Businesses have been attracting customers with awnings, and giving them the benefit of escaping under them from inclement weather, for thousands of years — since the days of ancient Egypt, where woven-mat awnings lined and shaded busy market stalls. And commercial awnings still hold many benefits for businesses today. They catch customers’ attention, advertise your business name and logo as surely as signs/billboards and creatively complement the style of your building.
Once you have decided to equip and decorate your commercial building with an awning, however, you will be faced with a seemingly endless variety of options. There will be ways in which your awning is 100% unique, but it will also likely fit into a general class and include some common features.
Below, we examine six types of commercial awnings and explain some of their common uses.
1. Entryway Awnings
These are easily the most common type of awning, and they come in a wide variety of styles. There are small, roundish concave awnings that are mostly purely decorative, but do keep a little rain off the heads of those standing at the door.
There are squarish, fixed-frame sloped awnings that give a little more shade and protection. And there are also convex, domed, elongated dome, open wing and a host of other styles used at entrances. Entryways are the best place for commercial awnings to maximize brand awareness and to display stylistic flare.
2. Pathway Awnings
These are a special class of entryway awnings that are particularly long, traveling along a path or outside stairway. Anytime the building is back significantly from the street, customers will greatly appreciate a covered pathway to the entrance when weather is rainy, hot and sunny, or otherwise adverse.
3. Window Awnings
Window awnings have two primary purposes. First, they are used to increase curb appeal and bring stylistic unity to a building that already has an entryway awning.
Second, they greatly reduce the amount of sunlight (especially UV light) that enters and heats up your building. The result is that window awnings can significantly reduce your energy bill.
4. Patio Awnings
In a commercial context, a lateral arm retractable awning leaning over a patio, deck or pavement can create a comfortable outdoor area where guests, most notably at restaurants, can enjoy the pleasantness of the outdoors without getting too much sun and wind. These awnings can be conveniently pulled back in during inclement weather and require very little maintenance.
5. Standalone Awnings
This type of awning is not connected to the main building and creates “new space” outside. This space can serve a variety of purposes, such as picnic areas, bike rack zones and smoking shelters. Such “additional rooms” can enhance the customer experience and build customer loyalty.
6. Inside Awnings
In certain instances, commercial awnings are put up inside instead of outside. Prime examples are at stores located inside of malls and shopping centers, and over special areas of a store like an in-restaurant bar, a ticket booth in a movie theater or a gourmet deli in a high-end grocery store.
No matter which type or style of awning you select (or custom create), you should always work with a reputable, well-established awnings provider that caters to all of your needs.
Dorchester Awning has more than a hundred-year track record of custom-making commercial awnings for a wide variety of clients. They combine custom stitching and computerized models to give you the best of the traditional and the cutting edge.
For a free awning quote, simply fill out the online form, and feel free to call us at 800-649-8686.