Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Beating the heat

We had a real problem with our west-facing sliding door on the studio. In summer it was unbearable in the afternoons - even with blockout Roman blinds and the evaporative cooling running.

We were originally going to build a pergola outside to provide shade, but there's a major drama in the form of a sewer easement, which means that getting a permit is unlikely. So we thought maybe a shade sail - as a bonus, that can be taken down in winter to let the sun in for some natural light and heating.

After getting some quotes and doing some extra research this week, we've decided on a folding arm awning instead. This sort of thing:

Now you see it

Now you don't

No posts, no permits required, and it folds out of sight in winter when we want the sun to shine in. We'll be ordering it tomorrow so we can have it made to order and installed before Christmas.

Now that a decision's been made, I can finally finish off the strip of garden out the back.


TroFi said...

I've been stalking for a while and i love all the creative ideas you have! I just wanted to know who makes these and the approx price? (if you don't want to say price, are they really expensive?) Also wondering how sturdy they are in strong wind - do you have to fold away if wind gets too strong? Thanks :)

Kek said...

Hi TroFi! There are lots of places you can get these from, but some are cheapies manufactured overseas (a bit flimsy) and some are better quality ones made in Aus.

We just looked up a few websites, rang a few places and arranged quotes and we found a local guy we're happy with. Google "folding arm awnings" and a suburb near you and see what you can find.

Really high winds can be an issue, but in most conditions, you can just leave a bit of slack in the fabric and it'll be fine. In a gale, you'd want to fold it away. ;) You can get these motorised with a remote control and with a wind sensor that makes it fold automatically, but apart from the additional cost, we figured that ours would hardly ever stay extended for long in summer with the north winds we get here (the door actually faces north-west), so we're going for a manual one.

Cost depends on size, but ours came in at around $2500 - with motor and sensor it would be an extra $1000. For comparison, a similar sized shade sail, anchored to the house at two points and with two steel posts was going to cost $2900....

This is the product we're getting:

Casey said...

mm, me likey. it looks soo neat. I like the sail shade things, they just tend to wear and look crap really quick, this will be heaps better i reckon.