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Enjoy the Great Outdoors This Spring

(ARA) – Winter got you down? Tired of being cooped up indoors all the time? If so, you’re not alone. According to the National Institutes of Health, 25 percent of the population at the middle-to-northern latitudes of the United States experience winter doldrums.

Well the good news is the winter solstice is behind us and the days are once again getting longer. Soon, winter weather will give way to warmer temperatures and clear, blue skies, and you know what that means — it’s almost time to pull your patio furniture and grill out of storage and revive your outdoor living space.

Residential architects report that there has been a sharp rise in the popularity of outdoor living space in the past couple of years. In fact, one of the hottest home improvement projects these days is to transform an existing deck or patio into a destination where people can just kick back and relax at the end of the day.

If you’re considering joining the ranks this year and updating your deck, think of it as you would any other remodel, and ask yourself a few questions before getting started:

  • What do I want to use this room for? Cooking? Entertaining? Relaxing?
  • What is my budget?
  • Will my plan require additional plumbing or electrical circuits?
  • Will I need a building permit?
  • Do I need to build overhead protection?

If you want to be able to enjoy the space anytime you want (day or night, in inclement weather, when the bugs are thick, etc.) the answer to the latter is yes. To add a layer of protection, you could extend the roof, but that will be expensive. It would be more practical to add on a canopy or retractable awning.

Canopies are temporary roofs that can offer you a shield against harmful UV rays and light rain-showers while still opening up your porch, deck, or balcony to fresh air and cool breezes. They are made of water-resistant, fabric materials that are durable enough to defend against the elements yet won’t fade in the sunshine.

Retractable awnings offer the same protections, along with some additional flexibility. ‘If you want to sunbathe on your deck on occasion or let the rain in to water the plants, all you have to do is put the top down with the flip of a switch,’ says Larry Bedosky of Durasol Awnings, a New York-based business that manufactures custom-made motorized retractable awning products.

Durasol’s SunShelter series of retractable awnings are custom-made to suit any home size and style. They feature long lasting 100 percent acrylic fabrics, combined with non-corrosive hardware, contribute to a maintenance-free investment.

‘Awnings of the past were generally made of cotton or canvas fabrics and were easily affected by time and the elements,’ says Bedosky. ‘The newer solution-dyed, acrylic covers provide a better fit, greater stability and can last for well over ten years.’

With a wide variety of over 200 vibrant fabric colors and patterns, Durasol’s retractable awnings will compliment any decor. An optional Wind Sensor is available which allows awnings to automatically retract when wind speeds reach a predetermined level, preventing awning damage. A Sun Sensor can also be added to allow for automatic operation determined by the sun’s strength.

An optional wireless remote control provides easy-access operation, and when not in use, Durasol Awnings are easily retracted, safely stored, and will subtly blend in with the exterior beauty of any home.

To learn more about Durasol Awnings or to locate your local dealer, visit them online at

Courtesy of ARA Content

For home improvement advice, visit JS West Lumber & Ace Hardware Sonora, Ca. or visit and click on the Answers@Ace icon. Answers@Ace is an online resource with information for do-it-yourselfers about hardware and home improvement projects. The Everyday Projects section has pictures and detailed, step-by-step instructions for this and many more home improvement projects.

To speak to an Ace Hardware advisor in Sonora call: 209 532 7446.