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Benefits of adding a retractable awning to your patio or deck by Retractable Awnings Reviews

Benefits of Adding a Retractable Awning to Your Patio or Deck

Do you own a beautiful house or a commercial property with open outdoor spaces like a deck or a patio? Are you looking for ways to improve this outdoor area and researching the right way to invest your money in long-term solutions with a high return on investment (ROI)?

You might have already heard about retractable awning installation as a way to achieve your current goals. But is it really worth the investment, and what are the benefits of adding a retractable awning to your patio or deck?

retractable awning installation

How can your patio or deck benefit from a retractable awning?

There are many benefits to having retractable awnings installed in your outdoor living space. That is, of course, if you purchase the right product made of high-quality production materials suitable for the particular location and weather conditions.

Such an investment requires a thorough understanding of the market and a thorough analysis of your individual needs so that you can make an informed decision. I understand that finding the time and researching reliable sources is only sometimes possible. That’s why I did all of that instead of you.

So let’s dive into the benefits of retractable awnings for decks and patio areas.

Heat reduction

The primary benefit of retractable patio awnings is their ability to reduce solar heat levels and air temperatures significantly. 

Of course, you have your beautiful outdoor patio and want to use it on all possible occasions. Either you are getting together with friends or playing games with your children. But the scorching heat and blazing summer sun keep you indoors during the most enjoyable time of the year. How unfortunate is that?

Installing a retractable awning can solve that problem for you. According to research, high-quality solution-dyed acrylic fabrics can reduce outdoor temperatures by up to 20℃ (or 68℉). Extend the canopy whenever you want to spend time outdoors and enjoy the significantly cooler air underneath it.

UV-ray protection

Retractable deck awnings also offer the significant benefit of reducing UV-ray radiation emitted by the sun.

It’s already proven and widely known that the sun emits ultraviolet (UV) radiation that, in large quantities, is harmful to humans. It can have a detrimental effect on skin and eye health. The most common side effects include sunburn and accelerated skin aging.

However, some significantly more severe problems, such as skin cancer and decreased vision, can also occur. Retractable awnings can be highly beneficial and help prevent such issues by blocking harmful UV rays. Even The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends the use of particular awning fabrics.

UV-ray protection

Rain shelter

Retractable awnings can even become rain shelters if made from suitable materials. Here it’s imperative to differentiate between retractable awnings and retractable pergolas, as each structure requires different weight considerations. I’ll explain this in more detail in the second section of the post.

Generally speaking, retractable awnings can protect you from light rain and precipitation, such as drizzle or the neighbor’s sprinklers. However, it would be best if you kept them retracted during heavy rain and thunderstorms.

On the other hand, retractable pergolas made with heavy-duty waterproof fabrics can withstand heavy rain, snow and even hail. They shelter you throughout all seasons and weather conditions.

Usable space

Owning a large outdoor area does not necessarily mean you can use it at all times. Installing a retractable awning increases your usable space, expanding the indoors to the outdoors.

Imagine having constant outdoor protection without a permanent structure. You can organize a barbecue on a hot day or have a cup of tea on a rainy day. You won’t have to restrict yourself and stay indoors because of the weather anymore.

Curb appeal

In addition to being highly functional, retractable awnings can also be aesthetically pleasing. They are a great way to improve the curb appeal of your property and impress your guests or customers.

You can choose from hundreds of styles, colors, textures and patterns and purchase a custom awning for your home or business. Yet another benefit of improving curb appeal is that if you try to sell your property in the future, it will definitely influence potential buyers positively.

Advertisement and branding

As mentioned above, retractable awnings are highly customizable. This means that if you own a business or a commercial space, you can take advantage of installing a retractable roof. You can print your business logo, name or other brand features on the prominent canopy.

This way, your shop, restaurant or guest house can be visible from far away and stand out from the rest of the competition. You can gain new customers by attracting pedestrians who see your advertisement and become interested.

Energy efficiency and savings

Another huge advantage that many retractable awning owners report is their increase in energy savings. It’s only logical when you think about it. Let’s see two examples.

During the summer, the weather outside is hot, and the sunlight heats up your outdoor and indoor areas. The accumulation of heat results in higher energy consumption due to increased air-conditioning usage. An extended awning reduces outdoor and indoor temperature, thus decreasing your electrical energy costs.

On another note, retracting your functional awning during winter allows you to let in the sunshine during the warmest parts of the day. This will warm up the house. This also leads to decreased energy consumption. Additionally, retracting the canopy allows you to defrost frozen pathways and deck flooring quickly.

Privacy and seclusion

Depending on the size and the location of your installed retractable awning, it can significantly increase privacy and give you the feeling of seclusion.

For example, retractable side awnings for decks can help you create distinct borders between your neighboring property and yours. You can use them to create privacy for a poolside party or outdoor brunch

On the other hand, overhead awnings can tremendously increase privacy for residential or commercial properties surrounded by high buildings, condominiums and hotels. Your guests or customers can completely immerse themselves in the atmosphere while staying away from prying eyes.

