Conservatory blinds

buyers tips

Awnings - it's worth buying quality Last summer was typical - we sought out the shade one minute, sheltered from rain the next. Awnings become more popular each year because they offer a neat solution to this conundrum. Awnings can help you avoid sunburn and soggy barbecues of course, but they also shield indoors from the glare of the sun. This can keep the temperature down in south-facing rooms.

The general rule with awnings though is that you get what you pay for. Good quality awnings can cost a little more, but will last longer and look better. Also remember that awnings are not static garden items - you will want to open and close them regularly. Paying a little more typically means you'll get a stronger and smoother mechanism.

Five things to consider when selecting an awning

1. What will it look like when not in use? Remember that awnings can be large even when retracted, and given the British climate, they often will be!

2. Think about lighting. Eating outside after dark is becoming a more regular option in the UK, thanks to awnings and patio heaters. Some awnings come with lights fitted, others have them as optional extras.

3. Does it have to be attached to the house? Free standing awnings are mobile and give flexibility. They can, though, be more visually intrusive when not in use.

4. Will you opt for a manual or an electric awning operation? If you are considering a larger awning, think about going electric. Remote control - easier still - is also an option on some awnings.

5. Where will the (inevitable) rain go? Awnings are just as useful in the rain as the sun, but consider where the rain will drain to. Some awnings are shaped to ensure that rainwater flows to the side. Shaped awnings can cost more but are worth looking at.

Automatic awning control

When you decide on an awning, you may also be faced with a decision about what sort of automation you need to control and operate the installation. These range from basic opening and closing mechanisms to sophisticated, remote controlled systems.

At the most basic level, you can operate your awning with a push button switch or remote radio control. At the other end of the range, you can have a climate-controlled awning mechanism with sun and wind sensors. Once programmed, you need do nothing. The sensors react automatically to the changing weather, opening and closing accordingly. Not only are you protected from bright sunlight and UV rays; your awning is protected from being damaged by strong, gusty winds.

All about awnings

A retractable awning may not cost as much as you expect, and yet will provide a satisfying return in outdoor comfort and enjoyment of your garden. It's a good investment too - it's a bit like an extra room onto your house at a fraction of the cost. If you are considering an awning, go to this site. It will help you decide on the best type of awning for your home.