Frequently Asked Questions from our Loyal Customers
Q: How is Sullivan’s different from other awning dealers?
A: Sullivan’s has specialized in awning installation and service for over fourty years. Other dealers may manufacture and ship the awnings to you, or sell and install awnings but we are the only Rochester-area company where the company owner makes the sales call, does the measuring, recommends the best solution, does the installation and provides the service. The result: World Class Customer Service, expert awning installation, and the best high-quality product for your budget at a guaranteed low price.
Q: Does Sullivan’s manufacture retractable awnings?
A: Sullivan’s is not a manufacturer. Instead, we use our 40+ year’s experience on your behalf to “shop” the manufacturers and identify the best product for your needs.
Q: Can I install a retractable awning myself?
A: You could, but we donít charge for installation. Also, most dealers as well as manufacturers wonít honor a warranty if not installed properly. Always read the warranty carefully.
Q: Why are there no support poles on Sullivan’s awnings?
A: All of our retractable awnings are lateral arm awnings. A lateral arm retractable awning uses spring-loaded arms to provide tension to the fabric as it rolls from a tube. The springs push out the arms to keep the fabric taut while the awning is extended. This style of awning is superior to the RV-Style Awning that drops from the side of the house. The RV-Style requires manual adjustment of side poles. Additionally, many customers find the RV-Style poles to be unsightly, and a barrier to moving around the deck or patio.
Q: How much wind can a retractable awning handle?
A: Retractable awnings should not be left extended in harsh weather conditions. A good test is whether you could comfortably read a newspaper or magazine on your deck or patio. Our awnings are engineered to withstand wind gusts up to 25-30 mph however, to ensure the longest life possible, we advise against exposing the awning to these conditions.
When retracted, retractable awnings can withstand 60-80 mph winds. Just press the button and the awning is safe.
Q: Should Wind Sensors be used?
A: Automatic Wind Sensors can be attached to the awning motor to retract the awning under heavier wind conditions. However wind sensors won’t always prevent damage when a storm moves in quickly. The awning can be damaged before it fully retracts.
Q: What sizes can retractable awnings be?
A: Retractable Awnings installed by Sullivan’s can range from 3 feet for windows, to as large as 40 feet for large residential or commercial awnings. Our lateral arm awnings can project to a maximum of 14’. We will help you to choose an awning for your individual need. The most common sizes range from 15’ to 20’ wide, with a projection of 10’- 14'.
Q: How much do they cost?
A: Retractable awnings vary in price from product to product based on quality and size. Our expert consultant can help you choose the best awning and size for your needs, and clarify the best installation for your home.
Q: How long will the installation take?
A: Professional installation usually takes between 1 and 2 hours, depending on the size of the awning and the complexity of the installation.
Q: How do I operate my Retractable Awning?
A: As a part of the installation process, we make sure that your expectations have been met, and will show you how to operate and care for the awning.
Q: What is the fabric and how long does it last?
A: The awnings we install use only 100% Solution Dyed Woven Acrylic Fabric.. The advantage of this type of fabric is that the color is dyed completely through the material. This makes the fabric more resistant to the fading caused by harmful UVA and UVB Ultra-Violet Rays from the sun, which have been proven to cause sunburn and skin cancer). In fact, these fabrics block 98% of UVA & UVB rays, and are recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Because the fabric is woven, it is strong enough to withstand years of being stretched by the arms of the awnings and endure our weather. Sunbrella and Para fabrics are under warranty for a period of 5 years, and typically last 10-14 years.
Q: How many colors are there?
A: We offer over 100 shades and patterns of Dixon, Para, and Sunbrella colors. These materials provide optimum quality and offer the greatest selection of colors and patterns.
Q: Do homeowner’s associations allow awnings?
A: Many homeowner associations already have rules regarding retractable awnings, We have worked with many of them in the greater Rochester area to comply with existing rules. In addition, Sullivan’s has worked with many associations, large and small, to create standards that work for both the individual homeowners and the association board.
Some communities that we have worked with are: Bristol Harbour, Roseland Cottages, Roseland Condos, Yacht Club Cove, Town Harbour, and many more.
Q: Should I get a motorized or manual awning?
A: In most cases, a motorized awning is recommended. A manual awning requires some strength to retract the awning against the tension of the arms. Most of our clients choose a motorized remote control operation, because the ease of operation outweighs the slight cost difference. Also, the stronger or better the awning quality, the harder it is to crank by hand.
Q: What if I have limited space below my soffit or overhang?
A: The awnings we install require approximately 8” of space between the top of the windows or doors and the bottom of the soffit or overhang. All awnings should be at least 96” (or 8') off the ground, in order to provide sufficient clearance and comfort during use. If your home does not meet these guidelines, the awning can be installed using special roof mount brackets. This type of installation is recommended for Tri-Level and Ranch style homes – and don’t worry about the brackets causing your roof to leak. We guarantee the installation!
Q: Can an awning be installed on vinyl siding, aluminum siding, brick, stucco, etc.?
A: Our expert installer has installed awnings on a wide variety of siding surfaces. Each has its own requirements, but they will be explained during the initial meeting.
Q: Will the awning protect me from Rain or Snow?
A: Awnings from Sullivan’s are engineered to handle light rain and wind. Water should not be allowed to pool on the fabric, so supervision is, as always, required when using the awning in light rain. Our awnings are NOT intended to support the weight of snow.
Q: Does Sullivan’s provide other shade solutions?
A: Sullivan’s also installs Power Shades and retractable window awnings.
Q: Do I need a protective hood for my awning?
A: If the awning is under a soffit or eave, you do NOT need a hood. If the awning is exposed to the elements, you really need the optional hood.
Q: How do retractable awnings affect the temperature on my deck or patio? Inside my home?
A: Retractable awnings reduce the temperature on your deck or patio by up to 20 degrees. Also, our fabric awnings reduce heat gain by 55-65% on Southern facing windows and 72-77% of Western facing windows. These properties make retractable awnings an excellent way to save on cooling costs.