The Awnings Blog

The Awnings Blog

3 Reasons You Should Consider an All-Weather Awning

Digital Strategies Support - Friday, May 11, 2018

For anyone who likes to entertain, all-weather awnings are a must-have. They allow you to host parties, events, or even the casual family BBQ rain or shine, and give you the aesthetic flexibility you need to alter the look of your backyard at the drop of a hat. Here are some of the benefits of all-weather awnings.

What Is a Retractable Awning?

Our all-weather retractable awnings are fabric roof structures that ride on a post and rail framework, and are tailor-made to meet your aesthetic needs. The posts and rails provide the extra support needed to allow the retractable system to be resilient in the face of heavy weather situations, including strong winds, heavy snow, and pouring rain. Our all-weather awnings are highly customizable, allowing you to match the awning fabric with your specific home or building architectural style and color. We offer a wide range of materials, from aluminum to finished wood (structural laminates). We also offer an entire suite of integrated products, including various retractable fabric structures, as well as stand-alone structures like furniture, lighting, flooring, side panels, and more.  

Protect Against Snow

One of the main reasons all-weather awnings are attractive to customers is because of their sturdiness and durability. Whether you’re a home or business owner, It’s important that awnings hold up under the weight of heavy snowfall, and keep your porch and doorway sheltered from snow. All-weather awnings ensure that even during the heaviest snowstorms, you will never be snowed in, and save you the time and hassle of having to shovel snow off your stoop, porch, or carport. It also helps prevent against the dangers of ice, since awnings keep the ground dry.


While most customers don’t think of shade as a primary reason to purchase an all-weather awning, many find that it’s one of their favorite benefits. All-weather aluminum awnings not only keep the ice and snow off your doorstep, but also protect against the sun’s damaging and bothersome rays. In addition to skin damage and unwanted glare, the sun’s UV rays can cause fading of your home’s exterior, furniture, patio furniture, and flooring. Shielding your home from the sun can save you the unnecessary expense and headaches of repairing the damages.

Rain is another consideration to be taken into account. If not properly guarded against, rain can sneak into your home’s exterior and cause water damage and even mold. This makes an all-weather awning as useful and effective in the summer as in the winter.


When you invest in an aluminum all-weather awning, you’re giving yourself the ability to live your life independent of the weather. Home and business owners who want the flexibility to host events, family gatherings, parties, or just keep their guests safe and dry, would be well-served by an all-weather awning. One of the best things about retractable awnings is how easy it is to adjust for the weather on short notice, without compromising the aesthetic integrity of your home or office. 

The Dorchester Awning Company has been an industry leader in providing custom commercial, retractable, and residential awning since 1901. If your home or business could benefit from an all-weather awning, reach out to us today for a free quote.

7 Steps to Finding the Perfect Building Canopy Design for Your Business

Digital Strategies Support - Wednesday, April 25, 2018

We strongly believe that every business should have its own unique look, and strive to carve out a distinct personality. A customized building canopy design is a great way to do this. Canopies and awnings are not only useful for keeping the rain away, but also, if designed correctly, they can really tell the story of your business and invite potential customers inside. We want our clients to stand out from the rest, so we encourage you to customize your fabric choice, logo, awning style, and more. Our designs are tailored to fit your exact requirements, and we’ll go through an extensive collaboration process, where we help you create the most attractive awning for your business. The design process is both fun and exciting, but you should be aware of the various steps involved.

Understand your Needs

Before anything else, we need to have a complete understanding of exactly what you’re looking for. That’s why we’ll sit with you to discuss your requirements and expectations, and try to get a sense of the “personality” of your business. We’ll also determine your price range, and work to find an option that fits within your budget.

Consider the Available Options

There are a myriad of different building canopy designs, styles, color combinations, and materials, and we’ll make sure you’re aware of each of them. The amount of options available can be daunting, but we’ll guide you through the selection process with all the information you need to make a decision. 

Choosing a Color

Awnings and canopies come in a variety of colors and patterns, available from the world's top fabric manufacturers. There are no limits when it comes to color or pattern, and our highly-skilled stitching team is trained to create awnings according to customer specifications, no matter the combination of color or pattern.

