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Otter Creek Awnings Evolves as it grows - An Awning Company that Keeps up with the Times

09/15/2022 02:50PM ● By MERYL SIEGMAN
Otter Creek Awnings is an industry leader in the sale of sophisticated awning systems and solar shading for residential and commercial use. Located in Williston, it has one of the largest and most comprehensive awning showrooms in the United States. With clients throughout Vermont, upstate New York and New Hampshire, the company has a reputation as the area’s leading authority on home and commercial awnings, deck and patio canopies, solar screens and other unique solar protection products. We had the chance to speak with Sarah Larson, who along with her husband Kristopher owns Otter Creek Awnings. We wanted to learn more about how it evolved from a small company that manufactured canvas bags in 1976 to where it is today.


Much of Otter Creek Awning’s success is based on its ability to offer new products as new technology is developed and clients’ tastes change. “Our product line continues to evolve over time,” Sarah explained to us. “For one thing, much more advanced engineering has become available over the years.” While overall awning design hasn’t changed much, awnings’ popularity has continued to grow and so have the ways to make them.

For example, in the 19th Century, most had fixed frames and their covering had to be rolled up manually. Newer operable awnings were designed with hinged extension arms that could be operated by a simple rope and pulley system.

 In addition, motorization allows awnings to extend or retract by simply pushing a button. “Now, instead of the traditional retractable awnings, we have retractable units with a heavy-duty framework that can withstand high winds,” Sarah continues. “Our Gennius Line is the best of both worlds. It’s a cross between a retractable awning and a pergola.” She explains that the new generation of retractable awning features a top that can easily be used in high winds


According to Sarah, as the climate grows warmer, clients are able to use their awnings beyond the summer months, well into September and even October. “Our seasons have shifted and extended,” she says.

But when winter finally does arrive, it doesn’t mean there is no business to be had for Otter Creek Awnings. “Our entry vestibules are very popular among restaurants and
retail spaces. They keep snow and ice off the sidewalk, while preventing a blast of cold air from entering when the front door is opened.”

Some residential clients have a need for awnings in the winter months as well. “Our residential clients can use our custom curtains to protect their porches during the winter,” Sarah goes on to say. “They can help block out the elements and keep energy costs down.”

As for Vermont’s famous mud season, Sarah mentions that these days clients are better prepared for the warm months ahead, saying, “Just because it’s wintertime, doesn’t mean you can’t determine shading solutions for your home in preparation for warmer weather.”


Awnings just keep on getting better. When we asked Sarah what the future of awning design looked like, she brought up retractable awnings with arms that house LED lights. “They can be turned on in the evening to create an ambience,” she says.

Then there’s smart home technology. One of the company’s motor manufacturers, Somfy, offers myLink, which allows users to control their shades and awnings with their smartphone by linking it to the motors used on the awnings. Ratio Technology Somfy (RTS), along with myLink, offers clients a motorized solution with a tablet as well, or even their own voice, transforming the user experience. 


Otter Creek Awnings 

19 Echo Place

Williston, VT
(802) 864-3009

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