Furniture protection and preservation

Last but not least, retractable shading products help you preserve both your patio furniture and indoor furniture for longer.

Aren’t you tired of seeing white or yellow faded spots on your stylish chairs, couches, flooring, blinds and curtains? Installing a quality retractable awning with high UV resistance will prevent direct sunlight from damaging your favorite indoor and outdoor furniture.

Furniture protection

What type of awning should I choose?

The retractable awning industry offers diverse options for anyone looking for a shading solution for their home or business. Most vendors provide fully customized solutions or specific models you can further personalize or upgrade if you want.

Small or large retractable awning

You can find awning models in various sizes – from small to large. The larger the awning, the more shade and protection it will provide. If you order two or more of the same model, you can mount them in such a way as to form a more substantial shading structure

Lateral arm awning or a retractable roof pergola

Most people refer to all retractable products as awnings. However, you can choose from retractable canopies, lateral arm awnings, drop arm awnings, canopy pergolas or louvered roof pergolas.

All of the above are associated with their own features and benefits. However, the main difference between awnings and pergolas is the structural support they depend on. Awnings are entirely supported by frames attached to a wall, soffit or roof. Thus, they offer limited weight-bearing capabilities.

Typically, pergolas have better structural support as they rely on additional beams anchored to the ground. Often, they are semi-attached to a building or completely separate (freestanding), forming an enclosed outdoor space far from the structure. They can handle the weight of heavy canopies, aluminum louvers and even accumulated snow.

aluminum pergolas

Manual or motorized model

You can choose a retractable awning with a manually operated mechanism or an electric one

If you choose a manually operated awning, you’ll need to retract and extend it by turning a detachable hand crank. It’s most suitable for small retractable patio awnings installed above windows and doors. 

Motorized awnings are easier to use as you can extend and retract them via switches, apps or remote controls. You can also install weather sensors; the awning will automatically retract if specific conditions suggesting inclement weather are present. This type of operation is suitable for large retractable awnings and pergolas with heavier structures.

What to consider when buying an awning?

When buying an awning, it’s wise to consider what weather conditions you want to use it for. You should also consider the price you are willing to pay and the model’s features and materials.

I advise you to check what materials were used for the following components:

  • Frames and arms
  • Beams and posts
  • Fabrics and canopies
  • Motors and sensors
  • Chains and bolts

Remember that the primary purpose of retractable awnings and pergolas is to provide shade and prevent you from direct sun exposure and its harmful effects. That being said, the fabric canopy is undoubtedly one of the most critical parts of an awning and definitely something you should spend time researching.

In addition, the canopy can be water-resistant and shelter you from light rain, or it can be waterproof and protect your outdoor space from heavy showers. You should also consider frame materials that are not susceptible to rusting and degrading.

Remember where you want to mount the awning. Check if the model of interest is available for installation on your preferred surface.

It’s also wise to invest in a reputable company for retractable awnings with lengthy warranty periods and positive reviews. 

How much does installing an awning on my deck or patio cost?

There’s no way around it – a high-quality retractable awning will have a substantial initial cost. However, such a product has a high return on investment and eventually will help you to save money, so be bold and invest in your future and comfort. 

For your convenience, I wrote a complete guide on retractable awning costs, including their purchase, installation and maintenance.

Generally speaking, the associated costs are as follows:

  • Residential lateral arm awning – $2,500 – $3000
  • Commercial lateral arm awning – around $5,000
  • Retractable pergola cover – $8,000 – $12,000
  • Retractable louvered roof pergola – $16,000 – $20,000
  • Hiring an installation contractor – $250 – $1,000
  • Planning permit (if required by a local county) – $25 – $100 
  • Hiring a cleaner – $0.25 – $2.00 per square foot

Remember that although you’ll need to get your product cleaned regularly, the maintenance requirements are minimal compared to a fixed awning. 

retractable awning costs

Can I do the installation myself, or do I need experts?

Do-it-yourself (DIY) awning installation projects are an utterly plausible option as long as you are handy and have experience with similar projects. 

Typically, when you purchase a deck awning model, it will come with the corresponding installation manual and all necessary parts. You’ll need tools such as an electric drill, ladder, line level and more. It’s wise that you take into account the complexity of awning mounting and you get additional help from other people.

If you decide to use the DIY method, ensure you follow the instructions and guidelines provided by the manufacturer/vendor. Always secure the area, keep any children and pets away from the site, and follow safety precautions to avoid injury.

In case you purchased a motorized awning, you’ll need to hire a certified electrician to connect the system. However, this is only necessary when the motor is hardwired.

Nowadays, vendors offer end-to-end services to please their customers and provide superior experiences. Check if the company you’re interested in offers free installation or works with a local provider in your area.

Even if they do not, don’t hesitate to pay extra for professional service by a certified installer. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Damaged awnings can not only be rendered non-functional but also void their warranty. 

Do not undertake any projects that you are not familiar with or if you don’t have any experience. Always consult a professional to avoid health hazards.