The awning industry has been hit hard because of the troubled housing market, but as the warm summer months arrive, sales are starting to improve.
The economy has been difficult for the housing industry, but there are signs that some related industries such as the residential awning and canopy market, are starting to see some positive changes. The approaching summer months are seeing increases in residential and commercial purchases in this industry. These increases are usually attributed to efforts to reduce energy costs, but the slowdown in the housing market is also causing people to stay in their homes and look for ways to improve the living space.
The summer months are normally associated with significant increases in power usage and higher energy bills as residents attempt to keep their homes cool. Awnings are becoming a popular addition for these homes because, under the right conditions, they have been shown to reduce solar gain (heat buildup) by up to 77% and cut air conditioning use by nearly 69%.
The summer is also the time when homeowners look to expand their living spaces by investing in outdoor spaces that are covered by awnings for shade. This has also led to an increase in the popularity of retractable awnings that provide shade when needed and can be rolled away when the owner would prefer to open the area up to the sky. This makes it possible to enjoy the deck or patio space during the hot afternoons and the summer sky in the evening.
The IFAI (Industrial Fabrics Association International) conducted a survey and found that 69% of suppliers and End Product Manufacturer were reporting a favorable outlook for sales growth in 2011. This is in spite of the housing industry that is still slumping, and 2012 looks like it is following the same trend.
The summer season can also see an increase in the lead time for awning installations because this is when most consumers realize that the heat is coming and make the decision to update their homes. Customers are advised to place their orders early to receive their awnings in time to make a difference in their energy consumption.
The demand for shade and cost-effective temperature control will continue to grow throughout the summer months, and homeowners are looking for creative solutions to their problems. While many architectural designs are focused on more sustainable structures, existing homes are continuing to add stationary or retractable awnings.