We've compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions about
awnings and patio covers. If you have a question that we haven't
covered, please feel free to contact us for assistance.
Q1: Why would I need an awning?
A1: An awning can provide sun protection, rain protection or
just make your home or business more aesthetically appealing. For
commercial buildings, it also provides a place for prominent
signage to bring attention to your business or increase your
seating capacity with an outside eating area.
Q2: What are the basic types of awnings?
A2: There are two basics types: stationary and retractable.
Stationary awnings have a fixed metal frame and are in a fixed
position on the building. Retractable awnings provide the
capability to move the awning in and out easily either manually or
Q3: When would I choose a stationary awning?
A3: A stationary or fixed awning provides sun and rain
protection as well color and three-dimensional look to your home or
Q4: When would I choose a retractable awning?
A4: A retractable patio awning provides the capability to extend
and retract the awning either manually or with a motor. We call it
"shade on demand". It provides sun protection for outside sitting
and eating areas an protection for children playing outdoors from
the UV rays. It can also provide light rain protection in most
situations. There are also retractable awnings for doors and
Q5: What about high winds & hurricanes?
A5: Retractable awnings are not meant to be out in high winds
and should be retracted when winds approach recommended maximum
levels. Wind sensors are available on most retractable awnings.
Stationary awnings are designed and built to withstand high winds.
The awning fabric is attached to the metal frame with a rope lacing
and can to removed if winds are predicted to reach hurricane levels
(i.e. 75 mph).
Q6: Do I need a building permit for an awning?
A6: Residential awnings seldom require a permit. Commercial
applications often require a building permit. Thompson will provide
engineered drawings and pull the permit at a very reasonable
Q7: What about shapes of awnings?
A7: There are numerous shapes of awnings (i.e. standard slope,
dome, blade, quarter turn, patio, etc.). See our Product Gallery
for various shapes or call Thompson Awning for a free consultation
Q8: What about fabric types and colors?
A8: There several types of fabrics which address each situation.
Acrylic fabrics (canvas like) and vinyl fabrics are the most
common. There are also mesh fabrics for curtains or trelis covers.
There are hundreds of colors to select from, including stripes and
Q9: How long does it take to get an awning?
A9: Since all our awnings are custom made, it usually takes 2-3
weeks to manufacture and install an awning from receipt of a
Q10: What about Architectural Review Board
requirements in my subdivision?
A10: Most ARB's are concerned with fabric colors. We can help
you put the submittal package together, including fabric samples,
brochures, photos and renderings. We can also provide a copy of a
Florida statute which prohibits local covenants from prohibiting
energy savings devices, such as awnings.
Q11: Why should I use Thompson Awning?
A11: Thompson has been serving northeast Florida for 90 years.
We specialize in awnings and our staff averages over 20 years
experience in the business. In these difficult times, it is
important to select suppliers that will be in business to support
you in the future.
Q12: Why should I consider a Sunesta retractable
awning from Thompson Awning?
A12: Sunesta is located in Jacksonville and has been
manufacturing retractable awnings for almost 30 years. They focus
on quality, which enables them to offer the best warranties in the
industry. Since they are in Jacksonville, there is no
transportation cost which is passed on to the consumer (this cost
usually runs several hundred dollars from out-of-town
Q13: What about the retractable awnings I see
advertized on television?
A13: It boils down to price versus value. Value includes price
as well as several other value-added items such as:
||free on-site consultation and mounting considerations
||local showroom to see products and the manufacturing
||free installation - local post-sale service
||The cost of a national TV advertising program and low prices
makes you wonder how much can they be putting into the product
Q14: How do I get a free estimate?
A14: Either request a free estimate on our Home Page or call us