All About Retractable Commercial Awnings

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Retractable awnings provide businesses with much greater versatility for their storefronts or outdoor seating areas. They are extremely common in New York City, but you can find retractable commercial awnings situated above the front doors and windows of businesses all across the country. This is because awnings have widespread appeal and can help brighten up the exterior of just about any edifice.

However, you probably still have a few questions about retractable commercial awnings and how they work. For example, what are the benefits of using a commercial awning for your business? What are the differences between fixed and retractable awnings? Finally, what are the differences between manual and motorized retractable awnings?

We will answer all of these questions and more, but first, let’s look at exactly what “retractable awning” means and the function that retractable awnings serve for thousands of NYC businesses.

What Is A Retractable Awning?

A standard or “fixed” awning is simply an extension of cloth or similar material over a window or entryway. It helps protect people and the building from the elements. For example, if you own a restaurant with an outdoor seating area, you may want an awning to help keep the hot sun or hard rain off of your patrons’ faces. Alternatively, if you’re running an NYC business in the middle of winter, your business may use the awning to keep people protected from the snow while they wait outside.

A retractable awning, also known as a retractable canopy, has the same benefits and basic functions as a fixed awning. However, with a retractable awning, it is not a permanent extension that needs to be completely removed or reinstalled. Instead, you can simply pull out the awning when it is needed and retract it when you don’t. It’s really that simple!

Benefits Of Commercial Awnings

There are a number of different benefits of commercial awnings based on the type of business you run. For example, a traditional store awning or business awning can add a pop of color and three-dimensional design to your storefront, potentially attracting more customers. Alternatively, restaurant awnings are extremely popular because they look great and serve very necessary functions. People who want to eat outside need some kind of protection from wind, rain, snow, the sun, or even falling objects (like leaves). With an awning, people can enjoy their outdoor meals or coffees in a peaceful, outdoor environment.

In any case, let’s take a closer look at some of the specific benefits of acquiring a commercial awning:

  • Enhanced Visual Appeal – Awnings give you the opportunity to make your business quite literally stand out from the competition. An awning extends beyond the limit of your storefront, automatically drawing the attention of passersby. If you combine the basic design of an awning with attractive colors and stylizations, you can make an even more appealing visual experience for your customers and potential customers.
  • More Usable Space – An awning can help extend the physical reach of your business, especially for cafes, restaurants, and similar eateries. Without an awning or some type of outdoor covering, customers are obligated to come inside to eat or place an order. With an awning, people can simply have a seat outside and wait for their food or enjoy their meal in the fresh air.
  • Better Marketing Opportunities – While the extent of marketing you can do with your awning will depend on its positioning and design, it does offer an additional way to promote your brand. Many businesses simply put their business name and logo on the canopy or valance (the vertical hanging part on the edge of many awnings). However, you can also use your awning to promote your business phone number, website, and social media accounts. This can help people save your information for later on, even if they do not intend to visit your establishment right now.
  • Increased Consumer Protection – The canopy ensures that consumers won’t be bothered by bad weather or falling objects. This is true whether they are waiting for your store to open or planning to have a bite to eat outside of your restaurant. Either way, an extended awning offers enhanced consumer protection from the elements. In short, awnings make consumers feel safer and more comfortable while they are patrons of your business.
  • Increased Building Protection – Many business owners don’t think about the possibility of falling or flying objects causing damage to their business. However, it is always a possibility. Thankfully, an awning provides a bit of extra protection, particularly for windows. Additionally, extended exposure to the elements can affect the visual appeal of your storefront. Fortunately, an awning can help decrease the effects of long-term exposure to harsh sunlight or even strong wind and rain.
  • Lower Utility Costs – Finally, awnings can also save business owners some money over the long term. By having a canopy block sunlight from entering your building, you can keep the interior of your business cooler during the hot summer months. This means you won’t have to spend as much keeping the A/C running at full capacity. Though it may not sound like much, these savings can definitely add up over time.

Fixed Vs Retractable Awnings

Though all awnings can offer the benefits outlined above, there are some distinct differences between fixed awnings and retractable awnings. A fixed awning is a kind of “permanent awning” that is not able to be retracted. Additionally, it is not designed to be installed and uninstalled on a regular basis. In fact, many fixed awnings appear like extensions of the storefront, even using the same material (like concrete or brick) to create a firm covering. Others are made of cloth or plastic materials, but they are still not designed to be moved or changed in any significant way.

Since fixed awnings cannot be changed unless they are completely removed and replaced, many business owners wonder if they are actually worth it. Fortunately, retractable awnings make this choice far easier, as they can be opened and closed as needed. This also decreases the chance of damage or vandalism, as you can easily retract your awning when you close your business for the day or whenever you do not need it.

Manual Vs Motorized Retractable Awnings

It is important to note that there are two different types of retractable awnings: manual and motorized (automatic). With manual retractable awnings, you have to retract and pull out the awning by hand. Depending on the design, you may be able to do this with cord pulls or some kind of pulley system to easily manage your awning.

However, if you are willing to spend a little more on your awning, you can get an electric-powered, motorized awning that can be retracted and pulled out with the push of a button. Naturally, this means less work for you. And fortunately, even if the power goes out or you are having trouble with the motor, most motorized retractable awnings come with a manual backup component.

Regardless of which type of awning you choose, retractable awnings can make a great addition to your business. Not only do they serve the same functions as standard awnings, but they also offer greater flexibility based on your needs. In short, a retractable awning is a great way to save money, protect your customers, and make your business stand out from the crowd!

If you’d like to learn more about where to buy the best retractable commercial awnings in NYC, be sure to check out the custom awnings at Sign It today!

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