Choosing Commercial Awnings | Your Complete Guide

Retractable awning adding shade for outdoor restaurant

Commercial awnings offer value, protection and style as a feature to any street front building. With the potential to expand your dining area, provide glare control or shade for your rooftop bar, investing in a commercial awning may be the answer you’re looking for.  

Here, we’ll show you some key considerations about what commercial awnings can do for your business and how to choose the perfect option for your needs.  

Why Do You Need a Commercial Awning?    

In an already competitive market, installing a commercial awning could be the driving point to boost your seating area and your sales in the process. While businesses invest in commercial awnings for many applications, some benefits may include:  

  • Increase seating area space to drive up your cafe/restaurant’s bottom line  
  • Provide your office building optimal protection during harsh weather changes including heat, glare, light intensity, wind and rain 
  • Enhance the facade of your business to invite new patrons as well as provide an opportunity for branding  
  • Add some comfortability, convenience and experience to your outdoor/rooftop bar area to ensure protection and/or privacy  

Choosing the Best Commercial Awning 

Commercial awnings must protect your outdoor area, provide comfortability for patrons and fit the style and decor of the building. To achieve this effectively, you must consider the purpose, design and functionality of your outdoor space and the awning. Let’s consider the following:  

  • The type of awning  
  • Awning size  
  • Awning style  
  • Choice of colours and fabrics  

Types of Commercial Awning 

Whatever your application desire might be, it will guide the type of awning you need as well as its features and mechanisms. Retractable awnings provide a multi-functional design fitted with your choice of fabrics, fittings and colours. 

Here are some popular retractable awnings to suit any commercial outdoor area:  

Helioscreen Fabric Cassette 

The Fabric Cassette features an open awning style with the ability to encase the fabric into an enclosure cassette to protect materials from the elements. It offers a unique adjustable head, ensuring that the arms retract on the underside of the cassette for a perfect closure every time.  

Characterised by an elegant design and durable performance, the Fabric Cassette ensures functionality tried and tested under demanding conditions and loads. The high-quality aluminium profiles with robust cast and drop-forged components ensure strength and safety with extreme capacity. It also has a specially developed Mutliflex power band with four tear-resistant steel cables with flexible plastic material to further protect against corrosion. Its installation angle ranges from 5 – 45° and it comes in over 100 fabric and frame colours.  

Helioscreen full cassette bistro awning

Cocoon Cassette 

The Cocoon Cassette provides premium quality protection and style. It fully retracts into a cassette enclosure, ensuring its protection from dirt, salt and harsh weathering. The Cocoon is widely popular as a commercial awning for small, intimate spaces and courtyards.  

It has a specially developed Mutliflex power band consisting of four tear-resistant steel cables with flexible plastic material to protect against corrosion. This ensures adequate tension of the awning while allowing flexibility during windy conditions.  

With rigorous testing, the robust Multiflex 4-cable arm system provides long-lasting durability with an extended lifespan. Built to withstand harsh Australian conditions, the Multiflex arm system optimises the fabric tautness under heavy and extended use. Its installation angle ranges from 5 – 50° and it comes in over 120 fabric and frame colours. 

retractable awnings Sydney beachside

Rubix Cassette 

The Rubix Cassette features a square-encased cassette awning designed to be mounted on a flat surface. Perfect for geometric and modernised buildings, the Rubix Cassette includes a rectangular design for seamless integration on a range of bistro facades.  

The Rubix Cassette uses the Multiflex 4-cable arm system to ensure an extended lifespan. Suitable for tough Australian conditions, the arm system ensures durability tautness of the fabric with daily, extensive and heavy use. It also has an installation angle between 5 – 40 ° and comes in over 100 fabric and frame colours.   

Helioscreen supplies a wide range of retractable awnings custom made to enhance any commercial building to meet your business needs.  

Rubix Cassette Awning 1 rotated e1590024444498 Helioscreen


Make Sure Your Awning Suits Your Needs  

Your commercial awning is an investment, so its style needs to encompass functionality and purpose.  Either way, it will depend on factors such as:  

  • Building exterior design  
  • Building location e.g. north-facing, direct exposure to sunlight etc.  
  • Commercial space – is it a cafe, restaurant – consider theme and decor 
  • Awning purpose – will it provide glare control, increase dining space or protect from harsh conditions? 

 Ideally, your commercial awning should be able to provide adequate weather protection as well as enhance your functional outdoor space. Choosing a retractable awning may be beneficial for those who want the flexibility to operate the awning throughout the day. Some retractable awning suppliers provide large commercial awnings with automation and motorisation features so you can better control the heat, wind and rain.  

Know Your Coverage Area

Awning size is measurable through the projection, angle and length to guide how much space the awning will require to do the job you need it to. It may be a small courtyard, street-front dining or a detached dining area separate from the building.  

You may not know it, but the direction of your building exterior also plays a part in the awning size – specifically its projection concerning direct sunlight exposure. North and south-facing facades may require more width, while west or east facing areas could require less projection.  

 On the other hand, if your area does not receive direct sunlight, then the size may be measured to solely protect from wind or light rain. Either way, a reputable supplier will be able to guide you to find the right awning that will tick all the boxes.  

Don’t Forget About The Fabric 

Your colour and fabric choice brings your awning together – they are the final touches that can turn a functional awning into a stylish calling card for your business. Awning fabrics are not as simple as choosing a style – there are cotton, solution-dyed acrylic, eco-friendly or micro-perforated options to consider. Whatever you decide is the right fabric is for you, it’s essential to choose a high quality, easily maintainable material that suits your budget, weather exposure levels and climate. Consider the following:  

  • How much heat and light control do you need?  
  • Do you require UV resistant fabric?  
  • What colour best suits your decor and facade?  
  • Do you require water-resistant fabric?  
  • Do you require anti-fungal fabric?  
  • Does it need to be easy to clean?  

If you’re unsure about your options, speak to a reputable supplier that can custom make your awning and help you choose the best fabric for your commercial space.  

Everybody Loves a Smooth Operator   

Additional awning features incorporate a little more customisation to you and your patrons’ dining experience. This may include opting for motorised or automated wind or sun sensors, remote control operations, timers and retractable features.  

If you opt for awning accessories, ensure that your supplier can provide a range of motorisation and automation systems to guarantee a reliable, smooth operation.  

Choose Australia’s Quality Retractable Awning Supplier

The right awning for your commercial space makes a more comfortable experience for customers and brings life to your building exterior. It’s an investment designed to increase revenue and expand the functionality of your commercial space.  

It’s important to prioritise a durable and functional retractable awning that will provide a long-lasting shade solution custom made to any commercial outdoor area. Helioscreen is Australia’s leading supplier of retractable awnings for a variety of commercial buildings. Contact us for more information.  

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