10 Best Motorized Retractable Patio Awnings in 2023
Patio retractable awnings and pergola shading systems are a great way to add shade, functionality and style to your home or business. Still, they do not limit you to patio use only. Fortunately, you can install these structures anywhere you want, as long as you have the available space.
Possibilities for installation and application are endless, but let’s see some of them:
- Cozy private decks and backyards
- Industrial zones
- Recreational outdoor areas
- Commercial poolsides
- Rooftop restaurants
- Beach bars
- Retail storefronts
- Outdoor coffeehouse seating places
Of course, you can implement retractable awnings in numerous other ways as long as you have imagination. Typically, your needs will dictate the right choice of awning/pergola and the corresponding installation method. A general rule of thumb is that the larger the awning, the heavier it will be, so investing in a motorized awning is preferable.
However, you can prefer a motorized model over a manual retractable awning for more than one reason. Automating your outdoors or synchronizing your shading solution with your smart home system may be one of them. Ease of use and outstanding comfort may be another.
Whatever the reason is, there comes a time when you need to choose the right model for you amongst thousands of retractable awnings available online. To make your choice easier, I researched and selected the top 10 best motorized retractable patio awnings you can buy in 2023.
What is a motorized patio retractable awning?
Smart motorized retractable awnings are upgraded and even more functional versions of fixed outdoor awnings, yet they serve the same purpose. They can upgrade virtually any outdoor space by providing comfort, shade and protection from the sun and UV rays. Depending on the cover material, they can be water-resistant or waterproof, meaning their performance during rain varies.
What is its structure, and how does it work?
To help you fully understand the essence of the product, I must explain its main parts and how they work together to achieve the final effect. A retractable awning (be it manual or motorized) consists of three main components – a supporting metal frame, mounting hardware and a retractable canopy or roof.
Manufacturers typically use powder-coated aluminum as a frame material to create a sturdy frame that ends with a front bar. This is the structure that supports the extending canopy or roof. If you want to purchase a retractable awning, not a retractable pergola, it will come with a roller tube inside a cassette and mounting screws and brackets.
The part that creates shade and covers your outdoor space is the fabric canopy (used for awnings and pergolas) or the retractable roof or rotating louvers (used for pergolas). The production materials are crucial for the functionality of this cover.
For example, you’ll find that solution-dyed woven acrylic does an outstanding job for heat reduction and sun protection, as it’s highly UV resistant and fade resistant. It’s also a water-resistant fabric and, if treated with PU waterproof coating, will protect from light rain if under the right inclination angle (pitch).
On the other hand, you can choose a pergola with a retractable heavy-duty fabric canopy such as Serge Ferrari’s waterproof PVC, and you’ll get excellent water protection even during heavy rain and downpours. Lightweight aluminum is the material of choice for louvered roof retractable pergolas, as it can handle heavy snowfall and hail.
I also created a comprehensive guide if you’re interested in learning more about how retractable awnings work
Manual awnings vs. motorized awnings
Here comes the question, “What is the difference between manual and electric retractable awnings?”. The short answer is that the difference is in how you operate them. But let’s also see the long answer.
As you can already guess by its name, you can operate a manual awning using your hands. Well, not entirely, as there will be a manual hand crank to help you do it. By turning the detachable crank left and right, you will begin to rotate the roller tube and retract or extend the canopy, respectively.
This type of awning model is generally more budget-friendly than an electric version. It’s suitable for smaller residential projects or tiny storefronts and balconies where the canopy weighs little. Although I’d recommend using professional installation services, you can install retractable awnings of this size on your own using the installation manual.
Unlike manual models, motorized awnings work thanks to an electric motor inside the roller tube, which you can control via a wall switch, a mobile app or a remote control. Pressing a button is all it takes to fully extend or retract the heavy canopy of a large shading structure.
A motorized retractable patio awning offers the benefit of higher levels of automation and allows you to integrate it with your smart home system. Given that they work thanks to electricity, the installation process would require a certified electrician to connect the awning.
You might often hear a question: “Can retractable awnings withstand wind?”. While that certainly depends on the model at hand, motorized versions help you increase the awning’s durability and help it withstand winds of high speed.
Are you asking yourself how? You can install wind sensors that detect wind speed levels and automatically retract the awning. You can also do so via remote control operation once you see a storm approaching.
Investing in motorized awnings – is it worth it?
I often hear people arguing about whether or not a motorized patio retractable awning is worth the investment. Indeed, these highly functional and easy-to-operate models can be a significant investment and may seem out of your price range at first glance.
Costs and expenses
A thing to consider is that repair costs might be higher than those necessary for manual awnings, as you may need to purchase a new electric motor in the future. Additional equipment, such as weather sensors or timers, is also an extra cost since it is not included in the package.
As mentioned above, the installation would require an expert in electrical systems to come and supervise the project to prevent any short circuits and health hazards. This would require an extra budget to pay for his visit, and you’ll need to consider the monthly electricity costs for using your shading equipment.
Why are they worth it?
You might already think all costs and expenses seem way too much. However, in the long term, a high-quality motorized awning has a high return on investment and will last you for years.
First of all, motor replacement may indeed be necessary at one point. Still, if the end-product supplier works with reputable manufacturers like Somu or Somfy, the motor will come with a 5-year warranty. That means they will cover your costs for at least five years.
