Since the summer of 2020 when the ‘staycation’ made a comeback following an international travel ban, us Brits have been spending more time in our gardens and outdoor spaces than ever before. The UK’s unpredictable weather has meant that we have had to remain prepared for sun, wind and rain whilst we ‘holiday at home’, with many of us choosing to invest in some form of external shading as a result.
Whilst higher quality and premium outdoor canopies are designed to withstand more clement weather, it’s important to consider some additional features such as infra-red heating, side screens and LED lighting to ensure your outside space is fully equipped as we transition into autumn/winter.Awnings
Considered to be more versatile than other systems including gazebos and parasols, patio awnings are fast becoming the external shading product of choice within many residential properties as they provide a quick, easy and affordable solution to transform any outdoor space.
Both practical and stylish, awnings offer instant shade, shelter and privacy and can be designed and built to a bespoke brief to suit all applications, requirements and budgets. In order to enhance the use and enjoyment of your awning all year round, you should consider installing additional features such as LED lighting and infra-red heating.Depending on the model awning, an LED lighting track can either be integrated onto the underside of the cassette casing or mounted on the wall directly beneath. As well as providing ambient lighting beneath the awning on darker evenings, it can be used for general patio lighting when the awning is closed away.Infra-red heaters, that provide instant warmth, heating people and objects, not the air in-between, are mounted directly beneath awning on the wall. Typically heating an area of 12 sq/m an average size awning will only require a single heater to heat the space beneath whilst larger awnings may require 2 or 3, however, thanks to low-energy elements (bulbs) each heater draws just 6.5amp, so you won’t notice your energy bills soaring.Pergolas
Modern pergolas with either rotating or sliding aluminium louvered roofs are the ultimate outdoor shelter, providing complete flexibility and protection from all types weather. Although these sought after structures are highly durable due to their solid construction and are able to withstand heavy rain, gale force winds (and even snow), they can be installed with multiple features which will allow for year-round use and enjoyment.
Along with LED lighting and infra-red heating, similar to awning accessories but mounted to the framework of the structure, the most popular addition are side screens. These screens which are either integrated within the cross beam or built in a separate cassette beneath (dependent on model), use tracks to the side which they run up and down within but more importantly that seal the fabric in position allowing them, aswell as offering protection from low level sunlight, to shield from strong breezes and gusts of wind along with driving rain.Furthermore with these side screens lowered they will create a cosy and pleasant environment during colder months, helping to retain heat within the structure as well as provide privacy from nosey neighbours.
With all accessories, they can be installed at the same time as the awning or pergola or retrofitted later on and are operated effortlessly via the same remote control or app on your smartphone.
As the UK’s external shading experts, our team of designers are on hand to discuss and provide advice on the right outdoor shading solution for your garden, to provide the ultimate outdoor living space that gives you as much control of the elements as you wish, 365 days a year. Contact us today on 0344 800 1947 or complete our enquiry form here to start your journey.