Back in 1995 I was called by a selectman to put some simple old fashioned roller shades in the Offices of the Historic Sandwich Town Hall. That was the beginning of a long relationship with a sweet lady who had been very much a part of things Sandwich for quite some time.
In ’96, RL Benton Builder, from Center Sandwich, built a house for her high up on Red Hill overlooking Squam Lake.
I installed Hunter Douglas Honeycomb window shades in the many windowed house for shade and insulation in the winter. Summer came, and the house was so hot that the screened-in porch and deck became the family room of choice. We put a retractable Sunlight with a crank over the deck. The best West view of the lake is from under that awning, rain or shine.
The problem was that the main living spaces in the house were still baking in the sun.
Some relief could be had by closing the shades, but then the beautiful view was lost as well as the blessed ventilation to be had from open casement windows.
“What to do?”, Sweet lady queried….might I install a large retractable that would shade the whole front of the house in the manner that the deck was shaded?
Hmmm….Two plus stories high and 40 feet wide. it would need to have a motor and be controllable from inside. A lateral arm could be made that big, but would have to be shipped in parts and assembled at the site. It would be very expensive, heavy and difficult to install.
We looked at Sunesta Sundrops for a solution, and determined that awnings with a 5 foot projection strategically mounted would be able to open and close and not impede the operation of the casement windows. Three awnings would be necessary since this model awning could not be made 40 feet wide, but these awnings would also require three motors, and there were more issues getting power to the right places. This was back before we had Radio Frequency motors. We call them dumb motors, with hard wired switches.
The solution that evolved, was three Sundrops Awnings conjoined together, that operate as if from one roller at the top with one Somfy motor that controls them as a set. They can be opened as little or as much as needed to provide shade on the glass depending on the position of the sun and are easily adjusted with the remote switch.
Another not…We added a low voltage Wind Sensor with interface to retract her awnings in heavy wind, something we can still do for old style awnings.
The end result is that the west side of the house can be in complete shade all day long in any season and still have all of the windows open.
Tremendous view, shade and ventilation. Truly an exquisite spot!
This sweet lady referred me to many people over the years, starting chains of referrals that exist to this day.
I am ever so blessed and grateful.
“Where would I be without those awnings? Roasting in a very hot house! They’ve been in for at least ten years and work just beautifully. I’m particularly fond of the three big awnings on the bank of nine windows overlooking Squam Lake to the southwest. Each covers three large windows and they work together. Being electrified, it only takes pushing one button to lower them all. Best of all, if a stiff breeze comes along they are not in danger…. they automatically retract!”
Dale Mayer, Center Sandwich, NH
On another Energy efficient Squam Lake home we did a custom install of a large Sunesta motorized awning with wind sensor and manual override.
This install was challenging as this post and beam home with large foam panels left us with nothing to mount to.
Others said it can’t be done. That was not good enough for us. We here at Awnings NH are problem solvers. We love a challenge.
Installing an interior fir beam (see picture below) gave us the integrity we are famous for.
We are proud of our work, and this is a perfect example of our precision and ability to go above and beyond.
Here was a very large and challenging awning that the team at Awnings New Hampshire successfully installed in Gilford, NH