Cover in Style

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If you need shade for your outdoor living spaces, covering a backyard patio or deck area is the perfect way to provide comfort and protection from the elements.

Story by Ann Butenas    |    Photos courtesy of Awnings by Haas

Have you ever wondered what an outdoor patio or deck covering could do for you and your home? With so many options from which to choose, you can easily turn your deck or patio into a potential year-round gathering spot when you accentuate and protect it with the perfect covering. 

We spoke with Susan Haas of Awnings by Haas to get the coverage on the latest in outdoor patio and deck covers, which include stationary and retractable awnings, retractable roof extensions, solar shades and solar screens. These products can be specifically tailored for patios, decks, windows and doors, providing shade and UV protection while also reducing your overall energy costs. Take it a step further, and an awning, retractable roof or shade covering can make your outdoor living space a place where you can incorporate a bit of your own personal style by decorating them with lights, accessories and more while simultaneously increasing the living space of your home.

KCH&S: What are some of the benefits of using an awning?

HAAS: Awnings are a great way to increase the time you can spend outside entertaining and dining, using the best of the sun and the shade. They are a supplemental type of covering and can be stationary or retractable. Awnings will protect the interior of your home from direct sunlight, which is great for the summer months. However, in the winter you may want to let more of that light flow into your home. 

KCH&S: What is a retractable roof extension?

HAAS: If you want an open air extension of your home with just a touch of a button, a retractable roof extension may be the answer. These systems allow parts of patios, decks and even terraces to remain covered so they can be used year-round. These stand up well to the elements and can even be used over a pool or outdoor kitchen. They are motorized and the fabric is comprised of a solution dyed acrylic for longevity. They are, however, a bit more expensive than an awning.

KCH&S: Where are motorized solar shades most appropriately used?

HAAS: Solar shades (also known as sun shades) are roller shades made of a special fabric created to protect against UV rays while at the same time maximizing your views. They also reduce glare, block unwanted light and can prevent the sun from fading your interior carpet and other furnishings. Motorized solar shades are great with a lanai or covered porch in place. They help to keep out the sun and will diminish energy costs. They are also three times more effective when placed on the outside of a house than on the inside.

KCH&S: What are the color options for patio and deck coverings?

HAAS: Patio and deck coverings are not only functional, they are also stylish. There are about 250 color selections for retractable awnings and up to 10 colors for the metal pieces (the arms, cassette and framework). It is a good idea to match the awning color to the exterior color of the home. With the solar shades, there are about 12 metal colors and 12 fabric colors from which to choose.

KCH&S: What are some add-on features that further enhance a patio or deck covering?

HAAS: Infrared heating systems are popular. These help keep the heat in during the cooler months. This way, you can start Spring sooner and extend your outdoor time longer into Fall. Other options include speakers, sensors and timing controls.

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