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04 Oct Important things you should know before you purchase a Retractable / folding arm awning

A retractable or folding arm awning is a great investment for your home or business– it will cost between $2,500 and $7,000 for a fully custom made, professionally installed awning. Before you proceed you should consider the following factors. Doing your homework can save you money and time and help to avoid headaches later.

1) The company provide the installation?
Does the dealer stand behind their own installations or do they send it out to a subcontractor? Do they warranty the installation for a period of time? Does their warranty include any service work for future adjustments? At Smart canvas you will deal direct with us from the quotation until the job is completed!

2) Do I need an optional protective hood?
A pelmet oh hood is recommended if the awning is mounted on a wall and exposed without protection. The hood or pelmet will the entire fabric protect and clean so when you extend the awning the fabric looks clean and colour consistent. Smart canvas awnings use extruded aluminium profiles for hood and full cassette awnings providing solid, stable and long lasting quality that will not rust or vibrate in harsh conditions.

3) Where the awning is assembled and what is is the source of the frame components?
Most quality awnings are assembled here in Australia. They are custom made and typically take 3 weeks to produce and install. Some companies save money by bringing in lower quality folding arm awnings and components from China. As with most outdoor products, many China produced components will not withstand the harsh Australian sum consequently in faded fabrics, peeling poor paint or rusted fasteners – just look outside at things that are falling apart, where did they come from? With retractable folding arm awnings, you do get what you pay for… Smart Canvas folding arm awnings are designed and manufactured in Germany and assembled in Brookvale/ Sydney certified by international testing agency TUV with all the hardware made of marine grade 316 stainless steel.

4) Is the fabric 100% acrylic?
Most acrylics will not rot mildew or excessively fade and are the same color/pattern on both sides. Popular Australian distributed brands to consider are Docril, Dickson and Innova.
Some awning manufacturers will carry private label fabrics which are produced in Europe or Asia. A 100% acrylic fabric should last 8 to 12 years with maintenance.

5) Warranty – is it prorated or a full warranty?
Some companies on-line only offer prorated warranties while others will provide full coverage throughout the warranty period. If a future claim needs to be made, a full warranty can save you a lot of out-of-pocket expenses. Smart canvas provide 5 year warranty for the folding arms awnings

6) What applies the spring force in the retractable arms?
Retractable awnings rely on a spring-loaded folding arm to keep the fabric tight. The real work is when you go to retract the awning. It is much harder on you (manually operated) or the motor to retract the awning due to the internal arm springs you are now stretching.
Typically the springs apply tension using three methods – cables, chains or belts. Smart canvas use tensioned, spring loaded PVC coated triple steel cables provide added against corrosion. These cables are individually hung to provide excellent wind stability and fabric tension. Other cheaper options are the chains that are typically the size of what you would find on a bicycle and belts that can’t provide as much tension and can break easier.