Site Evaluation

To understand how your selected building canopy design will work in your location, we’ll review your home or commercial building to get a better creative sense of what we’re working with. Our site visit is crucial to making sure all the pieces fit into place.

Digital Imaging

Before physically building out your awning or canopy, we typically do a computer model of what it will look like on your home or building, and make adjustments as necessary. Particularly for commercial applications, computer imaging can be an important and indispensable part of getting it right. Oftentimes we will go through many design iterations to make sure we get the look and feel just right.


Once you have approved the design, our experienced staff will begin to create your awning in our workshop, and all you have to do is wait!

Implementation and Ongoing Maintenance

When completed, your awning or canopy is installed by our team of experienced installers. But even after installation, we want to make sure our product continues to look good and work for your business. That’s why we offer continued free maintenance, cleaning, and adjustments if needed.

For a free quote, or to learn more about our building canopy design process, contact The New Dorchester Awning Company today.

Welcome Guests in Style with a Quality Entrance Awning

Digital Strategies Support - Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The presentation of a business is often the deciding factor in whether a customer will choose to shop there. There are many factors that go into creating a positive customer experience, from employee friendliness to store layout and accessibility. But before the customer sees any of that, they must be attracted to the storefront in the first place. An attractive, effective entrance awning fits with the business’ aesthetic and invites customers inside. Especially in today’s world of online reviews and rapid word-of-mouth opinion spreading, first impressions and a positive guest experience are everything. Here’s how Dorchester Awnings can help give you the perfect curb appeal.

Important Questions

When choosing the aesthetic of your storefront, it’s important to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. When they arrive at your store, they’re wondering: what’s this place all about? Can I make it inside without getting wet? What does the business’ facade tell me about its offerings and its personality? When it comes to fashioning the outside of your business and creating the best first impression, you can’t afford to cut corners.

There are innumerable options for selecting quality entrance awnings, and several details to consider, like: color, safety features, strength, stability, drainage options, and more. Also consider the following questions: Does my business offer services that require a pop-up or stand-alone tent or canopy? Am I planning to host semi-regular events that could benefit from a canopy, or which might require shade?

Stand Out From the Rest

Every business should have a unique look, and endeavor to stand out both from its competition and from its neighbors on the same street. This should be taken into account when it comes to selecting the architectural style and overall look for your canopy or awning.

Customizing your aesthetic to really suit the personality of your business is one of the best reasons to invest in an entrance awning. We allow and encourage you to customize your fabric choice, logo, awning style, and more. We have a thorough collaborative design process, where we work with you and your team to create the best entrance awning for your business that will set you apart from the rest.  

Why Dorchester Awnings?

Regardless of the type of entrance awning you’re looking for, or what your aesthetic needs are, we will work with you to find a customized solution. Every business and every awning is different, and that’s one of the most exciting parts about working for new clients. As a business owner, you should never have to settle for a one-size-fits-all solution; you should expect the individualized care if a dedicated, professional team.

At The New Dorchester Awning Company, we not only help you design the perfect entrance awnings and canopies for your business but also provide ongoing maintenance services to keep your awning looking fresh.

If you’re ready to welcome spring with a beautiful new hotel awning, contact us for a free quote today and learn more about our design process.

Awning Styles A-Z

Digital Strategies Support - Sunday, March 25, 2018

If you’ve never installed awnings on your home or business before, you might not realize that you have a lot of options when it comes to what style you choose. In addition, just about every awning or canopy can be customized for your specific needs.

In this blog post we will describe the most popular awning styles as well as things you will want to consider before making your final decision.

Awning vs. Canopy

Before we get started, it’s important to note that awnings and canopies are technically not the same and therefore have some style variations. Generally speaking a canopy has support poles (or stanchions) that connect it to the ground (on the other end it is connected to the exterior of a building). A free-standing canopy is not attached to a building at all.

While awnings and canopies offer many of the same benefits and have a similar appearance, an awning can remain permanently affixed to a building even during the winter season. Canopies, on the other hand, are typically stored in the off-season or when not needed. At the New Dorchester Awning Company we specialize in all types of fabric structures, including canopies, awnings, solar shades, retractable roofs, umbrellas, and more.

