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Awning Info

Frequently Asked Questions for Portable Shades and Awnings

What type of awnings does Outrigger manufacture?

Outrigger manufactures custom designed sails and awnings as either fixed, demountable or retracting for almost any outdoor application. They can be made from a rainproof fabric to create an outdoor room, or from a premium grade shade fabric to block out heat, U.V, and glare, whilst maximising airflow to keep cool.

All awnings and sails are custom designed and manufactured to suit each customer’s particular requirements. Outrigger also manufactures sails and awnings for commercial applications. Signage can be printed onto our fabric awnings. They can be made to almost any size and shape, and with Outrigger’s robotic plotter and custom software, complex three-dimensional shapes can be accurately manufactured.

For all applications, Outrigger only uses premium grade fabrics with a 5 year, manufacturer backed warranty. All fixtures and fittings are of the highest quality ensuring a durable and stylish design that is tailor made for each customer.

Batten Awnings:
A batten awning houses aluminium tubes (i.e. battens) sewn into fabric pockets. These battens can be straight or curved to generate a gentle curved appearance. The curve increases the height under the awning to provide a light, airy feel. The battens may run either across the awning (parallel) or in line with the awning (perpendicular). They eliminate flapping and increase awning stability in high winds.

Batten awnings, along with all of Outriggers fixed awnings and sails, are wind rated structures and are designed and manufactured to withstand winds up to 140kph. A single batten awning has no limit to its length (perpendicular to the battens), whilst the width is generally limited to 10m before another awning is required

Outrigger Sails:
An Outrigger Sail can be manufactured to almost any size and shape and may be fixed or retracting. They can be manufactured from rainproof or shade material. They are typically manufactured with a tri-radial fabric cut–out pattern. This typically divides a three-sided shape into 12 triangular panels, and a four-sided shape into 16 triangular panels.

The advantage of a tri-radial fabric pattern is that it aligns the fabric thread lines with the tension applied at each corner. This maximises the strength of the sail and minimises stretch and distortion. A tri-radial cut sail will not sag over time.

Retracting Awnings:
Outrigger’s retracting awning is a heavy-duty awning designed and manufactured to withstand winds of up to 100km/h. They can be manufactured using waterproof PVC or premium grade shade fabrics.

As all Outrigger awnings, they are custom designed and can be made any size, although greater than 6m x 6m would be considered large. These awnings normally require posts to be installed to tension the fabric, however we can make retracting awnings with arms if the projection is less than 2.8 metres (see below for more information). An awning of up to 5-6m width would require two posts. Awnings greater than 6m wide generally require a third, centre post. The fabric roller runs on machined nylon bearings. The fabric runs out along stainless steel cables these cables (usually two per awning) are attached between the structure that the awning is attached to and to the top of each tension post. The awnings are either operated manually by tensioning the fabric using a stainless steel yachting winch or, automatically with a remote control electric motor fitted inside the fabric roller.

Retracting Awnings with Arms:
An Outrigger Retracting Awning with Arms is a lightweight wall mounted structure with either rigid or pivoting aluminium arms that fold vertically flat against the wall. They are exceptionally robust and can be left out in high winds and heavy rain. Any of our fabrics can be used.

Pergola Awnings:
Outrigger manufactures sails, batten awnings, and retracting awnings specifically designed to be mounted on top or underneath existing pergolas. These awnings can be rainproof or for shade only. They are custom designed so that they can be tailored to suit any shape or size pergola. The most popular awning for pergolas is the batten awning. Using the waterproof PVC, it transforms an existing pergola into an all weather outdoor area. Outrigger fabrics reflect heat, so this will keep the area cool in the summer months, whilst retracting clear PVC screens (see Roll-up Side Screens) can also easily be added to keep warmth in for the winter.

Carport Awnings:
Most styles of awnings can be specifically designed as carports. These awnings can be rainproof or for shade only. They can be made to any shape or size. They can be overlapping sails, or simply a large retracting awning. The most popular carport awning is a modified batten awning, which may either be freestanding, cantilevered or attached to a wall on one side. The carport style of batten awning reflects heat and U.V, and is hail proof and rainproof.

An Outrigger carport awning is designed as a demountable structure and in many instances does not require council approval.

In rural zones car ports can now have a maximum area of 50m. In addition, on a lot of land with an area greater than 300m2, a car port of 25m2 can now be built as exempt development.

Roll-up Side Screens/Outdoor Blinds:
An Outrigger roll-up side screen is a retracting awning that can be set either vertically or at an angle, with the option of being either manually or electrically operated. They can be used as privacy screens, window shades (this is the most efficient way of keeping heat out of a room) or to keep an outdoor room warm and protected from wind using clear PVC. Screens are lowered and tensioned via a crank gearbox mounted on one end of the roller if manual, or, via an electric motor mounted inside the fabric roller if motorised. Tension is applied to screens by either using a heavy weighted end batten, or, by connecting the end batten with stainless steel tension fittings, to the ground or a handrail for example. As with retracting awnings, side screens are designed to withstand winds of up to 100km/p.

Standard Awning:
An Outrigger Standard Awning is a fabric panel that is tensioned with an end batten along either side. It resembles a retracting awning in appearance but has no roller so the fabric cannot be retracted. Typically, a standard awning will be installed over a deck or existing frame or pergola. One edge will be attached along the house and the adjacent edge will be tensioned by two or more freestanding poles, or, to the frame or pergola that it may be covering. Standard awnings can be designed to fit irregular shapes but suit rectangular areas. They can be manufactured to all sizes up to approx. 7m x 7m.

