It's about to go down...

Here we are in mid February already.  Spring is rapidly approaching and there is no better time to start thinking about shade.  As the sleeping giant of awning interest activity begins to stir we would offer this gentle reminder.  Get your act together and let's get this show on the road!

  Our business is like many others, it's cyclical.  What we've seen over the years is that depending on what Big Mama Nature has to say, you could yearning for shade in mid March or in other years not until late May when the ravaging rain clouds have removed.  But there is one common theme.  Now is better than later.  Here's why:

1) Off season incentives from manufacturers are on the home stretch.  Take advantage with a preseason sale that will be gone before you know it.

2) What does spring bring?  Hopefully good weather and blissful smiles.  But another common spring theme come from those same generous manufacturers.  That theme is price increases.  They are a fact of life.  All prices can't follow the generous NJ Sales tax reduction of (-.125%) over the past two years.  Most everything costs more over time.  Our products are no different and these increases happen around the spring.

3) Make sure you have it when you want it.  Learning about awnings and deciding if one is right for is a fairly painless process.   But it does take some time.  Work loads are a little lighter now so scheduling can be arranged and expedited.  Addressing the issue now makes sure that you are kicking back in the coolest of all comforts when the Sun comes blazing along.

So to summarize, if you want to pay more without a sale while you wait longer and miss part of the season then it would be a good idea to hold tight.  We will still be ready and happy to help, just as we are right not in mid February, but it's better to be prepared.  Study for the test ahead of time, or cram it all the night before?  We all know how that works out!  Talk to you then.

Yours Truly,

Dark Shader

Today's Fun Fact

A lot of people don't realize that their retractable awning frame can be recovered with a new fabric.  It's the easiest way to freshen up the look of your awning, or splash a new color scheme to keep your summer attractive and shady.  With a new fabric cover, also comes a 10 year fabric warranty and lifetime threading warranty for you to rest assured and stay cool under cover!

Summer is gone.

Seasonable weather is finally arriving as we step into late October with the first frost warning in effect.  As we retract our awnings, extend our shutters, and remember the chapter called Summer 2016 we would like to graciously thank all of our GSS family, friends, and fans!  Your trust, support, and patronage keeps our wheels turning and our candles burning. 

Please remember that our lights stay on as we offer year round sales and service.  Seasonal cleanings and periodic maintenance help keep things turning properly.  We want to see you get the most out of your awning or shutter, so if you need any help we're always here.

Thanks again to all for contacting Garden State Shade and for stopping by our blog.  We look forward to seeing you all soon.  

Shade on!

Still Hanging Around -------> Recently Retired...

Awning Before
Awning After

Here's the skinny!  This southern exposed rope/pulley operated retractable window awning was hanging around for about 12-15 years.  It was only retracted when stronger storms were expected to pass through the area.  That means it was extended for nearly its entire life and completely exposed to the elements.  We aren't exactly certain how many times it was cleaned,  but we do know an attempt to power wash the awning fabric was made. That's not a good idea, hand wash only folks.  Please don't ever power wash your awning!  

Now the cleaning thing is a whole other story with a very different ending (which will be addressed in the future), but really this awning is a beast, an old war hero if you will!  After all that it has been through, there is no fraying in the binding or stitching and despite the "growths" there are no holes in the fabric.  It's a true testament to the difference in strength and longevity between quality (10-15 year) and inferior fabrics that we have seen fade, fray, and unravel within two to five years.  (Quick relevant side note: we received a phone call just the other day from a kind person inquiring about a recover for their retractable awning which was purchased from a local big box retailer.  It was fraying and discolored after only 3 years of exposure.)  An annual cleaning or two could've certainly extended this window awning's 12-15 year lifespan even longer. 

It's a good case study in awning longevity, and we plan on taking full advantage of this specimen.  As it lives out its last days, we are preparing the laboratory for some scientific evaluation.  But in the meantime, we think the new one looks a lil' better, wouldn't you say.  We will keep you posted, stay tuned, and thanks for stopping by. 

