Window awnings are fantastic additions to any building, including your home, and they offer many benefits. From boosting style and curb appeal to improving your home’s energy efficiency via a second layer of sun protection, window awnings are a perfect choice for your home. 

If you’re wondering which awnings are best for your home, we’ve rounded up all of the best options to embellish your home both stylistically and functionally. Used to cover doors, garages, patios, and windows, awnings are a great way to keep cool both aesthetically and temperature-wise.

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Aluminum Awnings

Good for: Those looking for an easy-to-maintain option that provides endless style and protection from the elements, consider aluminum awnings!

Why you should try this: If you live in a snowy area, aluminum awnings can support up to 50 pounds of snowpack! That durability can’t be beaten!

Aluminum awnings are a classic and one of the most popular and versatile options for awnings. These awnings can be painted to match your exterior, and with their durability, you won’t have to worry about harsh elements prematurely wearing on the materials. These aluminum awnings will protect windows from winter snow, ice, and sleet, debris and shield the home from excessive heat in the summer days.

metal awning

Another benefit of aluminum awnings is the little required maintenance and low risk of peeling paint or rusting. Aluminum awnings may not be best for those that want to allow natural sunlight and elements to reach the windows at times as there are no slates for the weather to pass through.

Fabric Awnings

Good for: Those living in warm settings, not necessarily ones with excessive winter conditions, as the fabric cannot support itself in harsh elements. In fact, it’s often encouraged your remove fabric awnings during the wintertime to help preserve.

 Why you should try this: Fabric awnings offer a cost-effective way to shield from the elements while adding a pop of color! 

Fabric awnings are another widely used option for window and patio coverings. Typically designed with side and flaps that provide extra protection from the sun. These awnings are often sold in multiple colors and styles, so there is something for everyone.

Many find the fabrics to be flattering for their homes, adding an elevated look to their once plain exterior. In addition to many styles, patterns, and sizes, you will also benefit from a cooler interior as fabric awnings shield from excessive sun.

DIY Window Awnings

Good for: Those who are crafty and looking to cut some costs by covering the installation and building costs themselves.

Why you should try this: DIY projects are always fun and can lead to a more prideful view of your home, knowing that you helped to elevate its appearance!

DIY projects are all the rage these days, and that includes window awnings too. There are many guides out there that have directions for creating your own awnings, both exterior and interior, ranging in style and sophistication. From the easiest processes, like fabric, to full-on constructing hardware consisting of wood and metal pieces, there are options for all comfortability levels. DIY awnings may not be best for you if you’re not a semi-experienced handyman, as a faulty window awning could lead to major damage if it falls!

Retractable Awnings

Good for: Those who live in a dynamic setting with shifting weather conditions or those who want to maintain their original exterior most of the time, aside from when the sun is overhead and acting as a nuisance.

Why you should try this: Reap all of the benefits without nearly as much work! With the motorized extending, retracting, and position adjusting, you’ll have everything you need at the ease of your fingertips.

Retractable awnings are typically fabric awnings that are motorized and roll up when not needed or not in use. Also, it is easy to adjust if it’s midday and the sun is overhead, or you can lower it when the sun is rising or setting.

If you’re looking for versatility and automating some of the processes that come with maintaining awnings, then one with a retractable add-on is a great option.

retractable awning attatched to a wood home

 Fixed Awnings

Good for: Those who live in moderate temperatures or continually sunny places will not need to constantly flip between retracting and extending or removing and putting up again as the seasons change.

 Why you should try this: This can save you a lot of manpower and maintenance over the years if you live in a place when continual shade is a luxury. Think places with extremely hot summers and mild winters, such as Southern California.

Fixed awnings are those that are permanently attached to the home rather than ones that can be removed in winter months or retractable ones that are easily adaptable. These awnings can vary and size and are usually a hard structure mounted to the home via all of the necessary hardware to keep it in place.

Potential drawbacks of the fixed awnings are that you will not be able to move, retract, or completely remove, say, in the winter months when sunlight is a commodity or when you simply want more views of the surrounding area.

Panorama Window Awnings

Good for: Those who want the protection of an awning without the loss of views your home offers. Given the unique cut, you’ll be able to benefit both from an added layer of element shielding and beautiful views surrounding your home.

Why you should try this: Try this style if you can’t stomach the idea of losing out on views just to save on heat and subsequent energy costs. With this innovative option, you can have the best of both worlds!

