How to Choose the Best Awning for Your Home's Exterior

An awning can add a splash of colour and pattern to your home's exterior, creating a space that is unique and personal to you. An awning can also be a safeguard against the elements, protecting the home's windows and outdoor area from rain, snow and the heat of direct sunlight.

While you might think of awnings as being overly large, with bold, wide stripes, there is actually a wide number of awning materials and styles from which to choose, both for providing cover or for being just decorative. Note a few tips on how to choose the right awnings for your home's exterior so you will find just the piece you need for the protection you want and the style you prefer.

For sun protection

If you need maximum protection against hot, direct sunlight, you want a vinyl or plastic awning. A canvas awning will usually be made with a loose weave that can still let in light and heat, whereas vinyl or plastic will block sunlight entirely. Be sure to opt for a vinyl or plastic that is heat resistant so it won't get damaged from overexposure to the sun's rays.

On the other hand, if you like having some sunlight on the patio or deck area, but need a small bit of protection from too much sunlight and heat, choose a tinted glass awning. The tint on the glass will provide shade, while still allowing some sun exposure. Glass will also protect you from a light rain, while not blocking your view of the sky or the surrounding horizon.

For decoration

If you just want an awning for decoration, don't choose something too small, as smaller awnings can seem like an afterthought and not a true part of the home's exterior. If you don't want the awning to jut out very far from the home, choose one that is taller and that curves forward for added depth and volume. A scalloped edge is very traditional, but if you prefer something more modern, opt for a clean, square edge.

You'll also want to choose the colour carefully; opt for something that starkly contrasts the home's colour so the awning stands out. This can be a black or bold red colour against a white home, or a white awning if the home has a brick exterior. For a home with blue aluminium siding, choose a deep yellow colour for contrast to ensure the awning doesn't get lost against the home and provides the style and personality you prefer.