When it comes to sun protection, there are a lot of choices. Among them are many types of porch covers, patio covers, and canopies. Most are "fixed" non-removable porch covers
and patio covers, usually with some sort of vertical supports. Many such porch covers and patio covers are topped with glass or translucent plastic, and some with strips of fabric.
But how do these porch covers and patio covers compare to a
porch awning or patio awning from SunSetter -- either one that attaches to your home like our Motorized Patio Awning, our VISTA Patio Awning or one that is freestanding like our
SunSetter Oasis Freestanding Retractable Awning?
Porch Cover and Patio Cover Sun Blocking and UV Protection:
With a SunSetter porch or patio awning, you get the best of both worlds -- perfect
sun blocking and 99% UV ray protection when you want it, and full sun when you want that. All our models extend or retract in seconds, so the choice is yours. You can also help control your
heating and cooling costs by blocking the hot sun in summer before it can enter your home through windows or sliders, but letting in the sun in winter to help heat your house.
Most porch covers and patio covers are fixed. They don't retract. The same can be said of a cloth patio canopy, so you don't get full sun when you want it. But since many of these porch covers, patio covers, and fixed canopies also let in some sunlight all the time, you don't get full shade and protection either. Even a porch cover or patio cover with tinted glass or plastic lets in partial sun -- much like a car's sunroof -- so you still may get glare, light, and heat when you don't want it. It's a real limitation of a permanent porch cover, patio cover, or canopy structure.
Affordability of Porch Covers and Patio Covers
SunSetter Patio and Porch Awnings are remarkably affordable, giving you custom-built features without the custom-built price. By comparison, a fixed porch cover or patio cover
typically costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars more, considering the time and cost of construction, plus additional maintenance over the years. You also generally have to acquire
building permits to build a porch cover or patio cover. In addition, such fixed canopies can add to the tax bill on your home. So on many levels, a fixed porch cover, patio cover,
or fixed canopy is a more expensive proposition than an awning.
Convenience of Porch Covers and Patio Covers
You certainly can't move a permanent porch cover or patio cover. In addition, fixed porch covers, patio covers and canopies often require hefty vertical supports that can block your view. Birds, insects, and squirrels can also be attracted to a porch cover, patio cover or canopy. But SunSetter deck, porch, and patio awnings stay flat against your home when retracted. They retract easily. Our lateral arm styles have no vertical supports, and our XT models have slim arms that can be positioned vertically or angled back against your house. Our
Motorized Patio Awning operates at the touch of a button, and even has an optional
Wireless Wind Sensor that can close your awning automatically in high winds. The
Oasis Freestanding Awning can be closed and moved to wherever you like. Contrast that to loose-fitting awning canopies that cannot be closed or moved easily, and that can flap
annoyingly in the breeze.
Cleaning and Maintenance of Porch Covers and Patio Covers
Depending on how it is built, a permanent porch cover, patio cover or other canopy can have ridges and crevasses that can collect dirt and leaves. Keeping the glass or plastic clean on a fixed porch cover or patio cover may require getting up on a ladder, or hiring a cleaning service.
SunSetters porch and patio awnings are virtually maintenance-free. Both our Traditional Laminated Fabric and our Woven Acrylic Fabric are mold and mildew resistant, and easy to keep clean. We even offer an optional Cleaning Kit that helps keep your awning looking its best easily. Our patio awnings can stay on your porch or patio all winter -- no need to take them down. Roll them up under our optional Awning Cover for the ultimate in protection.
A Word about Canvas Awnings...
In years past, people thought all fabric awnings were canvas. Porch awnings and patio awning used to be made of canvas because back then it was the only options for a strong fabric with many colors to choose from. But today, we have far superior fabrics, developed from plastic materials. Canvas fabric can be quite heavy. Our new fabrics are strong without excess weight. A canvas awning is also prone to small pinhole leaks and can even let in a fine mist during a passing shower, while our Traditional Laminated Fabric is 100% waterproof, and our Woven Acrylic Fabric is a tight, water-repellent weave. And when it comes to beautiful color choices, canvas awnings are no longer the color champions. Both our fabrics offer an array of stripe combinations and solid colors that are unsurpassed for beauty.
A Word about Cloth Canopies versus the SunSetter Oasis Freestanding Awning
Is a fixed cloth canopy the right shade structure for you home? Many such canopies are hard to assemble, hard to take down in the winter -- which you may need to do in areas that receive snow -- and near impossible to move from place to place. In contrast, the SunSetter Oasis is easy to assemble, portable enough to be moved easily to wherever you want shade, and doesn't need to be stored in winter. Just retract it and leave it outside. Many fixed canopies cannot be retracted when you want to relax in the sun. The SunSetter Oasis retracts simply and easily in less than 30 seconds. Canopies need to be easy to keep clean, but many are not. Dust and dirt, birds, insects and pollution can spoil the appearance of a fixed canopy in no time. Such canopies can even fade in the sun. The SunSetter Oasis uses a water-repellent solution dyed Woven Acrylic Fabric that is easy to keep clean, especially with our optional Awning Cover. And because the color goes all the way through the fabric, the Oasis is one canopy that will hold its good looks for years. In short, many cloth canopies suffer from the same drawbacks as fixed porch covers and patio covers, while the SunSetter Oasis Freestanding Awning offers all the benefits of our SunSetter Porch and Patio awnings, such as retractability, shade, and UV protection, plus the versatility of letting you put that shade and protection anywhere you want. It's head and shoulders above typical fixed canopies and cloth canopy shade structures.