7 Tips to Help You Enjoy Your Patio All Year

Just because we’re headed into cold weather season doesn’t mean that you should pack away the patio furniture and stay indoors until Ground Hog Day. With the right planning and preparation, you can enjoy your outdoor living space all year long. Here are 7 tips to keep you living the good life in your own backyard. 1. Cover Your Patio with a Retractable Awning Sitting outside in rain and drizzle is no fun when you don’t have anything over your head keeping it dry. Hiring a contractor to build onto your house to create a patio roof can be an expensive and lengthy project. Luckily, Rainier Shade offers retractable awnings that allow you to extend the area of your outdoor living space, will keep you dry outside during the rainy season as well as cool and shaded in the summer. Just to make sure to retract the awning during inclement weather or when not in use. To find out what type of awning would be best for your home, contact a dealer near you and schedule an in-home consultation. 2. Stay Warm with a Power Screen When the wintertime comes around, there’s no better way to enjoy your patio than a warm area and a hot cup of cocoa. Rainier power screens can help keep the cold out and the warmth in, especially with a heat source. It can also offer a level of privacy so that you can stay out while no one looks in. Learn more about Rainier Power Screens here: https://www.rainier.com/shade/power-screens/ 3. Get an Outdoor Heater Depending on where you are in the country, this winter’s going to get a little chilly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sit outside and do some star gazing or sipping on hot cocoa. Investing in an outdoor heater will not only keep you and your guests cozy, it will also add an extra layer of ambiance outside. You can find tall propane heaters, table style fireplaces or octagon stoves like this one from Rainier Outdoor: https://rainieroutdoor.com/kwik-kamp-octagon-stove.html 4. Warm Up in a Hot Tub One of the best things about having a hot tub is that it can be used year-round. There is nothing more relaxing than soaking in a hot tub on a cold night, or better yet, a snowy night! Doubling as your own private spa, it can also help relax and soothe achy muscles. 5. Add Some Mood Lighting No outdoor living area is complete without lighting. Gather some hanging patio string lights or candles and watch the ambiance of your seating area change in an instant. Once you know what kind of lighting you want, make sure you know how to light them up. LED lights will last a long time, and traditional lighting might need some extra electrical wiring outside. 6. Weatherproof Furniture If you really want to enjoy your outdoor space year-round, you’ll need weatherproof outdoor furniture so that you’ll be able to enjoy your outdoor living area for years to come. Look for furniture…

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Tiny House Nation

Rainier Shade retractable awning featured in Tiny House Nation on A&E, Episode 6 of season 5 – Two Turntables and a Tiny House Zack and John are in cowboy country as they set out to help a family of four who are preparing to move out of their large house near Dallas and into a tiny house. First-time homeowners Tony and Lori have two young sons who are growing fast, so John and Zack set out to maximize every square inch of space. But when they learn that the kids are homeschooled and that Tony has a sentimental record collection he just can’t part with, they’ll have to find new ways make this tiny house fit for this fun-loving family. Watch the episode here

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Which Shading System Is Right For You?

One of the most frequently asked questions we hear is “what’s the difference between awnings and screens?” Both awnings and screens provide shade from the sun, but the two offer different types of sun protection. Let’s start with the basics: An awning shades your outdoor space We build a few different kinds of awnings, but by far the most popular ones are our retractable awnings (pictured here.) A retractable awning extends to create a wonderfully shaded outdoor space.  Usually, our customers who choose retractable awnings have a deck or patio where they’d like to sit and enjoy a refreshing drink in the summer months, but the afternoon sun makes it too uncomfortable! Retractable awnings retract (that’s why we call them retractable!)  and are self-storing when you’re not using them.   Screens block the sun without sacrificing your view Like our awnings, we have a full line of screen products to choose from, but our most common is the exterior side-retention system, which is pictured here. Screens made with mesh fabric extend straight up and down, making them the perfect choice for those west facing windows where the afternoon sun turns your living room into a sauna and creates glare on your TV! Using an awning or exterior screen to cool a home is more energy efficient than traditional air conditioning. We participated in funding and research for an independent study which found that shading with a screen or awning can reduce cooling costs here in the Seattle area by over 60%! Our exterior screens keep as much as 85% of the heat from the sun from cranking up the temperature in your living room. Making the right choice for your home Choosing the sun solution that’s right for you, really depends on which problem you have to begin with! We offer free in-home consultations, so we’re happy to come take a look at your situation and discuss which solution fits your needs and your budget. And don’t worry – our consultations are easy-going and low pressure 🙂 Click here to request a consultation, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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Six Questions To Ask Before You Buy An Awning

