If you’re looking for an awning, all you need to know is the correct measurements, specifications and accessories, right?
Not necessarily. Two awnings can be poles apart when it comes down to the quality of the product. You can pick up a ready made design for the tenth of the price of a bespoke one, and although that may seem tempting initially, it really pays to spend more if you can stretch your budget. Here's why.
BRANDS AND PRODUCT QUALITY
In the world of awnings, the brand you choose is much more than a logo. There are a high number of Chinese manufacturers importing extremely cheap DIY awnings which you can buy online. While they serve their purpose for the lower end of the market, their products tend to be poor imitations of the European engineered designs.
Since retractable awnings first gained popularity in Europe, the continent has the toughest standards on build and design quality. The best awnings are tested to internationally recognised ISO 9001 quality control systems.
Leading brands like Markilux and Weinor offer a 5 year warranty as standard. It shows they trust the quality and durability of the products they sell.
Entry level awnings won’t have this. They often feature poor quality components, such as weak arm mechanisms and cheap plastic covers. Cost cutting inevitably affects the awnings strength, meaning it won’t be as durable and may even pose a safety risk.
So although two awnings may look similar online, the reality can be that they’re actually very different. Choosing quality is an investment, and not just for your use either. When people buy a house it can be the small things which make the biggest impression - a premium awning could well be the wow factor which inspires a sale in the future.
DESIGN AND INSTALLATION
High-end awnings won’t only get you a better product, but a different level of service too. The cheapest awnings are DIY. The problem with that is awnings aren’t the easiest things in the world to install; they require assessing a wall’s strength and its ability to bear the extra load. Not only that, but you’ll need to drill into the wall multiple times, safely lift the heavy awning up (while on a ladder) and, if you want electric operation, you’ll have to get an electrician to hardwire it in anyway. The alternative is wiring a plug through the exterior wall to reach a socket indoors. All in all, it’s not easy. The most concerning factor is you’ll need enough faith in your installation skills to let your family sit and eat dinner underneath the heavy structure.
At the other end of the scale, a full installation service will let you relax knowing everything is going to be fitted safely. You’ll also receive the expertise of a surveyor and design team, who’ll answer any questions you have, provide advice and solve any tricky on-site issues. A full survey beforehand means there won’t be nasty surprises on installation day, guaranteeing your awning will be a perfect fit.
While we do price extremely competitively, remember not to simply choose whichever company provides the cheapest quotation. Here at Roché we offer nationwide installation, along with many years' experience and reliable testimonials.
A WIDER RANGE
If you have enough money to splash out on a custom made design, you’ll benefit from complete control over nearly every element. From tweaking the width to the centimetre to selecting from different fabric types, colours and patterns, the whole installation is down to you. It’s impossible to receive that kind of product if you’re buying off the shelf.
There are also advantages in that you’ll be able to choose a larger awning, simply because better quality designs have a stronger framework.
While the mantra doesn’t apply to everything, with awnings you really do get what you pay for. If a retractable design is advertised for a really cheap price, you’ll be getting a really cheap awning. If you want your installation to last 10 or 20 years, choose a supplier which you can trust to do a really great job.
For brochures and more information, click here.