• Do Awnings Increase Your Home’s Value?

    Pittsburgh awnings

    There are several reasons why a new awning may be a good choice for you personally, but homeowners often make large decisions based on more than personal preference. They want to make decisions that will help increase their home’s value and maximize their investment. If you’re considering installing Pittsburgh awnings but aren’t sure if it will pay off in the end, consider the following.

    Improved Aesthetics

    As a stylish fixture on your home, an awning will add value because it creates additional living space to both the outside and inside of your home. Realtors may tell you that it also adds curb appeal, which will also factor into your home’s overall value. This can be true if you pick the right awning. When looking at fabrics, consider sun-resistant fabrics. If you install an awning that easily fades, it can become more of an eye-sore than an asset.

    More Functionality

    Awnings are installed against your house and add a shaded, comfy, easily-accessible outdoor living space for guests to enjoy themselves and relax. Sturdy Pittsburgh awnings with    permanent steel frames are incredibly durable and can stand up to the elements. It’s one of the more cost-efficient and easy ways of increasing your home’s value before you place it on the market. It’s a great alternative to renovating and redecorating.

    A new awning will also help save money and energy. It helps to keep the temperature down in your home, which reduces air conditioner usage. The Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA) has estimated that awnings can save homeowners as much as $200 yearly. It can also be a great addition to a home that doesn’t have air conditioning. Some studies have shown that an awning can help save up to 69 perfect of electricity in your home.

    Conclusively, installing an awning is both an efficient and costly investment that’ll help increase the value of your home. It is also a comfortable and stylish way of doing so. Find your perfect awning today!

  • How to Clean Your Retractable Awning

    pittsburgh awnings

    Now that spring is in full swing, many homeowners are elbow deep in their spring cleaning. While many focus primarily on the inside of their home, it is just as important to prepare the exterior for summer. Homes with Pittsburgh awnings will need to take special care to clean and care for their retractable canvas awnings. Over time, canvas awnings can become stained. The elements can weaken the fabric’s sewing threads, resulting in the fabric eventually beginning to disintegrate. Once the fabric begins to disintegrate, the appearance and structural integrity can be jeopardized. Regularly cleaning your canvas awning can help minimize these risks and give your awning a longer lifespan.

    Here is how to best clean your awning, as part of your spring home cleaning.

    • Start by getting a bucket filled with cool or lukewarm water. Add three ounces of mild laundry soap, such as baby laundry soap, per gallon of water. Do not use detergent. Mix the soap and water solution until foamy.
    • Before you use the soap and water mixture, take a household broom to remove all cobwebs, leaves, and debris taking up space on the underside of your awning.
    • With all the foreign debris removed, you are now ready to begin washing your awning. Start by wetting down a manageable portion of the awning with a garden hose, with your soap and water bucket within reach.
    • Scrub the awning with a stiff brush saturated with the mixed soap and water mixture. Work in a circular motion to effectively work the solution into the awning fabric. Try to limit the area you clean at a time to prevent the soap from drying on the awning.
    • Use a garden hose, to rinse off the soap solution and dirt and allow the awning to air-dry.
    • Continue to scrub your awning in small sections until the entire awning is cleaned.

    Regular cleaning of your Pittsburgh awnings can help to prolong their lifespan, causing it to last for years to come. If you are looking to add retractable awnings to your home, contact Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors today.

  • What You Need to Know Before You Purchase a Retractable Awning

    pittsburgh awnings

    A retractable awning is a huge investment for many homeowners. When you do your research before making a large purchase, you’re more likely to save money and avoid headaches down the road. Prior to investing in Pittsburgh awnings for your home, there are a few important things you should know regarding retractable awnings.

    Who Are You Purchasing From?

    When making a large purchase, research is the key to success. Start by asking for recommendations from friends and family, and reading reviews online to make sure the company you work with is reputable.

    Who Does the Installation?

    Does the prospective dealer do their own installations or do they contract out to a third-party? Do they offer a warranty on the installation? Does their warranty include any service work or future adjustments that you might need? Finding a dealer who stands behind their installation is an important aspect of the buying process to consider.

    What Kind of Fasteners are Used for Installation?

    Retractable awnings can weigh anywhere from 200 to 400 pounds. Because they are so heavy, it is imperative that when they are installed, the installers use a minimum of a 3/8-inch wide shaft lag screw. Depending on the material the installer is mounting to, the length of the lag screws is going to be an important factor as well. When retractable awnings are installed, the goal is to reach the center of the house’s framework after removing all exterior materials that can be compressed—i.e., foam board under vinyl siding.

