Shade appeal - Grand Designs Magazine

Shade appeal

When the sun's at its peak, filter the light with a smart bespoke awning

By Caroline Rodrigues |

Once you come to the end of a new-build or renovation project, installing an awning makes absolute sense. What could be better than enjoying the fruits of your labours outside on the terrace, cocktail in hand?

At SWR Home & Outdoor top-quality awnings are just one aspect of the home and garden enhancements on offer. On a visit to the showroom in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, you can browse everything from entrance or garage doors to windows, glass rooms and pergolas that will transform your outdoor space. And if you visit during February 2024 and order an awning, installation is free (worth up to £600).

What type of awning can I have?

Among the many awning types available, you’ll find retractable, fixed, motorised and manual versions, to suit patio doors and windows. Or if you don’t want to attach an awning to a wall or building, there are freestanding versions which are completely independent structures.

What is an awning made of?

The components can include aluminium, steel, wood and acrylic, with waterproof, uv repellent fabrics. A fabric awning isn’t the only option, though. Select a louvered canopy by Renson instead, for its adjustable aluminium roof slats that allow precise control of the amount of shade.

Is size an issue?

Even the grandest project can have an awning. They go up to seven metres in width with a maximum projection of four metres. Awnings also come with fittings to suit a bungalow or single storey extension. The standard fitting height is 2.8m, giving you a walk-through height of 2.1m. It’s not a case of one size fits all, as the awning can be custom made to your specific requirements.

Can I incorporate lighting?

If you want to extend your outdoor time, integrated lighting lets the party continue even as dusk falls. Leading brands Markilux and Weinor offer integrated lighting as standard on some models and on others it’s an optional extra.

What about a glazed room?

A fully glazed room lets you enjoy views of the garden all year round. At SWR the Deponti aluminium veranda is a stylish extension to your house. Aluminium is very solid, weatherproof and requires little maintenance.

Doors and windows

First impressions count, with the façade and entrance setting the tone for the rest of your home. The experts at SWR are best placed to help you choose entrance doors, aluminium windows and sliding and bifold doors that convey the look you’re after while providing excellent durability and security.

Garage doors

There’s a lot to think about when upgrading garage doors or fitting them to your new-build home. Options from SWR’s suppliers include popular up and over doors or side-hinged doors, which suit a period-style home.

Space-saving roller shutters are a good idea for small driveways. Or consider innovative sectional doors which slide open vertically, section by section, onto a ceiling track. The alternative is side sliding garage doors which retract onto a track built into the side wall, great for unusually sized or larger garage apertures.
Find out more

SWR Home & Outdoor has over 30 years experience in supplying awnings and many more home improvement solutions across Hertfordshire. The showroom is open six days a week for browsing or book an appointment for expert advice.