Steel utilized as the main element in building infrastructure is common and used in most large commercial buildings and homes, but is often hidden in the interiors. Staircases, bridges, outdoor railings and many other uses are also common, but steel is less often used as a true visual, architectural element. Patio covers, tenting and shade sails are typically supported by steel mounts, but when it is incorporated into the design for outdoor shade, steel design framing can create a striking profile to the installation.
When awning fabric, mesh or screening is not durable enough for a job, not permanent enough or not strong enough, a steel covering or architectural detail can be a defining solution. Often used in commercial or industrial applications, a ramada or patio cover constructed of steel beams for a residential building offers a striking alternative to the softer look of an awning.