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Posted on May 15th, 2015

Roof awnings are a great option for protecting your patio or garden from the harsh Australian climate, and should definitely be considered alongside pergolas and gazebos.  What makes awnings such a great alternative is its versatility in providing coverage as well as a ceratin charm and aesthetic that is unique to the others.  However among all the different types of roof structures, even just awnings itself has quite a few options.  Here a few things you should consider when buying your own roof awnings.



Fixed awnings feature a welded frame that is mounted permanently on the wall.  These awnings are solid in that they both have no internal mechanisms and can also be constructed using rigid materials like aluminium.  They are also generally considered a permanent addon to your home as they last a long time.


Retractable awnings similarly attach to your wall or roof, but do not feature a rigid frame.  Instead they have a folding or extension mechanism that enables you to vary the amount of cover you’d like.  This can be done via motorized controls, or manually with a hand crank.

Sail Shades

Sail Shades do not attach to your home, and are instead held up by stands.  Because they aren’t mounted onto the house, they offer the most freedom as to where to place its coverage.  Sail Shades are characterised by the sail-like shape of its cover.



If you’re sure the awning will have consistent use, then you should consider fixed roof awnings.  Because they have a welded frame, they are built to be sturdy and long-lasting.  You can expect up to 20-40 years from some fixed awnings.  Since fixed awnings can be made with rigid materials such as aluminium, fixed roof awnings have the ability to withstand rough weather such as hail.  Furthermore, as they have a welded frame, they can be shaped into a variety of different styles as they do not need to fold.  Some of these include: Slope, Crescent, Waterfall, Dome, and Ornamental.  Fixed roof awnings are ideal for smaller areas like windows and doors.


If you want flexibility and do not need its coverage all the time, then you should consider retractable roof awnings.  Since they have a variable frame, they can be expanded or opened depending on how much coverage you’d like.  Likewise, they can also be completely retracted when not needed.  While they are not as durable as fixed awnings, they find longevity in its ability to be put away in bad weather, thus avoiding much of the wear and tear that ensues.  Retractable awnings can also come with various optional features that can increase its effectiveness.  Motorization controls will extend and retract the awning for you, so you don’t have to manually do it via hand crank.   This is either done via switch or remote control.  Wind, Rain and Sun sensors take this a bit further, and automatically does it depending on the weather. Finally, you can also add a weather guard cover that protects the first to eight inches of the awning fabric, thus preserving its appearance and durability.  Retractable awnings are ideal for patios and decks.


If you want flexibility in terms of positioning, then you should consider Sail Shades.  As they are not mounted onto a wall or roof, they have the freedom to be set up anywhere you’d like.  Since they are not horizontally mounted, but rather vertically mounted via stands, the impact from rain and other substances is more evenly dispersed.  Sail Shade awnings are ideal for playgrounds or other outdoor recreational areas that are not nearby a wall.