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Types of Awnings: Why are Straight Drop Awnings the Ideal Choice for the Australian Climate?

Types of Awnings: Why are Straight Drop Awnings the Ideal Choice for the Australian Climate?

Awnings have been popular in Australia for decades. From a practical perspective, they are the best thing you can do for a window, especially in harsh weather. More recently, Australian houses have fallen in love with a new type of awning. 

Some people call them Vertical, or “Straight drop” Awnings. Some call them “Outdoor Blinds”. Whichever label you like to use, these awnings are increasingly popular in Australia, where our weather can fluctuate from sunny to rainy in a blink of an eye. “Straight drop” awnings can provide a range of benefits, including protection from the sun, rain & wind, which means added comfort & longer lasting furniture. 

Awnings can also help you save on your electricity bills. All types of awnings are excellent shade solutions as they block heat from large windows on really hot days – you don’t have to turn on your air conditioner, thus you reduce your carbon footprint, which translates to cooling energy cost savings. 

Types of awnings

Awnings are not only used in residential spaces. In fact, you will see a lot of awnings in restaurants, retail stores, cafes, offices, & other business spaces in Sydney. Among the most common types of awnings you will find are alfresco awnings, which are highly functional & non-disruptive. They are used to shield outdoor spaces from Australia’s fickle weather. There are also pivot arm awnings that extend or retract. Convertible awnings, meanwhile, are simple, easy to operate, & suitable for any window type. Then there are straight drop awnings, also referred to as alfresco awnings, outdoor blinds, straight drop blinds, or vertical blinds. Straight drop awnings are still considered popular to date, despite being around for hundreds of years. Let us explore why straight drop awnings are considered the ideal choice for most homes in Australia.

Straight drop awnings

If you hear the terms “alfresco awnings”, “outdoor blinds”, “straight drop blinds”, or “vertical blinds”, these all refer to straight drop awnings. Traditional straight drop awnings use a rope & pulley system to operate, although many homeowners are now opting for motorised & remote-controlled operation.

These outdoor blinds are generally fitted outside the window & made of weatherproof awning materials. Alfresco awnings keep your outdoor living & entertaining areas from Australia’s harsh weather conditions. They are also used to add privacy to your patio area, & create a stylish, modern look. 

Straight drop awnings is a great choice for most Australian homes thanks to its versatility & contemporary look that fits most house designs. This type of awning can be mounted between walls or columns, on the face of a beam, or the underside of a ceiling. Not only that, straight drop awnings have a variety of fabrics to choose from.

Types of straight drop awnings

There are several types of straight drop awnings, & you can mix & match them according to your needs & liking. You also have the option to go for a closed headbox, open headbox or an open roller.

Let’s take a closer look at the most popular types of straight drop awnings currently available in the market:

1. Verandah straight drop awnings. Verandah straight drop awnings are relatively affordable, classic & simple – thus they fit well into any type of home. Most people are familiar with verandah straight drop awnings as they are very similar to blinds (hence, they are often referred to as “outdoor blinds”) as they use a rope & pulley system to operate. They are often used in verandahs.

2. Cable guide straight drop awnings. Cable guide straight drop awnings can be secured in a variety of ways & can be motorised, crank-operated, or even solar-powered operation systems. They are perfect for motorising & automating operation using a remote.

3. Multi-stop channel guide awnings. The multi-stop channel guide awnings provide you complete control to stop an awning at any point in order to suit your specific preferences based on different Australian seasons, & to suit various times of the day or night. The channels are normally made from powder-coated aluminium, which are sturdy enough to withstand Australia’s harsh, fickle weather & will give you long-lasting performance. Multi-stop channels make use of clever locking mechanisms with internal springs to retract the fabric, therefore it does without unsightly ropes & cords. This type of awning can be hand-operated, used with pull-down hooks, or motorised.

4. Cord & reel awnings. Cord & reel awnings can be operated using a rope, winch, or gearbox. The fabric rolls up around a tube, which is fitted into a hood or mounting brackets. This type of straight drop awning comes in a variety of colours to match any type of décor or need.

5. Spring-loaded straight-drop awnings. The spring-loaded straight drop awnings are generally installed between verandah posts, & designed to supersede the verandah straight drop awning. They are spring-operated, with a tube that keeps constant tension in the fabric, for ease of use while also maintaining quality for long term durability. This type of awning is extremely popular for shading windows on the ground floor, particularly in living areas that are smaller, such as hallways.

6. High-performance straight-drop awnings. High-performance straight-drop awnings use side retention tracking which incorporates a zipper in order to provide class-leading strength, performance & durability. This type of awning screens the entire perimeter, not just your house, so you can close off your outdoor living areas completely, giving you more room to relax & entertain in complete privacy.

Now that you have an idea of the most popular types of awnings – particularly straight drop awnings, or outdoor blinds – you can assess for yourself which would best suit your needs. If you require clarifications about the best type of awning to be used for your commercial or residential space, Elite Home Improvements of Australia (EHi) provides reliable advice based on your specific requirements.  

EHi supplies & installs flyscreens, along with a wide range of home improvement products:  Blinds, awnings, security screens, shutters, & grilles.  These products form the focus of our government – backed apprenticeship, which we’ve recently named the Cert iii in BASS G™.