Patio Awning/ Canopy.

Has anyone any experience of these?
I am thinking of having one for my patio because its in full sun all day ( south side of house) and bakes when I most want to use it.
Is it better to get a fixed one or a retractable one? Are they easy to fix? Do they cause any damage?
Any particular material better than another? I don't want a fancy one ( electronic or anything) just a nice standard one is what I am thinking about but there seem so many options around and I am not sure
TIA
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Someone wrote:

I did some research on this a couple of years ago and decided it was best to just sit somewhere else. The main problem is that it's always windier than you think, so everything has to be well anchored. Then it has to be moved every half an hour. Also, it's easy to shade your head, but legs and feet are more difficult (the classic awning mistake I hear). I suppose some kind of wooden pergola with blinds/curtains might work. Anyone?
Sketchup is handy for showing where shadows fall throughout the day and you can align your house precisely by importing the image from Google Earth.
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We looked into one that fastens to the house, but they were too much money and the reach was insufficient.
We bought a cheapo concertinma one from a DIY shed, but it blew away and got damaged. (Even though it was pegged down.)
So then we bought a wooden pergola from John Lewis, but it was a right royal pain to put up and take down (despite what the instructions said, you needed 5 people to erect it) and we complained long and bitterly until they gave us our money back (hurrah!). Then we bought a concertina steel one from these people;
http://www.surfturf.co.uk/heavyduty.htm
And I'm delighted with it. We use it for motorsport also and it's survived a year of being chucked in the Disco (I say "chucked", but it's bl**dy heavy) repeatedly put up and taken down - it really only does need 2 people. We bought the 3x3M one. It's steel, you can get replacement parts and it has sides which you can zip in individually. You could probably camp in it, if you were into such things - one of the sides has a zip-in door and another a window. About the only down-sides are that it isn't the prettiest thing in the world and storing it in the winter.
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wrote:

I have a gazebo already . I don't really like it. I don't like the guy ropes . I have nowhere to peg them in at the side of the patio and besides I tend to fall over them in the garden.
I was figuring on something attached to the facia and pulling out a bit like one of those old fashioned sun blinds they used to have over veg shops and butchers shops when I was a kid. I need it to come out about six feet ( patio is 12 feet square).
I have seen these things in garden books but I just wondered if anyone had put one up at all. Is fixed better than retractable or vice versa?
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Someone wrote:

Fixed wouldn't stay fixed for long with a bit of wind, and it's amazing how big they have to be to cover the ground area. Shops are only trying to shade the windows i.e. vertical surfaces. Horizontal isn't so easy
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Huge wrote:

Hmm. That's why I decided to go indoors and draw the curtains....
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Huge wrote:

We've got a 2.5m by 5m one with sides and like it a lot. On our old house I put in some wall fixings so we could bolt the three legs on one of the long sides to the house. On the other side we use some pegs (ally rod cut to 50cm with the last 5cm bent over) and a couple of guy ropes to hold it down. It stayed put in the strongest of summer winds. We did take it down for the winter.
We moved house in December and one of my tasks is to put in new wall fixings...
Guy -- -------------------------------------------------------------------- Guy Dawson I.T. Manager Crossflight Ltd snipped-for-privacy@crossflight.co.uk
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Guy Dawson wrote:

But you can see the basic problem in the picture on the right

Anyone sitting at the table will have the lower part of them in the sun. Most of the shade is behind the shelter
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Stuart Noble wrote:

Indeed. We have side walls and a north facing garden so lots of shade for us...
Guy -- -------------------------------------------------------------------- Guy Dawson I.T. Manager Crossflight Ltd snipped-for-privacy@crossflight.co.uk
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So put a side on.
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Huge wrote:

And a front
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