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Last edited 15 Mar 2019
Retractable awnings vs fixed awnings
Awnings can provide a way to protect properties from sun damage and provide a safe space protected from the heat of solar radiation and harmful UV rays. However, with a range of designs and styles on the market, it can be difficult to know which option is best.
This article outlines the difference between the two most popular choices – retractable awnings and fixed awnings.
 Retractable awnings
Many people choose this style due to its flexibility, as it can change position with the season, the occasion, or the time of day. For example, if it is a mild autumn day, you may find you’re not in need of any form of coverage, or if it’s a sunny summer afternoon, you may want a shady place to entertain outdoors and extend your retractable awnings accordingly.
Made from a durable fabric, purchasers can generally choose between acrylic, canvas or mesh, depending on their needs. There are also options to consider when it comes to opening and closing. A crank is less expensive, whilst motorisation allows push-button operation.
 Fixed awnings
Unlike their retractable counterparts, fixed awnings are designed to be installed exactly where they are needed, providing permanent cover in one place. These can be a good choice for those who want awnings to become part of the building itself.
Frequently used by businesses as they can be used to incorporate signage, such as the name and contact details of the establishment, fixed awnings have recently become popular in homes too, offering an affordable option for those sticking to a tight budget.
However, rather than covering an al fresco area, they are primarily used for shading windows, increasing privacy and blocking out the sun and glare. Depending requirements, it is possible to choose a blockout style, which stops light from penetrating at all, or a more translucent option, which simply filters light to a more comfortable level.
When choosing fixed awnings, it is important to look for a fabric and a frame that can stand up to the elements, as they can’t be retracted during poor weather conditions. Check for a fabric that is UV and mould resistant.
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- Natural fibre reinforced polymers (NFRPs) in the construction industry IP 14 14.
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- Thermal behaviour of architectural fabric structures.
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