Popular Awning Styles A-Z

While we will showcase seven common awning styles below, the truth is that you have an almost unlimited number of design options. First, you will need to choose the shape of your awning or canopy and decide whether or not you want it to have side (or end) panels. Then you will need to decide on a valance style. The valance is the portion of the awning that hangs down and you can choose whether you would like it to be loose, fixed, or whether you prefer none at all. You also have options when it comes to the awning color, fabric, and graphics.


A concave awning has a front panel that curves inward and can typically be found over windows or doors.


This style has a rounded look, like a half-sphere, and is great for shading from sun and rain.

Elongated Dome

An elongated dome also has a rounded shape and is often used on longer windows or entryways, or to wrap around corners.

Fixed Frame

A fixed-frame awning is a traditional style and has many uses, including over windows, doors, patios, and decks.

Lateral/Arm Retractable

As we like to say, “Shade when you want it and sun when you don’t.” A retractable awning rolls back either with the push or a button or turn of a crank, depending on the style you choose. One of the most popular awning styles, the retractable option is perfect for folks who want some flexibility in their patio/deck design.    

Rounded Entrance Canopy

Similar to the dome style, this type of canopy entrance extends further than a typical awning. It’s a good choice for hotels or restaurants that want to provide their guests with some coverage on a long walk to the front doors.

Quarter Round/Convex

This awning has a curved front panel with flat sides and is commonly seen over small windows and entryways.

How to Find the Perfect Awning for Your Home or Business

With so many options available, how do you decide on the right awning for your home or business?

Of course you want an awning or canopy that solves any weather or sun issues you might be dealing with, but you also want a fixture that embodies the style you’re hoping to achieve: sleek and professional, bright and inviting, or simple and functional, the possibilities are nearly endless.

At The New Dorchester Awning Company it is our mission to help you create the ideal awning or canopy that not only fits your needs but has the look you’ve envisioned. During our thorough design process we’ll take the time to understand your goals and make any necessary adjustments along the way.

Contact us today to learn more about our high-quality, custom awning solutions and find the perfect style for your home or business.

Is a Commercial Awning in Your Marketing Plan for 2018?

Digital Strategies Support - Sunday, March 11, 2018

If you’re like most marketers in today’s world, you’re focusing your efforts on your business’s digital presence. It makes sense! (You’re reading this blog online, after all.)

But for a brick and mortar business, traditional forms of advertising can have just as much payoff as social media networking and other types of online marketing. As you might already be aware, signage can be a particularly effective, and simple, marketing tool. One great way to extend your signage – literally – and boost your brand’s visibility is by adding a commercial awning to your storefront.

The Importance of Brand Awareness

In order for new customers to find your business, you must first have a presence in the marketplace. As more and more people become aware of your store and recognize your brand, the more likely they are to return – not to mention spread the word.

Here are a few other fun facts about the importance of branding, via experts Lucidpress:

  • A brand is a personality that identifies a product, service or company, including a name, term, sign, symbol or design. (Boundless)

  • On average, 5 to 7 brand impressions are necessary before someone will remember your brand. (Pam Moore)

  • Color increases brand recognition by up to 80%. (University of Loyola)

Having positive brand awareness can be great for business. Yet many forms of marketing and advertising fail to deliver tangible results, despite their hefty price tag. A commercial awning for your storefront, however, is a wise investment that will serve your business for years to come. It’s a brilliant way to capture the attention of new prospects, stand apart from your competition, and increase sales.

Add Instant Curb Appeal with a Commercial Awning

There may be over 3.8 billion – and growing – internet users, but finding your business’s target audience online can sometimes be tricky. One of the best places to find potential customers, however, is right in your own backyard. Every person who walks or drives by your store is a prospective buyer – that is, if you’re able to grab their attention amongst the hustle and bustle of other local businesses.

One easy way to stand apart from the crowd is to put up a front entrance awning. Signs are great but they might not be visible at night or from afar. A commercial awning, on the other hand, offers visibility 24/7. With plenty of design options like color, font, and the addition of a logo or graphic, you can even customize your awning to fit your branding guidelines.

Elevate the Customer Experience

When people enter your business under the comfortable shelter an awning provides, you are already delivering a positive customer experience whether they realize it or not. Not only is a commercial awning an excellent way to increase brand recognition, it is serving a very real, practical purpose: protection from the elements and respite from the sun.

