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3 Things You Need To Know Before Buying An Awning For a Balcony


Ah, the balcony, a luxurious and beautiful feature that adds so much to a home. It is the place where Juliette and Romeo proclaim their love for each other*, where the Royal Family stand to wave, and where the Pope likes to hang out. It’s also a great place for a little table for tea in the summer.

But the problem with a balcony is that when the sun is at its highest and blazing down upon you, it can all get a bit much, making that upstairs fresh air much less enjoyable. While parasols and shades work for a little temporary relief, they’re not a practical or lasting solution. Similarly, a little drizzle can put you off enjoying your balcony at other times.

Nope; what you really want is an awning!

And if you’re going to consider an awning, then it’s essential you consider three things:

The First Consideration When Buying an Awning for a Balcony – Materials

Most awnings are made of a strong fabric that’s able to be folded or rolled back when not in use. While rigid coverings do exist, it’s more accurate to call them a roof rather than an awning – after all, if you can’t wind it back, it’s not an awning!

Awning fabrics have to share some qualities (otherwise, they’re just a sheet!):

  • Strong – Awnings that rip easily are not fit for purpose.
  • Weather and water-resistant – If it can’t keep off the rain or survive through the colder months when not in use, then you’ve got a problem.
  • UV protection – Cutting out the sun is more than just basic shading. Getting an awning with decent UV protection will protect your skin and improve its durability.
  • Fade-resistant – There’s nothing worse than picking a beautiful patterned awning only to have it bleach within the first few weeks.
  • Choice of patterns and colours – You’re picking your awning to look nice, so making sure it fits with your personal aesthetic and home style is essential.

Some awning fabrics include:

  • Canvas – Strong, durable and weather-resistant, canvas was the traditional fabric for awnings for many years (after all, if it’s good enough for sails on a ship, it’s good for your balcony). However, even with all the treatments, canvas can suffer problems with mildew and mould if not looked after and so more people today are looking to lower-maintenance alternatives.
  • Vinyl – Incredibly weatherproof, coated vinyl awnings are long-lasting and easy to clean. However, in high-wind areas, this material can rip due to its lower flexibility. 
  • Acrylic-Coated Polyester – Used for umbrellas, boat covers, are other outside applications, acrylic-coated polyester is a lightweight, long-lasting, weatherproof material. Its downsides are that, like canvas, it needs to be cleaned to avoid mildew issues and colours can fade from UV exposure.
  • Solution-Dyed Acrylic – Our star pick. Solution-dyed acrylics come in a huge range of colours, they’re easy to clean, and have great resistance to both the weather plus mould, mildew, and dirt. Perfect for an outdoor awning.

The Second Consideration When Buying an Awning for a Balcony – Motorisation

You might not think that determining how your awning extends and retracts should be such a significant question when choosing your awning, but it can make or break your awning’s long life – quite literally.

When you first get an awning for a balcony, you see nothing wrong with winding the material into place. Often, you are even proud of the effort – a few minutes of winding the crank, and it’s out, protecting you from the elements.

However, over time, the winding in and out of your awning can start to become a bit of a chore. Many owners of awnings for their balconies find themselves skipping this whole part, leaving the awning extended and forgetting about it. Your awning is now no longer an awning; it’s a roof – and it’s a roof that’s made of a material designed for an awning… In short, you run the risk of damaging your awning and greatly reducing its lifespan, especially if rain, snow, and ice end up pooling on it.

The convenience of a motorised awning is a huge benefit to keep your awning in tip-top condition, as well as lowering the strain on your arms! Of course, a manual awning is cheaper and will work just as well – you just need to be willing to put in that extra effort.


The Third Consideration When Buying an Awning for a Balcony – Who You Buy From

Where you buy your awning is really important.

Getting something cheap off the internet that you have to install yourself is a false economy, likely to end up costing you more when you eventually get the experts in to fix any problems.

Select a reputable dealer with experienced fitters to make sure your awning on your balcony is a delight and not a nightmare.

Consider the following:

  • The product quality of your awning
  • The expertise of a professional installation 
  • The dangers of a DIY installation, especially if the balcony has challenging access
  • The benefits of a comprehensive aftercare service
  • The peace of mind of a warranty

Getting an Awning for a Balcony with SSC

Having an awning will breathe new life into your balcony, allowing you to enjoy it more frequently and for longer – just make sure you choose the right supplier who will help you select the perfect fabric and type of awning to fit your balcony.

At the Scottish Shutter Company, we have expert awning fitters who will ensure your balcony awning is installed perfectly. Why not download a brochure for more information?

* It’s probably worth mentioning that there’s actually no balcony in Romeo and Juliet. In fact, in Shakespeare’s England, no one had ever heard of a balcony – they had a few decades until the term came over from Italy, and Shakespeare’s classic scene simply says it was set in a garden. Still, let’s not spoil the imagery!

Picture of David Browne

David Browne

David is Co-Founder and Project Director at the award-winning, Best Family Business 2020 – the Scottish Shutter Company. David has over 35 years’ experience in running and growing small businesses.




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