The Different Types of New York City Awnings

You may have noticed that awnings are very popular in New York City. Restaurants, cafes, and businesses of all shapes and sizes are recognizing the benefits of providing their customers with a pleasant outdoor experience. When it comes to installing an awning for your business there are a ton of different options for you to choose from. Before you make a choice, you need to understand the different types of awnings, your needs as a business, and the space you ultimately want you awning to cover. 

We’re going to explore the different types of awning options in New York City and evaluate the different facets of them. All of these types of awnings are great, and you have probably seen examples of each one all over the city. We don’t play favorites when it comes to awnings, but we like to provide interested customers with a lot of information so that they can choose the perfect awning for their needs. 

A commercial retractable awning for restaurant in NYC

Patio Awnings 

This type of awning is attached directly to your building. Mounted on the wall these awnings extend out and over a seating area around your restaurant. In New York City, these types of awnings are great for sidewalk seating, and businesses that don’t have very large patio areas. This awning option is also great for buildings that curve or are on corners. If you have seating on either side of your building and you want them all to be covered, a patio awning option will probably be your best bet. 

residential awning / pergola in backyard

Pergolas & Freestanding Awnings 

A freestanding awning is not directly attached to your building. The awning is attached to a separate, sturdy structure that stands on its own. This type of awning is typically used to cover bigger, square spaces. Think outdoor bar, or pool deck. The freestanding awning is versatile and spacious which makes it the perfect choice for wide-open spaces. You probably won’t want to put a freestanding awning out in front of your business for sidewalk seating. This awning option is probably best for New York City businesses with patios, courtyards, or outdoor bars.  Pergolas also have a unique, fancy look that can add an element of class or style to your courtyard.

a retractable awning against brick building residential NYC

Retractable Awnings 

The retractable awnings are the most expensive option. They involve using a motorized mechanism that can roll up or roll out your awning. This is a huge benefit to businesses looking to provide their customers with the best possible outdoor experience. On beautiful days the awning can be retracted allowing your patrons to fully enjoy the city sky, and on days where it is raining or too hot, the awning can provide cover and shade. The major drawback for retractable awnings is their durability. You know how bad the weather can get in New York City. Retractable awnings are not designed to withstand heavy rain or snowfall. If they are left open, they can sustain damage in these conditions so you need to be sure to retract it during those times. 

Fabric Awnings 

When it comes to the type of material used for your awning fabric is the most popular option. Why? Because it is more customizable, you can get in almost any color you can imagine, and it can serve as another source of advertisement space, which in New York City is not easy to come by. Fabric, however, does require more maintenance in order to keep it looking fresh and clean, and over time the color can fade from being exposed to the elements. Fabric is one of the most popular awning options for restaurants because of its classic look. 

steel structural canopies storefront in NYC

Aluminum Awnings or Canopies

Aluminum Awnings, also, known as canopies or structural canopies, are similarly fixed to the front of your building. These awnings will not be as customizable as fabric awnings, but they will be a lot more durable and require a lot less maintenance. Long, brutal winters will not take a heavy toll on an aluminum awning. These awnings were made for bad weather so they are great for New York City. Depending on what type of business you have, or where your awning will be, you may want to choose durability over customization. That’s not to say that an aluminum awning won’t look great on your business because it will. There are just a lot fewer options in terms of color and design for these types of awnings. 

temporary winter vestibule enclosure outside store in NYC

Additional Awning Options 

The great thing about awnings is they are flexible and can be utilized year-round. You can add a winter vestibule to your front patio awning to protect your patrons from freezing wind or rain coming into your building. This is perfect for New York City buildings that lack a built in awning. You can also add walls to your outdoor patio awning. This allows you to capitalize on your outdoor seating even when the snow starts to fall. With fabric walls, window, and doors, you can add space heaters to make an enclosed outdoor space. This gives you a lot more room to play with and adds a fun and inviting atmosphere for your guests. In New York City space is always good to have. Additionally, if you like the way the walls look, they can be left up during warmer months too, windows can be opened, or fans and air-conditioning can be installed to keep customers cool. 

When it comes to awnings there are tons of different options. When you’re looking for a great New York City awning look no further than New York City Signs and Awnings. We have years of experience helping businesses get great awnings, installing awnings, and performing routine maintenance to keep our customer’s awnings looking sharp year-round. Please contact us to request a quote on your custom awning. You’ve probably seen our awnings all over the city! If you want a great awning, trust the professionals at New York City Signs and Awnings.