A commercial awning also gives your entrance a more elegant, sophisticated look. And as every marketer knows, first impressions matter. You want your store’s outward appearance to match the amazing service your customers will experience on the inside. The care you put into every little detail, including the front entrance, can help turn casual visitors into lifelong customers.

Upgrade your storefront with a brand new custom awning from the New Dorchester Awning Company. Contact us today to find out more about our commercial awning styles and options. 

The Dorchester Awning Company: A History of Excellence

Digital Strategies Support - Sunday, February 25, 2018

Tradition. History. Heritage.

These are words that hold a lot of meaning for New Englanders.

At The Dorchester Awning Company, we take great pride in the fact that we have been helping local residents get the best awnings and canopies for their needs with superior service since 1901. When you work with us, you are joining a long tradition of satisfied customers and beautiful, durable awnings.

Products and Services to Fit Your Specific Needs

We understand that every house or business is unique, which is why we offer a wide range of products and services to fit every type of project. If you’re a retail storefront looking to attract more customers, we can help you create the stylish, highly visible branded awning you’ve envisioned. If you’re a hotel owner who wants to provide shade and comfort to customers year-round, we will work with your landscapers and hotel management team to meet the needs of you and your guests.

One of our most popular products is the retractable roller awning, which allows you to have “sun when you want it and shade when you don’t.” Especially in New England we know the type of winds and other inclement weather that your awning has to withstand. For that reason, we offer the very best in retractable awning systems for decks, patios, pools, windows, and more. Based on our decades of experience selling retractable awnings in this area, our designs utilize top-of-the-line materials including stainless steel hardware and the most durable fabrics.

In addition to a long list of awning and canopy product offerings, we provide awning repairs and cleaning services to keep your fixtures looking great for years to come. If you’d like, we’ll even help you take down, store, and re-install your awnings after winter. 

From Initial Concept and Design to Installation and Beyond

Something that sets The Dorchester Awning Company apart in the industry is our thorough custom design process. We strive to make sure our customers are 100% satisfied with their end results, and that starts from our very first meeting. We’ll take the time to learn about your requirements, style, and price range so we can develop the perfect solution for your home or business. 

After we’ve created a computer model or mock-up of your awning or canopy, we’ll work with you to make sure we’ve got it right – which sometimes means going through several iterations before receiving final approval. Finally, our expert installers will come in to set up your new awning, letting you know if any final adjustments need to be made.

Every step of the way you’ll be working with our team of experienced, friendly professionals whose #1 goal is to put the customer first and make sure you’re delighted with your new awning or canopy system.

Your Awning Company for Life

Unlike other awning companies in Massachusetts, The Dorchester Awning Company has been in this business for over 110 years. It is our impeccable service and attention to detail that keeps our customers coming back time and time again. In fact, we are so confident in our commitment to our customers and the quality of service that we provide that we feature real local reviews on our very own website. With their support we have remained a leader in the New England awnings industry since 1901. We know you have many options when it comes to awning companies in Massachusetts. To learn more about The Dorchester Awning Company difference and work with us on your next project, contact us today

Impress Your Guests with a Professional Hotel Awning

Digital Strategies Support - Sunday, February 11, 2018

As anyone in the hotel business knows, first impressions are everything!

From the way people are greeted at the front desk to the way they find their room upon entering, the customer experience can make or break a hotel. Especially in today’s super-connected world of social media and online reviews, it’s important to create a positive guest experience start to finish.  

What many people may not realize is that their first impression of a hotel or resort starts even before walking through the front door. When a guest pulls up to the front door in their car or taxi, what kind of statement are you making? Will they be able to make it inside comfortably, no matter the weather? Does your front entrance have the same elegant, professional feel that the rest of your reception area has?

Keep reading to find out how the right hotel awning can help you wow your guests every time.

Hotel Awning Options

Miriam Webster defines hospitality as the “generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests.”

To give your guests the best treatment possible, you don’t want to cut corners when it comes to selecting a hotel awning for your main entrance. Even an awning that looks relatively simple and straightforward may have been carefully selected to deliver the perfect customer experience.

