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How Much Do Fabric Awnings Cost?

To maximize the amount of time spent in an outdoor living space, adding in shade can be the difference between a bustling patio perfect for entertaining and a patio that gets ignored during the heat of summer. Overhead cover is important both to block out rain and direct sunlight, and homeowners have a variety of options to choose from in order to achieve that shade. One of the best options, which is also one of the more affordable choices, is a fabric awning. Use this helpful cost guide to discover more about the pros and cons of fabric awnings, what types of fabric are best, whether to invest in a retractable awning and how the installation process works.

The Costs

  • Average Minimum Cost of Fabric Awnings: $250 (Fixed Canvas Awning)
  • Average Maximum Cost of Fabric Awnings: $4,000 (Retractable Polyester Awning)

Reasons to Install an Awning

Installing an awning is a fabulous idea for anyone who wants to make the most of an outdoor space. For a lot less than adding on a roof to extend over the backyard or the patio, an awning can serve to protect residents or their pets from the climate. Awnings come in materials as varied as fabric, aluminum and vinyl, but this guide specifically discusses the fabric choices. Most awnings are located on a single wall of the home, and they extend out from a height of roughly eight feet to protect those below from the elements.

Advantages of A Fabric Awning

When selecting from the wide variety of awning materials, fabric often comes up as a top choice for many homeowners. The advantages of a fabric awning are certainly varied. It won't rust, which is a prevalent problem with metal awnings. It offers affordability, which can be an issue when purchasing fiberglass awnings. A wide array of customization is also a bonus. Along with choosing the size of the awning, the material of the fabric and the installation height, homeowners can pick from a staggering array of colors or even patterns. This makes fabric awnings incredibly versatile and perfect for matching rustic, traditional or even contemporary houses.

Disadvantages of A Fabric Awning

While fabric awnings have a number of wonderful attributes, there are also some drawbacks. Some of the biggest considerations to keep in mind are:

  • Fabric can fade in sunlight over time
  • Mold may be able to grow on the fabric
  • It may need to be replaced in five years
  • Strong winds can make it billow and blow away if not retractable

Despite these drawbacks, fabric awnings are still the preferred choice of most homeowners, and they can be the best option for anyone on a limited budget.

Choosing a Fixed or Retractable Awning

After deciding on a fabric awning, homeowners will need to determine whether the best choice for their outdoor living space is a fixed awning or one that is retractable. Just like the name implies, a fixed awning gets attached to the exterior wall of the house and then is not removed. A retractable awning, on the other hand, can be rolled up tightly against the wall either by an electrical device or with a hand crank. Retractable awnings are, for the most part, more expensive than their fixed counterparts. However, they provide the option of direct sunlight or overhead cover, and switching back and forth between the two takes just a minute. Finally, a retractable awning may be better for areas prone to storms, as heavy winds can rip off fixed fabric awnings.

Cotton Canvas Awning Fabrics

One of the most popular types of fabric awnings are those made from cotton canvas. This is a natural material, which makes it the most Eco-friendly option in this guide. However, canvas does need to be sealed in order to prevent moisture from soaking into the fabric, and that sealing process may need to be repeated once each year. Colored canvas can also fade in direct sunlight over time, and when it gets retracted or extended there may be visible color variations due to this fading.

Acrylic Awning Fabric

Acrylic awnings tend to be slightly more expensive than their canvas counterparts, but they also tend to stand up better to harsh weather conditions. They are moisture resistant, which is ideal in storms. Plus, acrylic awnings won't get stretched out of shape in heavy winds nor will the color fade even when it is direct sunlight for extended periods of time.

Polyester Awning Fabric

In many ways, polyester is similar to acrylic, but it is slightly more expensive as well as more durable. It also comes in a variety of colors, won't leak, doesn't stretch out of shape over time, and is resistant to mildew and moisture. What sets polyester awnings apart from other fabrics is that it doesn't let ultraviolet rays through, which is perfect for those concerned with skin cancer who live in hot climates.

Variations of the Fabric Awning

If cost is a big factor in the process of choosing an awning for the home, there are some variations to take into consideration that could influence the final expense. Generally, canvas will be the cheapest option among fabric awnings, and the fixed rather than retractable varieties will also be the least expensive. Installing the awning alone might also take more time, but it can be a way to save money for those on a limited budget. Finally, the size of the awning is important, and choosing the smallest suitable size for the area is preferable to paying more for an awning that could be too large.

Costs of Installing A Fabric Awning

Installing an awning can take amateur homeowners a day or two, and even professionals may spend up to eight hours completing the work. Expect to pay somewhere between $200 and $380 to have a fabric awning professionally installed, and assume that retractable awnings will be at the higher end of that estimate.

Last updated on Apr 15, 2014

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