Popular styles of shop awnings include concave, barrel, dome, elongated dome and traditional styles. There are also variations to the traditional triangular awning, which include a traditional awning with a valance or without sides. Styles also vary depending on whether the awning should offer protection from the sun and rain or be strictly decorative.
In addition to style, shop owners purchasing an awning should consider whether they want a fabric or a solid awning. Solid awnings made from metal are more durable and expensive than fabric. However, they require more maintenance due to rust susceptibility, and they are also hotter than fabric awnings. Prefabricated structural glass or glass and metal frame awnings are also available.
Fabric awning choices include woven acrylic and vinyl options, which must be fireproof to meet building codes. Most awnings are acrylic fabric, because this fabric breathes, resists mildew and retains color better than vinyl options. Shop owners should also consider if they want to lace the fabric to the frame, staple it to the awning or screw it to the frame. They should also decide if they want a contrasting binding or decorative edge on the valance.
Most manufacturers make awning frames out of steel, although stainless steel and aluminum frame are available. The manufacturer can cover the awning frame with epoxy paint to match the exterior of the shop or the rest of the awning.