Awning used as a functional statue at local mall.

When you decide to get an awning, there are many choices to be made. We have created a checklist of the common options so to help you week out all the ideas for your patio awning.

Awning Color

One of the first decisions is what color is the awning going to be. You may need to check with your homeowner association or other guidelines. Some neighborhoods may limit the palette to ensure it doesn’t clash or create a distraction from the house. Another popular restriction can be limiting any external amenity to a predefined color palette to ensure the neighborhood has a cohesive feel. Most of the time this will be in the bylaws. You cannot assume that because someone in your area already has a similar structure that it is allowed because their awning may have been grandfathered in if it was erected before certain rules went into effect.

Fixed or Retractable

When you are evaluating the choices to cover your patio, the two most selected are either a fixed awning that provides shade every day or the manual retractable that can be raised or lowered depending on the weather. The latter is greatly preferred because it has a longer lifespan; however, it has a higher initial price point. Some people also prefer the design and aesthetics of the fixed awning for patios. We have included a link to this Pinterest board which has many items for inspiration.

Enclosed or Not

While the editors of are not familiar with enclosed awnings, there is a rapidly growing trend of enclosing the space with a mesh to create an insect free sun room. This can be an incredibly cost efficient option running a few hundred dollars over the regular model and create an additional outdoor living space. This is reminiscent of the outdoor screen porches of houses in the south from the 1950s.

We are actually tremendous fans of open-air designs with louver roof awnings. They are both very attractive and functional. At first glance, the open frame looks like it would provide any significant shade; however, in practice, it is often cooler than its enclosed counterpart by allowing the wind to cool the area underneath. We have written a full guide on louver roof awnings.

Decorative Only

Another idea around patio awnings is to get one that has a very small coverage area and use it as an accent color of the exterior of the house. The accent color can match the trim of the house or perhaps an umbrella or furniture. This won’t provide shade or the energy savings of the traditional option; however, it will make the house appear a tad fancier.

Open Slat Awning

Open Slat Awning

Open Slat Awning

An open roof is one that that has the standard wood or aluminum frame around the side. However, the middles section is not covered in fabric. Instead, the middle is joists that are aligned at a specific angle to block the sun at specific intervals of the day. Open slat awnings can be wonderful for providing energy savings by shading portions of the house. They can also have a slim profile because the slats allow the water to pass through without the height requirement of the more common type.


Frosted Glass Awning

This is one of the more expensive options and should only be installed by a trained professional. This style has a horizontal aluminum or steel frame that extends from the house over the porch or patio. Attached to the metal frame are panels of frosted glass. These create a shaded area by blocking most of the direct rays of the sun. These are often paired with modern home designs with a concrete slab style patio.

Marcion Albert

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