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Door awnings are usually installed for one of three main functions:
Interior UV and glare control
Most people don't need door awnings that accomplish all three things; they have a balance of needs. For example, commercial properties may care a lot about interior UV, interior heat, and rain protection because they want to protect merchandise and have a comfortable entry for customers. Restaurants, homeowners with porches or pools, and outdoor seating areas may benefit more from external sun shade and not interior UV or rain protection.
Basically, door awnings and window awnings can accomplish different things depending on how you intend to use the space. Two different frame styles are used for door awnings, and each style has its strengths depending on the performance that you need.
Door Awnings Canopies
Canopies are usually archly rounded or elongated dome awnings. These awnings have excellent water resistance and runoff because of their shape. With a shorter projection, this shape makes for good door awnings where space is limited (such as storefronts in commercial areas or homes with small stoops).
Door awnings canopies provide excellent rain and interior shade protection, but their smaller size makes them less effective at providing exterior sun protection. Also, canopies are manual, not motorized, so they're slightly more cumbersome to use.
Canopies are ideal for door awnings that need:
Small installation space
Interior UV and shade protection
Lateral Arm Door Awnings
Lateral arm awnings are the traditional flat, smooth awnings that extend using two or more support arms. This style of awning is a reliable jack-of-all-trades – it's adequate for light (not heavy) rain protection, it's very effective for interior UV and shade, and it's excellent at exterior shading. It's larger footprint makes a lateral arm style awkward for door awnings in tight spaces, but that size and simple lines are its strengths of outdoor sun protection.
Lateral arm styles are ideal for door awnings that need:
Excellent exterior sun protection
Effective interior UV, shade, glare and heat control
Motorization and accessories like wind, motion and sun/rain sensors, timers, remote controls with or without home automation
Light rain protection
Plenty of installation space