The Canvas Craftsmen since 1920

A leading manufacturer of Stationary Awnings and exclusive dealer for:

Sunesta

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Sunesta Motorized
Retractable Awning

Frequently-Asked Questions

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?
Q2: What are the basic types of awnings?
Q3: When would I choose a stationary awning?
Q4: When would I choose a retractable awning?
Q5: What about high winds & hurricanes?
Q6: Do I need a building permit for an awning?
Q7: What about shapes of awnings?
Q8: What about fabric types and colors?
Q9: How long does it take to get an awning?
Q10: What about Architectural Review Board requirements in my subdivision?
Q11: Why should I use Thompson Awning?
Q12: Why should I consider a Sunesta retractable awning from Thompson Awning?
Q13: What about the retractable awnings I see advertized on television?
Q14: How do I get a free estimate?

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.

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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 motorized.

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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 business.

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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 windows.

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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).

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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 cost.

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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 and estimate.

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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 solids.

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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 confirmed order.

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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.

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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.

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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 manufacturers).

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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 facility
- 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 itself.
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Q14: How do I get a free estimate?

A14: Either request a free estimate on our Home Page or call us at 904-355-1616.

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Thompson Awning, 2036 Evergreen Avenue • Jacksonville, FL 32206