The traditional home awning is composed of a metal frame onto which a shade fabric is stretched for shading purposes. The metal frame may be fixed or retractable in some way. The position of the frame is either over a window or door, and occasionally can cover a front porch or patio. Fancier awnings at home may be remote controlled or automatically retractable in the event of rain.
However, the installation of such traditional outdoor shades is very expensive due to the fact that the awning structure is large and difficult to affix to the house. Moreover, electronically controlled variants have complex mechanical and electrical parts. Even a simpler awning can run into the thousands of dollars. On top of that, it needs to be cleaned every so often, which isn’t a simple task as the fabric surface area is large and sometimes inaccessible due to its height.
One final problem is that the homeowner might occasionally find that the fixed outdoor shades are not flexible enough if guests or family members don’t want to be anchored to a fixed awning. For example, a barbeque event may be held far from the house itself, but there’s no way to shade it with the awning because it has only finite reach.
Such problems are solved with the help of the simple yet highly effective freestanding awning. It’s also composed of a frame that holds the outdoor shade fabric, but instead of being stationary, it rests on a set of wheels which allows it to be pushed around. When it’s not needed, the shade frame may be pivoted and folded so it can be stored in the least amount of space.
The freestanding awning may be the easiest to clean among the different types of outdoor shades. This is owed to its two-configuration construction. The regular configuration is with the shade laying horizontal above the shaded area. The storage or cleaning configuration is with the shade standing vertical, made possible by its swinging joint. Old portable blackboards have the same mechanism whereby the center board can be flipped front to back easily with the aid of the swinging joints.
Such freestanding outdoor shades are also very cheap for two reasons. For one, no special expertise is required to set it up for use. For other outdoor shades, drilling into the wall of the house or connecting it to a 220V power source complicates the installation. For another, the freestanding awning has a very simple construction so it’s cheaper to produce. The greatest advantage of such shades is that they can be easily moved around to where they are most required.