So you want to buy an awning.  It’s a smart move!  But it’s a big purchase, and you’re a smart buyer so you’ll want to do some research before you sign the dotted line. These are six questions to ask your salesperson (whether you’re considering an awning from Rainier or one of our nationwide dealers.) We hope these questions will help you make an informed purchase decision. Where will the awning be installed? For most of our customers, the awning will be over a deck or a door.  Ask if the location will fit your needs and provide the protection from the shade you’re hoping for. How will the awning be mounted? The awning can be mounted to the exterior wall, to the roof above the gutter, or to the eave under the soffit.  This is an important discussion to have, because this will affect the height of the awning, and thus, the pitch (or, how steep the slope is.) The mount will make a difference when it comes time for the awning to be installed. What does the warranty cover? This can be a little confusing, because the different components all have different warranties. On all products, our frame finish is warranted to be free of defects in workmanship and materials under proper use and no closer than 1 mile from the ocean, for five (5) years from the original date of purchase. We warranty our installation for the first year. We use Sunbrella fabric that is warranted by the manufacturer for ten (10) years; and the motor is warrantied by Somfy (the manufacturer) for five (5) years.  Be sure to ask your salesperson for more detailed information. Is motorized or manual the best option for you? We’re biased, but we highly recommend motorization for your awning! We’ve learned from customer surveys that the customers who have motorized awnings are much happier with their purchases than those who have manual. Motorized awnings are convenient (you can even control the awning with an app on your smartphone) and you won’t have to use your arm muscles. However, many customers choose manual operation. Often because they don’t have electricity on their decks and having it installed would be too costly or, in some cases, their home owner’s association would not allow for it. What is the lead time? You’ll want to make sure that the awning can be installed at a time that is convenient for you. Who will install the awning?We recommend working with a company who uses professional installers – like our skilled team! Some of our customers choose to install their awnings themselves, but be aware that this will affect your warranty.

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Vacation In Your Own Backyard

A retractable awning extends the comfort of your home to your outdoor space. By choosing a motorized awning, you can create instant shelter with just the touch of a button, protecting you from light rain and glaring sun alike. You’ll enjoy spending more time outdoors on your deck or patio. Buying an awning may cut into your summer vacation budget, but while a vacation lasts a week or two, your new awning will last for years! Spending time in your backyard will feel like taking an extended vacation, and you can enjoy the comfort and relaxation into the spring, summer, and fall. You can feel even more comfortable knowing that Rainier offers the longest warranties in the industry; most of our retractable awnings are covered for ten years. With that kind of peace of mind, sitting under the shade of your retractable awning will feel just as relaxing as sitting under an umbrella on a tropical vacation.

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Block The Sun, Not The View

“Stay out of the sun.” We’ve all heard it before, and it’s good advice. But beautiful sunny days are too rare in the Pacific Northwest, so we all want to be outside enjoying the sunshine when we can! Retractable awnings offer the benefits of sun protection without compromising your view. A lateral arm awning will block the sun’s rays from directly overhead, so you can enjoy the outdoors without the negative effects of UVA and UVB rays (click here to learn more about sun protection.) If your home faces west (especially if you’re one of the lucky ones to live on the waterfront!) a drop valance under the front edge of the awning adds extra sun protection. A motorized drop valance needs the simple touch of a button to block the sun and reduce glare in the afternoon and evening when the sun is lower in the sky. Most homeowners choose mesh drop valances, which allows you to see through and appreciate your view without the sun in your eyes.

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Do You Wear Sunblock Every Day?

We were asked this question recently and asked in return why do you have to wear sunblock?  Awnings are designed to keep you and your loved ones safe the sun’s harmful rays, enabling you to enjoy your time outdoors. In addition, we use Sunbrella fabrics which have been proven to provide up to 98 percent protection from the sun’s harmful effects. After passing rigorous testing, Sunbrella fabrics earned the “Seal of Recommendation” by the Skin Cancer Foundation, the only global organization concerned exclusively with cancer of the skin. Here are some pictures of awning installs that provided SPF — and it didn’t come from a bottle!

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Sun Protection

Want to preserve the healthy glow of your furniture and your skin? You could try moving to Antarctica, but a more practical solution is to extend your retractable awning! UVA and UVB rays from the sun can damage your skin, as well as fade pigment in your furnishings, interior flooring, and drapes. Blocking the sun with a retractable awning will protect you from sunburns. You’ll look cool, and feel even cooler. A lateral arm awning blocks the sun’s rays from directly overhead, and if your home faces west, a drop valance adds shade into the afternoon and evening when the sun is lower in the sky. We call it sunblock, but an awning blocks the sun better than that stuff in a bottle, and won’t leave you with greasy fingers!  

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