Retractable awnings have gained immense popularity in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. They offer a versatile solution to control sunlight and provide shade in various outdoor spaces. But when it comes to selecting the perfect awning for your needs, there are two main options to consider: drop arm awnings and folding arm awnings. Each type has its unique features and advantages. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between them to help you make an informed decision based on your specific requirements.
Understanding Retractable Awnings
Before diving into the details of drop arm and folding arm awnings, let’s first understand what makes retractable awnings such a sought-after solution. Retractable awnings are an excellent addition to your home or business, as they provide the flexibility to extend and retract the awning as needed. This feature allows you to control the amount of sunlight and shade in your space and protect it from the elements when necessary.
Drop Arm Awnings
Drop arm awnings are known for their vertical arms that drop down at an angle when the awning is extended. This unique design makes them an ideal choice for specific applications:
- Providing Shade for Windows: One of the primary uses of drop arm awnings is to shade windows. These awnings can effectively block sunlight, reducing glare and preventing your indoor spaces from heating up.
- Maintaining Visibility and Ventilation: Unlike some other awning types, drop arm awnings allow you to maintain visibility from inside your space. They also offer excellent ventilation, making them a great choice for bedrooms, living rooms, and other areas where you want to enjoy the view and fresh air.
- Aesthetic Appeal: Drop arm awnings can add an elegant touch to the exterior of your building. They come in various styles, colours, and patterns, allowing you to choose an option that complements your architecture and enhances your curb appeal.
Folding Arm Awnings
In contrast to drop arm awnings, folding arm awnings have horizontal arms that extend or retract horizontally. These awnings are better suited for larger outdoor areas and offer a different set of advantages:
- Covering Larger Outdoor Spaces: Folding arm awnings are designed to cover more significant areas, making them an excellent choice for patios, decks, terraces, and outdoor seating areas. They create a wide and open space that can be used for various outdoor activities.
- Versatility for Outdoor Activities: Whether you’re hosting a family barbecue, an outdoor party, or simply relaxing with a book on your patio, folding arm awnings provide the necessary shade and comfort for all your outdoor activities.
- Space Considerations: While folding arm awnings are perfect for larger spaces, they do require more space when extended. Make sure you have ample space on your property to accommodate these awnings without compromising functionality.
Factors to Consider When Choosing
Choosing between drop arm awnings and folding arm awnings should be based on several key factors.
First, you should assess the size of the area you want to cover. Drop arm awnings are more suitable for smaller spaces, while folding arm awnings are designed for larger areas.
Think about the architectural style of your building and how the awning will fit into the overall look. Drop arm awnings are often less obtrusive and can enhance your building’s aesthetic, while folding arm awnings can be more prominent.
Your budget also plays a significant role in your decision. Consider the long-term maintenance requirements of the chosen awning type. Some may require more maintenance than others.
If your location experiences harsh weather conditions, like heavy rain, strong winds, or snow, it’s essential to choose an awning that can withstand such elements. Some awnings are built to handle more extreme conditions than others.
Customisation options may also factor into your decision. These can include motorised controls, fabric choices, and additional features like built-in lighting or sensors for automatic operation.
Pros and Cons
To help you better understand the advantages and disadvantages of each awning type, let’s summarise them:
Drop Arm Awning Pros
- Ideal for shading windows and maintaining visibility.
- Enhance the building’s aesthetic appeal.
- Can be customised to fit your style and needs.
Drop Arm Awning Cons
- Limited to smaller areas.
- May not provide as much shade as folding arm awnings for larger outdoor spaces.
Folding Arm Awning Pros
- Suitable for covering larger outdoor areas.
- Offer versatility for various outdoor activities.
- Provide ample shade and comfort for outdoor living.
Folding Arm Awning Cons
- Require more space when extended.
- May be less visually discreet.
Seek Expert Advice
To make the best decision for your unique situation, it’s always a good idea to consult with experts in the field. They can provide guidance on installation, maintenance, and customisation options. Additionally, they may offer valuable insights into the specific climate and weather conditions of your location, helping you choose the most durable and practical solution.
Choosing between drop arm awnings and folding arm awnings comes down to your specific needs and priorities. Consider the size of the area you want to cover, your aesthetic preferences, budget, and the climate in your region. Both types of awnings offer distinct advantages, and the right choice depends on how you plan to use them. Make an informed decision that enhances your living spaces and provides the shade and comfort you desire.