even more enjoyable. Maybe you want to shade a deck that gets intense sun at certain times of the day, or you might need something that covers windows to keep out the glare. Awnings can provide all of this and more, so what is an awning? Basically it is a supplemental roof or cover (usually made of a water­proof fabric) that provides shade, protection and privacy. Awnings can also save energy by keeping rooms cooler in the summer, while allowing the warmth of sunshine to come in during winter.

As you can see, awnings are extremely functional, yet they are also quite decorative and can add style to your home. The selection of the perfect awning depends on what you want it to do and how you want it to look. There are several different types ranging from stationary sails to retractable terrace covers that open and close automatically depending on the sun and wind. Let’s have a look at them.

Retractable Cassette Awnings

This type is perfect for everything from controlling the rays of the sun to creating an outdoor roof to sit underneath. It can be stylishly integrated on terraces and balconies as the motor, cover and arms are protected and hidden in a box (cassette) when the awning is rolled up. When you open it the motor pushes an articulated arm that carries the awning to whatever length you choose. Most have a remote controller to open and close, but for those hooked on high tech you can also get one that does it automatically.

Drop Arm Awnings

These are an ideal solution for shading over windows and doorways as they provide a variety
of different positions. They are not rolled up and down like other awnings, but rather the fabric is fixed in one piece that goes up or down on drop arms which can be set at different angles. These awnings are operated either manually or electrically, and can be manufactured to fit any window. Drop arm awnings are great for the home, and are also very useful for shops, offices, schools and other workplaces.

Vertical Awnings

These are awnings that move from the top down, and fasten on the bottom. They provide a versatile and beautiful way to accomplish many tasks. Perhaps you need a bit more privacy from nearby neighbours’ balconies. Or you may want awnings that act as ‘walls’ to enclose an outdoor area and make it more comfortable in the winter. This type of awning is also suitable for installation directly in front of a large window or glass door to provide shade inside. Cable guided vertical awnings can be mounted directly on the window or door frame, so that they fit perfectly into the facade. “Zip Vertical Awnings” are a special type that are designed to provide the most secure wind and rain protection for pergolas, patios, verandas and windows.

Of course it is also important that you choose a fabric which is both beautiful and practical. There are many different materials, colours, patterns and degrees of transparency available. You will want to make sure that your fabric is waterproof and also has durability, dirt resistance, UV protection and good colour retention. It is best to consult with a professional designer who has access to all of the possibilities, and can help you to find the perfect solutions for your home or business.