Retractable Awnings – Everything You Need to Know

Retractable Awnings - Everything You Need to KnowRetractable awnings are a popular choice for commercial spaces as they provide an effective solution for controlling sunlight and providing shade, while also adding a visually appealing element to the building’s exterior. Additionally, they can be customized to fit the specific needs and branding of the business, making them a versatile option for a variety of industries.

The popularity of retractable awnings for commercial use can also be seen in the number of businesses and industries that use them, including restaurants, cafes, hotels, office buildings, retail stores, and more. As businesses seek to create inviting outdoor spaces for customers, retractable awnings have become a popular and practical solution.

Here are some of our FAQ’s about Retractable Awnings answered.

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How Much Do Retractable Awnings Cost In The UK?

There is a huge choice of retractable awning but it is always best to purchase the highest quality you can afford within your budget. The best engineering comes from Germany and for these high quality models you should expect to have to pay between £2500+VAT – £5500+VAT depending on the size and models. 

However, all awnings are made to measure, and can come with optional items such as wind sensors, integrated lighting and heaters, so prices are fully bespoke. There is also a vast range of frame colours and fabrics to choose from, and the option to screen print your logos and branding onto the fabric. 

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Retractable Awnings - Everything You Need to Know

Are Retractable Awnings Waterproof? / Can Retractable Awnings Be Used In The Rain?

Retractable awnings are completely showerproof and can be used in the rain.  The fabric is impregnated with a protective coating on a microscopic level, meaning rain and other liquids don’t cling on to the fabric but roll off it, leaving no trace whatsoever.

This technology is called Hi-Clean technology, which also makes it dirt-resistant. The coating wraps around the fabric’s fibres like an invisible protective shield which guards against dirt. The invisible protective coating staves off not only watery dirt but also oil-based dirt. 

A simple yet impressive test proves it: if honey is applied to a fabric treated with Hi-Clean technology, the fabric’s liquid-repellent property will cause the honey to form tiny beads. The sticky substance simply cannot penetrate the fabric. If water is then poured onto the fabric, the honey and water will both roll off the surface of the coated fabric.

The result: the fabric returns to its clean state, with no traces of honey to be seen anywhere! Needless to say, the effect can be reproduced with many other forms of dirt.

We recommend the pitch of the awning be tilted at 14 degrees to ensure rainwater can run off efficiently, and we also recommend that the awning be left out to dry before retracting it. Persistent humidity can cause wrinkling and mildew stains, so always ensure that your awning is dry and clean.


Do You Need Planning Permission To Put Up An Awning?

Awnings can be fitted to virtually any building or space but if the host structure is listed or in a conservation area then it is always best to check with the local authority to see if planning permission is required.

Every local authority is different, so waiting times for planning permission can vary from as little as 2 weeks up to an agonising 16 week wait. Therefore, we advise getting in touch with us as soon as possible, so we can provide you with our project recommendations as quickly as we can. Sometimes the local authority will return with conditions for approval, such as removal fixings or particular colours, which we can work into the project no problem. 


Retractable Awnings - Everything You Need to KnowWhat Is The Average Lifespan Of Retractable Awnings?

Firstly, it’s worth mentioning that our fabric is fade resistant! Our awning fabrics are solution dyed which means that the colour pigment is stored in the fibres during the spinning process. The fibres are then spun into a yarn, so the finished yarn is therefore fully saturated with dye.

The traditional method is to spin the yarn first and then dye it which means only a thin layer will have pigment. An analogy which can help to visually compare these methods is a carrot vs a radish. If you were to cut a carrot and a radish in half, the carrot would be orange all the way through, but the radish would only have a thin pink layer. Our fabrics are the carrot; solution dyed and guaranteed to 10 years!

With regards to the awning itself, we have some awnings that were fitted 12-15 years ago that are still fully operational and look brand new! This shows that if they are looked after properly, they can life for a very long time! Due to the nature of a commercial application, with many staff operating the awning, we provide a maintenance manual to be used for training so that everyone can learn how to properly use the awning so that the lifespan won’t be impacted.


How Long Does It Take To Fit An Awning?

Most awnings will take less than a day to install. If there are multiple products to install, it can spill into 2 days. Our fitters are highly experienced and efficient. They even had an awning completed by 8:05am once!


How Much Room Do You Need To Install Retractable Awning?

The smallest awning we offer is 2m wide with a 1.5m projection. If you’re dealing with a particularly small space, it is also worth considering if there is room for our fitters to install the product.

If you are unsure whether you can fit a shading solution in your outdoor space, email us a photo and we will be sure to recommend the most suitable product. We have over 20 years of experience dealing with all shapes, sizes and buildings, so if there’s a solution, we will find it! It’s always worth asking the experts, because every outdoor seat can be worth up to an extra £6000 a year for businesses!


Retractable Awnings - Everything You Need to Know

Are Retractable Awnings Worth It?

Instead of reeling off how amazing we are, we’ll just give you some stats and facts to prove how worthwhile an awning investment can be:

Let’s take a 5m X 3.5m awning with optional fitted heaters and lighting for example. This should shelter and shade around 16 seats meaning 16 covers.
If we assume an average spend of £15 per person and this is turned 3 times a day over busier periods of just 3 days per week then it will generate an additional £2160 of sales revenue.
If we then assume a gross margin of 50%, this would provide a contribution to overheads / profit of £1080 per week which equals over £50k of extra profit a year!

What’s more, our zero deposit leasing options allow for payments to be spread over 2-5 years. And with our revenue and leasing calculators on our website (can you link these here Aidan?), you can see for yourself that the return on investment is well worth the monthly repayment!

The telegraph said it best: “It is thought about a third of pubs, restaurants, cafes and bars have outside space to take advantage of the new alfresco dining laws. The industry estimated that every outdoor seat was worth up to £6,000 a year to businesses in extra revenue.”

According to an OpenTable diner survey, 82% of people want to see outdoor seating options continue to grow and 79% of UK diners have attested that they would be willing to spend more time and money in a restaurant if they incorporated outdoor dining. So it’s a matter of customer satisfaction as well as attraction! And with studies showing that 90% of consumers consider reviews before visiting an establishment, having an alfresco area will also improve your ratings!

Another staggering statistic comes from FSR Magazine, who reported that 70% of first-time sales are based on curb appeal alone. This means that 70% of the new customers that you serve, have chosen you based off the exterior of your premises. So an awning can improve the aesthetic of your establishment, communicating to passers-by that you indeed have an alfresco area, you consider the comfortability of your customer, and take pride in the appearance of your business.

We supply worldwide and fit nationwide, so be sure to get in touch to discuss your outdoor area potential today!