There are many things to keep in mind when selecting the right awning style to represent your brand, including: color, safety features, strength, stability, drainage options, and more.

Besides your front entrance needs, consider the following questions:

-        Does your hotel or resort offer wedding or event services that might require a pop-up or stand-alone tent or canopy?

-        Do you have an outdoor pool or other outdoor areas that require shade?

-        Are you interested in an entrance awning that offers side panels and/or screens to protect from insects and extreme weather conditions?

Every hotel and resort has different requirements when it comes to the architectural style and overall “look” that they want to achieve. No matter what your goals are, the experienced professionals at The New Dorchester Awning Company will work with your team to find the best solution for you.

All in the Details

The ability to customize your hotel awning is important to creating the perfect “branded” look that you want. With The New Dorchester Awning Company, you can customize the fabric choice, logo and/or other graphics, awning style, and more. During our collaborative design process we work with you and your team to create the best awning possible for your site. 

Choosing the Right Awning Company

When you are considering new awnings or canopies for your hotel or resort, you want to know that you’ll receive an excellent product for a fair price. You shouldn’t have to settle for a one-size-fits-all solution. Rather, you deserve the care and attention of a dedicated, professional team who puts the customer first.

At The New Dorchester Awning Company, we strive for 100% customer satisfaction on every job. Not only can we help you find and design the perfect awnings and canopies for your hotel grounds, but we provide additional services including cleaning and put-up/take-down. Our work isn’t done when your awning is in place – we’ll continue to provide support as you need it. 

Welcome Spring with a beautiful new hotel awning. Contact us today to get a quote and learn more about our custom design process.

What to Look for in a Great Awning Company

Digital Strategies Support - Thursday, January 25, 2018
Whether you’re looking for an awning company to handle your commercial or residential needs, there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a company. We’ve been in the business since 1901, and over the past century we’ve seen it all!

Do they have clear pictures of their work?

Being able to review a portfolio of completed work is crucial when deciding between awning companies. A strong portfolio should give you an idea of the range of options the company has to offer, as well as give you inspiration. Look for images in the portfolio that resemble what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a residential awning and they are only willing to share images of their commercial work with you, ask them why that is. A comprehensive portfolio is the mark of a company proud of its high-quality work across a variety of contexts.

Are they willing to listen to your needs?

Nowadays, many businesses and consumers alike love the idea of a one-size-fits-all solution that can be quickly identified and applied. When it comes to matters such as custom awnings, this mindset might not always be best. A great awning company should take lots of different factors into consideration, and ask you lots of questions: What will the awnings be used for? How often will they be used? What does your building and neighborhood look like? This attention to detail and willingness to take time to solve problems is an indication that an awning company is invested in getting the job done right.

Have they published any reviews or testimonials?

A great awning company should have at least a few testimonials from satisfied customers that they take pride in. Checking reviews on websites like Yelp, Google, Better Business Bureau, Home Advisor, and Angie’s List, can give you a more comprehensive idea of the company’s reputation. While online review sites are a great place to start, it’s important to look at the testimonials that the brand itself displays. Do they have testimonials or positive reviews to share? These can be a great indication that the company takes pride in its customer service.
These are just a few qualities to look for when you’re choosing an awning company to work with. At Dorchester Awnings, we have more than a hundred years in the business! Over time we’ve built up a great understanding of how to satisfy the myriad of clients that seek out our services. Reach out to us today to tell us more about your project!

Like New: How to Keep Your Awning Looking Great Year-Round

Digital Strategies Support - Thursday, January 11, 2018

At Dorchester Awnings, we want to keep your custom awning looking and working great for years to come! Follow these simple maintenance tips to keep it clean and in good working order.

A great custom awning is an investment, and at Dorchester we’re proud of the beautiful awnings we design for our clients every day. Many people don’t know that awnings can benefit from some simple regular maintenance, just like any other part of your home. Here are a few simple tips to keep your awning looking great year-round!

Keep an eye out during bad weather!

Many awnings are designed to provide refreshing shade in sunny weather. Heavy wind, rain, and snow can wreak havoc on your beautiful awning. Water can create puddles that stretch the fabric, strong winds can damage the metal supports, and motors can strain under the pressure of retracting an awning that has frozen in the cold or been weighed-down by water. Don’t let a storm ruin your awning, be sure to take the time to retract it if you know bad weather is coming. If your awning isn’t retractable, do what you can to ensure that water and snow don’t pile up on top of it. Of course, always be sure that your awning is dry when you retract it.