Fixed awnings:
A fixed awning is designed to be left up permanently. Batten awnings, Sails, Pergola awnings and Standard awnings are generally fixed. A typical fixed awning will be designed to withstand winds to 140 km/h (awnings can be designed to withstand winds to 200 km/h if required), and the fabric will be double or triple stitched with 5 to 7 reinforcing layers around the outer edge. A fixed awning can be taken down, however tools will be required and it will take approximately an hour for each awning.

De-mountable awnings:
A de-mountable awning or sail is designed and installed with fittings to facilitate quick set up and take down of the awning. All types of awning can be designed to be de-mountable although batten awnings are not easily disassembled and re-erected without damaging the fabric. Generally sails are the easiest type to de-mount. Using rope tension systems inside the poles, a sail can be taken down and re-installed in a matter of minutes

Which awnings are suitable for decks?

An Outrigger sail or awning will greatly increase the life span of a deck and reduce the amount of maintenance that is required. All Outrigger awnings are custom designed and manufactured and all types of awnings are suitable for installation over a deck. However, size can be a limitation. Fixed or retracting awnings generally require support every 6m or so. Decking that is more than 6m wide or long, may require a centre support onto, or through the deck. If a deck is still in the planning stage, it makes a lot of sense allow for the awning in the deck design. Sails can span a greater distance without support, so they maybe a better option for larger decks.

Which awnings are suitable for pergolas?
Installing an Outrigger awning or sail to a pergola is a simple way to create an outdoor room, or, to provide a secluded area with some shade with the use of side screens. All types of Outrigger products can be tailor made to suit an existing pergola, or, perhaps, create a contemporary look with a custom made, powder coated aluminum structure. This enables complete control of look and function of the finished product.

With the exception of batten awnings (which only attach to the top), all types of awnings can be adapted to fit over or under the top of existing pergolas. These types of awnings can also be adapted for use over a conservatory or sunroom. These would usually be retracting or de-mountable, enabling them to cool the area during summer, whilst being able to make the most of the winter sun.

Which awnings are suitable for courtyards?
All types of Outrigger awnings are suitable for installation in courtyard gardens. Considerations need to take into account the amount of the courtyard to cover, whether to use a waterproof fabric and whether the awning needs to be fixed or retracting. If the courtyard is small and has a high wall around most of its perimeter, a permanent, waterproof awning that covers most or the entire courtyard will limit circulation of air. This will make the area hot in the summer and block out too much light in the winter. The answer in this case would be to use a retracting awning or, if there is enough room, cover less area with a fixed awning. Otherwise, if waterproof fabric is not essential, use a shade fabric like Soltis 92. This will provide shade from the sun, protection from light rain whilst still letting natural filtered light through for the winter months.
Which materials does Outrigger use for their awnings?
Outrigger uses top grade European fabrics. All fabrics are specifically designed for outdoor awning and tension structures. All European fabrics are supported by 5 year manufacturer warranties covering, fading, rotting, U.V degradation, mould and mildew. All fabrics are chosen for their strength and durability.

For more information please refer to the fabric details page.

How much fall is required for rainproof awnings?

Rainproof awnings require a fall of 100mm per metre, ensuring water doesn’t pool in the middle of the awning. To create the required fall it may be necessary to mount the awning on the roof, as shown is in this photo.

Do I need Council approval?

Outrigger, in most cases, can design an awning to be de-mountable and therefore non-permanent (i.e don’t require council approval). This requires any poles to be placed into sockets to make them removable, and simple tension devices for the fabric that facilitate quick set up and removal of the awning. This will be restricted to small to medium sized awnings.

For complying and full DA structures, local council requirements will change from council to council and it is advisable to check their website.

For exempt structures, the following conditions are taken from the State Government website ‘State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008’, view at These conditions only apply to permanent structures.


Exempt Structures

The standards specified for exempt structures are as follows, they must;

  • Be for domestic purposes only, and
  • Not have an area more than 20m2, and
  • Not cause the total area of all such structures on the lot to be more than 15% of the ground floor area of the dwelling on the lot, and
  • Not be higher than 3m from ground level (existing), and
  • Must be setback from side and rear boundaries by 450mm when fully extended.
  • Be located behind the building line of any road frontage, and
  • *To the extent it is comprised of metal components – be constructed of low reflective, factory pre-coloured materials, and
  • If it is connected to a facia – be connected in accordance with a professional engineer’s specifications, and
  • Not to interfere with the functioning of existing drainage fixtures or flow paths, and
  • If it is located on a bush fire prone land and is less than 5m from a dwelling – be constructed of a non – combustible material, and
  • If it is constructed or installed on or in, or in relation to, a heritage item or a draft heritage item or in a heritage conservation area or a draft heritage conservation area – be located in the rear yard.

Quote Request


    If you would like to know how much an Outrigger Awning would cost for your home or business, or you would like to find out more, please choose one of the following options:

    Complete our quote request form and attach a photo and/or drawings of your area and we will respond to you shortly.

    CALL US ON 02 9905 8473
    Please call us if you are unsure about what type of awning would suit you best, or to book an onsite design consultation and quote.