Stay safe this stormy February

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Aged zinc door canopy with brackets

Well, we’re only two weeks into February and we’re about to experience the second storm of the month called Dennis, following swiftly on from Ciara last week. It seems Dennis won’t be as scary as Ciara, but he promises to bring plenty of wind and rain to our shores. Talking of rain, to be sure that you stay as dry as possible when looking for your front door keys, do you have a door canopy to protect you? Many older properties will have decorative yet practical stone canopies that extend out over the doorway, each side supported by elegant stone brackets or corbels, to give them their correct architectural term. However, more recently built properties or barn conversions don’t have door canopies built as an integral part of the structure, so adding a door canopy is an essential part of any development.

What door canopy to buy?

There are many designs materials available today, so the choice can be a little overwhelming. The first thing to consider is what age and design of property is the canopy going to be fixed onto? If the property is traditionally built  in stone or brick, then the canopy should naturally be made form materials such as iron, timber with a slate roof or steel and glass. If the property is a more modern, contemporary design then there is more flexibility, even extending to plastic if an inexpensive solution is required. However, some plastic canopies  or cheap painted steel canopies can be false economy as they inevitably have a much shorter lifespan than better quality galvanized zinc and so will need to be replaced in a few years’ time.

What canopy features to consider?

The design of canopy should be dictated to a certain extend by the design and age of the property. If in doubt, the safest solution is to keep any decoration down to the minimum and opt for simplicity and pared down elegance every time. This will ensure that the door canopy design will work well with the property details such as windows and doors and not draw too much attention. It is important to ensure that any water caught by the canopy isn’t allowed to drip over the front onto the step or person beneath it.

What door canopy material and finish?

The longest lasting material will be metals such as zinc, lead or galvanized steel as these will last many years. Slate is also long lasting, but does need a sub-structure such as timber to support it. The timber will only last as long as the type of wood and timber treatment (and constant maintenance) will allow. The shortest lasting will be cheap plastic canopies that become brittle through continued exposure to the sun and rain, and unless they’re UV stable, will be lucky to last more than 5 years.

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