Yours Truly,

The Garden State Shaders

...Catered to your needs.

Just when the weather looked like it was going to start cooperating, Mother Nature turns around and socks us in the face with yet another blast of "frigidity!"  Even with the inconsistency in temps, we've managed to stay busy helping our clients.  

Just recently, we helped recover an older retractable awning on the island to refresh the look.  A new fabric cover can do wonders!  We also used our E-zip retractable screens for privacy shades from adjacent neighbors at Ventnor beach retreat.  Another client was looking to create a smaller shaded and weather protected area here in Egg Harbor Township. Naturally a retractable awning by GSS was the perfect fit.

There were multiple ways we could have went about addressing these problems.  After discussing the concerns of our clients, we found the best way to solve their  issues and exceed their expectations.  We are all about effective solutions catered to your needs.  

Come join us in the Garden State Shade!  See you soon.

What makes us run...

What drives one to start their own company?  Why would anyone drop the security of a steady job and risk everything?  I can only speak for myself, but I don't think I'm alone in what makes me tick...

There's a multitude of reasons and particular situations that brought on the arrival of GSS, but I wanted to share (what I think to be) one of the common denominators that drives a person down the road less traveled.  It all started earlier today when I thanked someone for calling me back.  He chuckled and said isn't that what you would expect?  It made me think.

When it comes time to make any type of purchase, no matter how large or small, a consumer should come to expect a few givens from the business.  It's exactly like proofs (if...then...), if you recall your algebra.  Or should I say, "If (A) you passed Mrs. Eslow's 10th grade geometry class, then (B) you better remember proofs!"   

That being said...

If I'm the consumer eating a meal at a restaurant, purchasing a toy from a toy store, or contracting a retractable awning/screen/shutter from Garden State Shade, then there are expectations for the business in which I choose to patronize.  That choice, or competition is inherently the basis for what makes a capitalist free-market economy.  With contracting, I expect my contractor to be accessible, responsive, and prompt.  Time is precious and we can't afford to waste it by waiting around all day.  It's not too much to ask for a call back or to show up on time, is it?  I'd like to know that they are knowledgeable, reasonable, and personable.  I want to learn more about what I don't know from a specialist who understands my situation and knows how to solve my problem.  I'm not looking to "be sold," I'm looking to buy.   Be honest and straight up with me.  If you can't help, don't pretend that you can or try to just for the fact of selling me something.  Treat me like family because I'll be supporting yours with my patronage.  Take time to do it the right way.  Of course we all want the best price, but I'm also willing to pay a little more to make sure that the job gets done properly and lasts the way that it should.  If you want my business, which is in essence earning my trust,  is this too much to ask?

This week, a few situations served as friendly reminders as to how and why GSS was created.

--I've spent well over 10 hours on the phone, had two service calls, and finally after 6 weeks my internet, TV, and phone are working at an "acceptable" level.  95% of that time was an utter waste for both parties! 

--Later that day, Garden State Shade is seeking to purchase service of another company.  After contacting the service company our voicemail was left unreturned for three days.  One of the things we did in those 72 hours was find another responsive and accessible service provider.  

The second unacceptable scenario described above played out another three times this week alone as we sought out companies to contract for their services.  These are the things that make us tick!  The sickening situations will never occur with Garden State Shade. Admittedly we are a shady company with some shady people, but above all we are honest. Founded on professionalism and efficiency, we respect your time and welcome the opportunity to earn your trust.  

Keep it cool, stay shady.

Warm Weekend :-)

Temps were in the 60's for much of the day on the Atlantic County mainland, but ended up dipping a bit in the afternoon.  A quick stroll through Longport, Margate, and Ventnor proved a tad more brisk than to be desired while the winds were enough to cut the trip short of Atlantic City and Brigantine.  However, make no mistake we'll take what we can get in February.  A little beach time helps keeps the mind fresh regardless of the temperature.  Not quite an awning day just yet, but another few degrees warmer with abundant sunshine and we may suggest otherwise.

