All about awnings and canopies

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An awning is a covering which is attached to the exterior wall of a building. It may not need support of it’s own but is often supported entirely by the building

A canopy is different in that it generally is supported entirely on it’s own by a structure generally made from iron or aluminium sometimes wood.

Awnings and similar structures have been used for centuries for their beauty as well as their function.
They offer endless possibilities for enhancing a building’s beauty and decor.
They add shape, dimension and color, and can be custom-designed to fit any structure’s unique character and style.

BENEFITS OF AWNINGS

Energy Conservation It’s official – awnings can help you save energy and reduce your summer cooling bill.

A properly installed awning can reduce heat gain up to 65 percent on southern windows and as much as 77 percent on eastern and western windows.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says this percentage may be even higher, and that awnings can reduce the heat entering a building by as much as 80 percent.
(Note that in the event of a hurricane, awning covers can be removed relatively easily by the owner. This allows the wind to pass through the frame and avoids serious wind damage. The cover can be professionally reinstalled after the storm.)

For further information, follow these links:

http://www.eren.doe.gov/consumerinfo/energy_savers/warmwindow_tips.html
http://www.eren.doe.gov/consumerinfo/energy_savers/windowsbody.html
http://www.fema.gov/library/heatf.htm 


Design Benefits

Awnings and similar structures have been used for centuries for their beauty as well as their function.
They offer endless possibilities for enhancing a building’s beauty and decor.
They add shape, dimension and color, and can be custom-designed to fit any structure’s unique character and style.

Today’s awnings can assume a wide variety of shapes and sizes, which makes design options virtually limitless. Awning fabrics and frames are also available in a wide variety of styles and materials.

They can emphasize attractive or unusual architectural features or improve the appearance of a building via a variety of innovative designs.

Awnings can add drama and impact – even turn your front door into a grand entrance. And they can add softness and color to any size, shape or style of structure.
In many instances an awning can dramatically change the look and feel of the entire building.

Practical Benefits

•    Awnings are an excellent medium to advertise your business.
•    A backlit awning provides excellent night-time exposure for your business while at the same time providing security lighting.
•    Also, don’t forget how harmful the sun’s rays are to your furnishings, art and decorations.
•    Not to mention the well-documented health risks associated with too much sun exposure.

CANOPIES, SMOKING SHELTERS
AND WALKWAY COVERS

Let’s define the difference between an awning and a canopy.

Typically, an awning is attached to a building without any support columns.

A canopy, on the other hand, utilizes columns to support all or a portion of its weight.

Canopies can be constructed of steel or aluminum framing and covered by many different types of materials. The most frequently-used covers are aluminum panels or fabric (vinyl or canvas).

Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the two most common covers:

Fabric Cover

Advantages
More aesthetically pleasing, with more colors and design options.

Can be designed to fit curved or irregular walkways, patios, etc.

Fabric can be removed in the event of a hurricane.

Can be used for signage.
Fresh Fabric — new colors easily added to frame.

Much easier to repair than aluminum.

 Disadvantages
5-10 year life span.
Fabric can be torn.

Periodic cleaning necessary.

Fabric can stain or fade.

Slight wrinkling provides texture and shadows.

Aluminum Cover

Advantages
Long life expectancy.

Built-in gutters.

More impervious to inclement weather.

 Disadvantages
Paint fades after 2-3 years.

Aluminum bends and dents easily.

Limited design options.

Limited colors.

Smoking Shelters

You can buy an array of various sizes and styles of smoking shelters.

Offices are moving employers away from the entrance to designated smoking areas.

Many states and cities are prohibiting smoking in all indoor areas. For restaurants, a canopy is an excellent way to draw smoking customers without offending nonsmokers or violating laws or ordinances. Such a canopy will also add extra seating.

An excellent way to increase ambiance is with an outdoor seating section.

Frames are constructed of 1″ x 1″ or 2″ x 2″ steel or aluminum square tubing using either 16 gauge galvanized steel or 12 gauge extruded aluminum. The frames are carefully welded together and are engineered to provide the greatest amount of strength using the least amount of material.

Once the frame is completed, the cover is sewn from your selected fabric. Fitting the fabric cover to the frame is a critical process. Any errors in measurement or sewing will produce either sags or wrinkles – or if the cover is too small, it can cause thread to weaken and break prematurely.

Thread is a potential weakness in most awnings. Some manufacturers use thread that will fail after just two to three years of use. The labor involved in removing the fabric, resewing and reinstallation is very expensive.

Once the cover is sewn, it is either laced on with small diameter rope – or in some instances (on aluminum frames only) it is securely stapled into position.
Frames are mounted to the wall using stainless steel bolts and, if necessary (on larger awnings), attached to posts anchored in concrete similar to how scaffolding works.

Choose from fabric (canvas, vinyl or permeable fabric) or aluminum covered structures. We can build to your plan or design and build to meet your needs.

Consider the following:

Protecting vehicles from the sun’s damaging rays and hailstones has always been an elusive and expensive goal for many of our commercial customers. The benefits of shading and protecting a vehicle are obvious as shown by this chart:

Temperatures in an automobile left in the sun can reach 152 degrees. The combination of heat and ultraviolet rays will permanently damage leather, plastics and paint. Hailstones, acid rain are other threats to vehicles.

Commercial Applications:

 

Apartment complexes, office buildings, condominium and auto dealers can see immediate tangible bottom line results from providing their customers covered parking.

Condo’s, apartment and office buildings can boost occupancy rates, get premium rents and and in some markets — charge for covered parking.

Car dealers — expand showroom space and provide for an enjoyable test drive in a much cooler and comfortable vehicle.

Protecting cars from hailstones can dramatically reduce insurance rates.

 

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