Secondly, electric awnings can save time and money, as you won’t need to retract or extend the canopy manually. All you need to do is press a button. Although they use electricity to function, they are energy efficient and won’t break the bank regarding energy consumption.
They can even reduce your energy consumption by balancing outdoor and indoor temperatures. Extending the awning during hot summer days will reduce your air conditioning usage and, thus, your energy bills. The same goes for winter days when you can retract it to let in sun rays inside to warm up the property.
What are they suitable for?
That being said, I should also mention that a motorized retractable awning is most suitable for large outdoor and commercial outdoor areas as they significantly ease the process of extension and retraction. It is an excellent addition to any business property as it enlarges usable space and comfort for customers and visitors.
Some examples of commercial use of motorized retractable awnings include the following:
- Outdoor pools
- Rooftop bars
- Restaurant seating spaces
- Hotel driveways
- Panorama views
- Commercial sidewalks
How does your patio area benefit from retractable awnings?
Your property’s patio area can significantly benefit from a retractable awning if you install one. Since the benefits are so many, I list them in a post discussing the advantages of retractable patio awnings.
Inevitably, a great retractable awning will provide substantial sun shade and add significantly more comfort to your outdoor space. Your guests or customers will enjoy a cozy atmosphere and fresh air while being sheltered from the harsh UV rays and their harmful effects.
Your electric awning also has the potential to preserve outdoor furniture as it protects it from the sun and rain (if waterproof). Fading, tearing, molding and rotting will occur less frequently and at a significantly slower rate as the awning cover will shelter the furniture from outdoor weather conditions.
It’s also worth noting that a high-quality retractable awning is a stylish addition to any residential or commercial property. You have hundreds of design options to choose from, which enables you to perfectly combine colors, textures or patterns to complement your architectural design.
Top 10 motorized retractable patio awnings for 2023
Since the requirements for retractable awnings and pergolas are different, I decided to classify the models separately depending on their structural type.
The selection of chosen models is based on the following criteria:
- Production materials
- Durability and warranty
- Model characteristics
- Customer reviews
- Company reputation
- Installation options
- Overall value
- Protection from the elements
- Ease of use
- Customer support
Which are the five best motorized retractable awnings?
- Retractableawnings.com – Palermo Plus
- Retractableawnings.com – Venezia
- Retractableawnings.com – Roma
- ShadeTree Cool Living – Svet
- ShadeTree Cool Living – Shan
Which are the five best motorized retractable pergolas?
- Retractableawnings.com – Amsterdam
- Retractableawnings.com – Bioclimatique Rotating Louver Roof
- Retractableawnings.com – Denizli
- Retractableawnings.com – Bursa
- Retractableawnings.com – Forli
What to consider when buying a motorized retractable awning?
As with every other retractable patio awning, when buying a motorized model, there are certain things to consider to ensure that you make the right choice for your specific situation. Let’s list the most important ones.
Production materials are vital as they make the awning reliable, durable and functional. Look closely at what the vendor offers you and check online reviews from real customers to avoid any risks and disappointments.
A powder-coated aluminum frame is a go-to choice for any retractable awning type, whereas mounting hardware should be stainless steel, so it withstands the harsh outdoors. As for the cover, you can choose from numerous options, including woven acrylics, polyester, PVC, and aluminum louvers.
Size, motor and sensors
The size would be crucial to your final choice as you wish to cover the specific outdoor square footage. You can choose large motorized awnings as there are numerous options available. Reliable vendors would offer you a custom-made retractable awning as well.
As for the motor, make sure it’s from a famous and reputable brand such as Simu or Somfy. This way, you will guarantee quality performance, silent functionality and quick operation. In addition, you’ll get a warranty period throughout which you won’t have to worry about replacements.
Consider what sensors you’d like to add in the future. You may want them installed together with the awning itself. If the vendor offers any additional features and sensors, it’s best to purchase all from one place to guarantee yourself a complete project and flawless execution.
The installation process
Suppose you buy a relatively small retractable awning and plan to complete the installation by yourself. In that case, it’s essential to consider how you will connect it to your electric system. Unless you’re a certified electrician, it will be necessary to hire professional help to do it instead of you.
Availability of replacement parts
When choosing a motorized product, consider the retractable awning parts and if you could easily find replacements in the future. That will save you lots of trouble and guarantee you can continue using it without buying a brand-new awning.
What’s important is that the vendor freely shares details about all materials and parts used throughout the production process.
How to take care of your awning?
Some retractable awning problems occur more often than others. Most of them are easy to fix, and you can repair your awning on your own. However, others might require using professional services.
What’s most important to know about retractable awning care is the product’s ability to withstand outdoor conditions. For example, if it’s not made to withstand high winds, do not keep it extended during a storm, as it will inevitably get damaged. It’s also important to regularly clean your awning so it keeps its UV-resistance qualities and beautiful colors.
Motorized awnings are a fantastic piece of outdoor shading equipment everyone can use on their property. While they’re worth the investment, choosing a high-quality product is vital so it can last years without needing to be replaced or repaired. There are many things to consider before making a final choice of model, but hopefully, today’s blog post has helped you in the process.