    Is the Fabric 100% Acrylic?

    Because retractable awnings are made using a fabric material, it is important to have a material that will last. Most acrylic fabrics will not rot, mildew, or quickly fade due to sun exposure. Typically, most acrylic material is also the same color/pattern on both sides. An acrylic fabric that is sewn with UV stable thread should last anywhere from 8 to 12 years with maintenance and cleaning.

    Is it a Full or Prorated Warranty?

    It is important to know if the warranty is prorated or full. This will prove to be useful information if you ever need to file a warranty claim. Awnings that come with a full warranty will save you a lot of money in out-of-pocket expenses.

    How Does the Awning Operate?

    With retractable awnings, there are different ways the awning can be operated—manually, by hand crank, or motorized. The motorized option is more expensive when compared to manual options. But although they may have a higher price tag, research has found those with a motorized unit are ten times more likely to use their awning than those without. A motorized awning can easily be operated using either a handheld remote or a switch located on the wall of your home.

    Does the Location of Awning Assembly Matter?

    The majority of quality awnings are assembled in the United States. Because most awnings are custom made, they generally take a week or two to produce. Be aware that some companies will try to save money on production by importing lower quality units and components from other countries. When this happens, the components aren’t capable of withstanding the diverse climates found across the United States, causing peeling paint, faded fabrics, and rusted fasteners.

    What Applies the Spring Force in the Retractable Arms?

    All models of retractable awnings rely on a spring-loaded folding arm that exerts outward pressure in order to keep the fabric tight. The real work comes when you retract your awning. It is a lot harder to retract an awning than it is to extend one. This is true for both manually operated styles and motorized units. This is harder to do because you are not stretching the internal arm springs. In most units, the springs apply tension using one of three methods—cables, chains, or belts. Regardless of the tension method, most claim to have a lifespan between 20,000 and 100,000 arm cycle durability.

    Knowing the facts about retractable awnings can help you to make an informed decision, ultimately aiding you in purchasing an awning that you will be happy with for years to come. At Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, we offer quality Pittsburgh awnings that are not only beautiful, but durable as well. You can rest assured that when you make your awning purchase from Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, you are getting a high-quality awning that will enhance the appearance of your home.

  • Retractable Vs. Fixed Awnings

    Pittsburgh awnings

    Many homeowners enjoy awnings for the comfort and shelter that they provide. When shopping for Pittsburgh awnings for your home or business, there are several options for you to choose from. One of the first decisions you’ll have to make is whether you want a fixed or retractable awning. Both have their pros and cons, which we will discuss here.

    Retractable Awnings

    Retractable awnings are great if you want flexibility. They can be extended when you want shade and retracted when you want the light. Some people prefer to only use their awnings when it’s extra hot outside or when they need protection from the rain.

    In order to be retractable, awnings are made using a heavy-duty fabric, that is available in a wide range of prints and colors. This makes it easy to change them out when they need to be replaced or when you simply want to change them to match a new décor style. One of the biggest drawbacks to installing a retractable awning is that they require a lot of moving parts to retract. As a result, they are more expensive than a stationary awning. You can still purchase older, hand-crank style awnings, but newer retractable awnings are motorized and controlled with a switch or remote.

    Fixed Awnings

    Fixed awnings are ideal for if you want your awning to be a permanent fixture in your home or building. Many businesses enjoy the permanent feature because many use it for signage to advertise their business name and phone number.

    Fixed awnings tend to be less expensive than retractable awnings and are very sturdy. With a fixed awning, you have more choices for shape and covering material. Similar to their retractable counterparts, fixed awnings can also be covered in fabric. They can also be covered in aluminum or any other specialty materials.

    What Type Should You Pick?

    The type of awning you should pick is based on your personal preferences and the amount of space you have to work with. If you want flexibility and want to use it when you want and put it away when they don’t need it, a retractable awning is the way to go. Retractable awnings also make sense in areas that experience high winds frequently, as you’ll be able to retract it when the winds pick up, protecting your investment.

    For those who have plenty of room for the required supporting posts, or have your mind set on a specific shape, a fixed awning is going to be the better choice. For those who don’t want to worry about the mechanics possibly breaking and want less maintenance may also find that a fixed awning is the best choice.

    Regardless of what type of Pittsburgh awnings you decide to go with, if they’re installed properly and regularly retained can last for years to come.

    Whether you are in the market for a new awning-retractable or fixed or want to learn more, the experts at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors can help. Since 1950, we have been confidently serving the people of Pittsburgh with all the retractable and fixed awning needs, let us help you with yours!