Although we are not quite there yet, spring is the true beginning of awning season.   As soon as the weather finally turns and the sun starts to shine, the craving for shade begins! Retractable awning interest typically peaks around mid to late spring leading up through Memorial Day weekend.  It's a great time of year where we are all happy to be outside in the fresh air after a long winter of hibernation.  But there is unfortunately a very depressing and sad aspect to all of this joyous spring bliss.  Brace yourself.   Many of these same "spring retractable awning consumers" know earlier in the year (cough, NOW!) that they will at least entertain the addition of a retractable awning, but they won't take any action for another few weeks at best.  Hold that thought and flashback to a time long ago, say high school (okay maybe college too) when one may (or may not) have waited until the last minute to write a term paper, or two. Does that sound familiar?  One's work was always able to achieve passing marks, but there could have been a few times when one may (or may not) have been able to do a whole lot better with (cough, cough...---->) early action.  Guilty as charged.  But as one does in school, we learn and then we redeem!  Procrastinate, delay, filibuster call it what you want, it's rarely ever been a desirable trait.  Waiting on an awning will end up costing hundreds of dollars.  As with many seasonal products such as snow shovels, skis, bathing suits, or your favorite Margarita toting pool float off season discounts are quite common.  A retractable awning is the same way.  Oftentimes (cough, cough....again!) manufacturers will offer a variety of pricing incentives to help boost these slower months.  It's the easiest way to save a few dollars and/or take advantage of a Somfy home automation accessory promotion.  

As stated earlier, spring has not quite arrived yet (cough, cough!!!), but it is only a few weeks away.  If you are one of those aforementioned "spring people" we hope your found this article helpful. And if you couldn't figure out why we are coughing so much, it's not because of a cold (although admittedly we may be a little sick). Stand up and check your cushions for the valuable lost cents of humor.

We are looking forward to an early spring, and thankful for the warm weekend! It's amazing how a nice day lifts spirits and brings people out and about.  Keep it shady, or else we will!


Taking Advantage of Off-Season Discounts...

Off-Season Discounts - Before Awning

Today we are working with a homeowner on a retractable awning. They are exposed to direct blazing sun all day. It's a perfect application with ample mounting height, and the awning location will blend with the symmetrical lines of the house. Not only will they be creating a comfortable outdoor sitting area, our client will realize the additional benefits of keeping the immediate area (kitchen) shaded and cooler while protecting their beautiful flooring from fading/UV exposure. They picked a great time to contact us as we are able to take advantage of off season discounts, and the awning will be installed by the time they are ready to get shady!!!!

Coming down the homestretch...

Welcome!  It sure doesn’t feel like it, but spring is rapidly approaching.  We’re coming down the homestretch.  That also means an extra hour of daylight is on its way, only a few more weeks.  All of this excitement after a solid and sloppy 12”-15” of the fluffy white stuff blanketed the Mid-Atlantic last weekend.  Hopefully that means the seasonal demise of Ol’ Man Winter.  At this point, we have had enough of cold.  We are ready for the warm sunshine (and of course, cool shade!).   We’ve been held captive for too long now, it’s time to get out of the house!  Gloves, hats, scarves, mittens, boots, parkas, skis, snowboards, and shovels AWAY!

We have seen increased interest in a few different, lesser known products over the past few years. Namely, the zipper screen which has received rave reviews.  It’s a screen that can enclose any covered area and protect against sun, rain, wind, and bugs all while increasing privacy.  Most popular applications are on covered porches, garages, and pergolas to name a few.  Also receiving a rather warm welcome is the Sun Roof Plus (a motorized retractable fabric cover for pergolas or free standing).

A big warm thank you for stopping by to stay updated on what’s happening at Garden State Shade. 

We’ll see you soon.

The Garden State Shaders!