 A panorama window awning is one that refers to the style and builds rather than the materials, though panorama windows are typically made from aluminum. With that being said, panorama window awnings offer full coverage without blocking any views. Typically designed with horizontal thin slates rather than vertical, you can still see outside easily, and a bit of sun can seep through in the colder months.

panorama awning with slats

Modern Styled Awnings

Good for: Those who are concerned with style over all else. Not to say that functionality isn’t important, but if your home’s appearance is of utmost importance, consider opting for a modern-styled awning.

 Why you should try this: You don’t need to forfeit style for the benefits awnings afford! Try this style if you want the best of both worlds and a look that elevates your space.

 When considering an awning for your home, you may be concerned with the look of awnings if you’re striving for a modern look. Being as so much energy goes into perfecting the exterior of your home and boosting curb appeal, it’s a valid concern.

But, no need to worry – tons of modern awnings will compliment your home’s appearance, not hurt it! These modern-style awnings are usually a solid material that is not versatile in the way of retractability.

Wood Awnings

Good for: Those who want a little style! Great for contemporary and modern homes, the wood awning adds a touch of home and warmth without detracting from your home’s overall curb appeal.  

Why you should try this: Try wood awnings if you’re looking to upgrade your home’s style! The rain-soaked wood in the wintertime will add an extra layer of charm and depending on the design. You may find a bit of relief from the sun too.

While the most popular awnings offer both style and utility functions, wood awnings are typically a great stylistic choice with little element protection. This is because wood awnings are usually slated or latticed, rather than being a solid block of wood. 

Depending on the designers and how closely the pieces of wood are slated together, you may find little relief from the sunshine and rain, but those elements will primarily and quite literally slip through the cracks. 

wooden window awning

Rustic Awnings

Good for: Those who don’t mind forfeiting a bit for style and modernity for something durable and charming.

Why you should try this: Have you ever heard a rain storms’ pitter-patter against a metal roof? This is a great alternative right outside of your own window. Long, winter days with the dreamy trickling sensation sound dreamy!

Rustic awnings can complete your home, shed, or garage’s look, adding a bit of weathered charm to the space. While you may not be bursting at the seams to add these to your home (no judgment if so!), these make for a great addition to your window, providing style and protection from the elements.

Rustic awnings may not be the best option for your home if you’re looking for something that is easily adaptable. Because the rustic and typically aluminum or metal material can’t be retracted, and there are no slates for the sun to shine through, you may lose valuable daylight in the wintertime.

Retro Awnings

Good for: Those who care as much about the style of the awning as they do for the functionality. Also, those who love a retro look and would like their home to reflect some of that old-school charm. 

Why you should try this: Retro awnings are a great way to add a pop of style and character to an otherwise newer or updated home. Done correctly, your retro awning could elevate your home’s exterior while sticking close to the colors and patterns you love.

The word retro and styles that fall underneath that umbrella can be quite subjective, depending on who you ask. A millennial might state anything prior to 2010 as retro, while most adults can agree that retro falls somewhere in the 50s-60s style-wise.

With that said, retro awnings refer to a fabric awning with retro patterns and looks that could fit right into the mid-1900s timeframe.

However, sometimes the retro look can come in aluminum and other materials as well, focusing on cuts and accent pieces rather than colors and patterns. But they’re not always. Since it’s subjective, we’ve included a couple of photos that could fit the bill of that retro look.

retro pink window awnings

Glass Awnings

Good for: Those who are afraid that adding an awning means forgoing views of the surrounding area. From sun to ground, you can see everything with glass awnings while adding a layer of comfort.

 Why you should try this: You should try glass awnings if you’ve looking for something durable without all the extra materials detracting from your home’s aesthetics.

Glass awnings are a great choice for shielding from the elements, particularly in the winter months, while still being able to see everything outside of your window. While the glass awnings would primarily protect from ice, sleet, rain, and snow, some brands do also offer UV-resistant materials to help reflect the sun’s heat rather than absorb it. Additionally, glass awnings come in multiple styles, ranging in elegance depending on the price point and depending on what other materials are incorporated into the awning. Glass awnings are generally non-retractable, and they can pose a risk in the wintertime with hail and large quantities of snow, if not properly installed and maintained.

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Editorial Contributors
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Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield is an experienced writer specializing in home improvement topics. He has a passion for educating and empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their properties. Matt's writing focuses on a range of topics, including windows, flooring, HVAC, and construction materials. With a background in construction and home renovation, Matt is well-versed in the latest trends and techniques in the industry. His articles offer practical advice and expert insights that help readers tackle their home improvement projects with confidence. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, Matt's writing is sure to provide valuable guidance and inspiration.

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