At Dorchester Awnings, we can create awnings for homes and businesses. Reach out to us today to learn more about how our various styles hold up in inclement weather.

Take the time to clean them

Just like your house paint, rain gutters, and driveway, your awning is exposed to the elements and can benefit from some simple regular cleaning habits. Use a broom to remove dust or dirt so your awning looks sharp. For a deeper cleaning, find a cleanser that’s been designed to clean awnings and give it a good scrub. Keep in mind that some cleansers are designed for vinyl awnings while others are designed for canvas- be sure you find the right cleanser for your awning. Once you’ve rinsed the cleaner, be sure to let your awning dry completely before retracting it. Cleaning your awnings is an important way to guard against problems like mildew.

These are just a couple of ways that you can ensure your custom awnings stay looking and working great for years to come! Reach out to us today to learn more about the custom awnings we offer at Dorchester Awnings!

What Type of Awning Best Suits Your Needs?

Digital Strategies Support - Monday, December 25, 2017

Installing an awning brings with it a number of important benefits to residential and commercial buildings alike, including better curb appeal, a lowered energy bill, and creation of a sun/wind/rain shelter. But the fact is there are numerous, almost endless, varieties of awnings on the market today. You can even have your own special design custom-built, as well, if you like.

It's true that acrylic is a superior material choice, in many contexts, but even here, you might opt for a different industrial fabric or wish to go with vinyl or aluminum. Adding bright, durable colors is great for commercial use, and you can add your businesses specific color scheme and logo. But beyond your own hyper-specific custom design, what are the main types of awnings? And what does each one have to offer?

Stationery or Retractable?

Probably, the first decision to be made is whether you want a fixed-frame or a retractable model of awning. If you are covering a patio, deck, or pool-side area, a retractable awning can be a great way to prevent inclement weather from cutting short your parties or family outdoor time, and yet, allowing full sun when it's "beautiful" out.

Windows, doors, and entry areas generally take stationery awnings, on the other hand. But even this is not a hard and fast rule.

Outdoor or Indoor Awnings?

While you might suppose that all awnings are on the exterior, in reality, there is such a thing as indoor commercial awnings. These will be prevalent inside of malls and shopping centers, and occasionally may even be found inside of the actual store. Indoor awnings are entirely for decorative and advertising purposes. Outdoor awnings do that and more and are by far the most common.

Attached or Freestanding?

While most awnings are directly attached to your building, there is also a use for awnings that are freestanding, usually near but not touching the building. A smoking shelter at a restaurant, a bicycle or motorcycle parking zone, a picnicking spot, or an all-weather "sales booth" are all possible uses of a freestanding awning.

Which Shape and Style of Awning?

Most awnings will be attached, outdoor, and stationery. But within this broad scope, there are many particular styles and shapes. First, you have window awnings or small over-door awnings in the following shapes (and many more):

  • Concave
  • Convex
  • Domed
  • Elongated Dome
  • Triangular Slope

The dimensions, of course, can vary to fit the opening you want to cover. And there are many customized shapes as well.

Second, there are entrance area awnings that attach to the building but project from the building and are held up by support poles. These can be a variety of shapes – curved top, A-frame etc. and can include covered sides with roll-up or more permanent panels. The point is to provide a convenient, "weatherized" entry point from curb to door for customers/guests. Some entryway awnings are very long, covering whole walkways; others barely cover the front step.

Which Awning Company Should I Choose?

Installing an awning can be a difficult task for the inexperienced, and you want a sturdy, durable, high quality installation job. Use a professional awning company with many decades of experience, like Dorchester Awning, and you can have a professional team design, build, and install your new awning.  Dorchester Awning will even design, fabricate and ship awnings around the country.

Dorchester uses the highest-quality materials in constructing your awning, and our experienced crew will work quickly and carefully to give you a quality look you will be proud of. If you have any questions about selecting or installing an awning on your home/business property, do not hesitate to contact Dorchester Awning today for immediate assistance.

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