Retractable Awnings Reviews | Compare the Best Awning Companies & Models

Custom Retractable Awnings

A custom retractable awning is an excellent investment for your home or business. There are a wide variety of different types to meet each client’s specific needs. You will find custom retractable side awnings, retractable pergolas, retractable screens, retractable canopies, retractable shade sails, retractable slide on wire canopies and retractable free-standing awnings among the products.

You can customize each of these products. Each product type allows you to have the best retractable awning that is perfect for the location where you want it installed. That way, you can take full advantage of all the benefits the awning offers.

A yellow custom retractable awning

Definition and Characteristics of Custom Retractable Awnings

One of the primary and most essential tasks of retractable awnings is to block the sun, and LIGHT rain, providing more comfort to you or your customers. Retractable awnings are widely used, which makes them suitable for everyone. 

You can choose the color, design, size of the awning, fabric, and installation method. You can also choose between manual or motorized retractable awnings. It’s also possible to choose awnings based on their installation location, such as custom retractable side awnings.

Investing in a high-quality retractable awning can be costly, so it is crucial to consider each characteristic when choosing one. In this regard, you need to educate yourself about custom retractable awnings and know how to choose the right one for your needs. Below, I present the main features to consider when buying this product. 

Find the Right Company

Research is the key to buying the best retractable awning. The company from which you will buy the canopy has an important role. It must offer high-quality custom retractable awnings.

To be more specific, I recommend that you choose companies that offer products of high European quality. In this regard, avoid buying low-quality, ready-made awnings made in China. Their price is lower, but it is, in all cases, most definitely at the expense of quality, engineering, and engineering certifications. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the differences between a high-quality product from Europe and a low-quality product from China.

Choose the Area You Want Covered

One more essential task is to specify the area you want covered. That will help you find the perfect product for you and get a genuine custom retractable awning. 

For this purpose, the products are for: 

  • Deck, patio, or other open areas
  • Window, door, or to enclose the sides of a pergola, gazebo, or pavilion
  • Side of an RV, bus, trailer, or camper

A poolside area featuring an awning

Types of Mounting Surface

When choosing a custom retractable awning, it is essential to know the type of mounting surface the product will attach to. 

Typically, the types of surfaces are:

  • Wall
  • Beam
  • Roof
  • Rafter
  • Fascia
  • Soffit/eave/overhang

Size of a Custom Retractable Awning

When choosing the size of the awning, you must take into account the width and projection. The awnings are available in custom sizes, which are made according to the specifics of your needs. 

The company you choose may offer you standard sizes, but if the specified dimensions do not meet your needs, there are solutions in these cases. In this regard, there is an option to order a more non-standard size, which is a custom-made retractable awning. I recommend that you always consult with a highly reputable, professional company of your choice that will give you expert advice.

Snow Load

Another characteristic that is essential to pay attention to is whether the product needs to handle snow loads. It is crucial to consider whether you want to use the custom retractable awning in winter or only in the spring and summer. If you want a product for snow load protection, you cannot use a retractable awning. You can use a rotating or retractable louvered roof system.

Wind Strength

Various retractable awnings withstand different wind strengths. It would be best to consider whether strong winds are specific to your location. In this regard, indicating whether the product must withstand low/light wind or high/heavy wind is good. The Beaufort scale is a measurement that relates wind speed to observed conditions on land. Its full name is the Beaufort Wind Force Scale, and I always recommend choosing a company whose products are tested to meet your wind load needs using the Beaufort scale. 

Amount of Rain

Whether you will use the custom retractable awning for rain or not is also crucial to consider. If you want to extend and use a retractable awning for rain, you must choose light rain as retractable awnings are not designed for heavy rain. For heavy rain, you can use a retractable roof pergola or a retractable/rotating louvered roof pergola.

Production Materials

The choice of production materials is crucial. It includes the fabric, sewing thread, motor, and frame. Depending on your chosen model, the fabric must be strong and durable enough to protect from the sun and LIGHT rain. It should be sewn with a thread unaffected by sunlight and water and is weatherproof, such as the Gore® Tenara® brand I have recommended for over 40 years!

It is essential to specify whether the product should withstand light or heavy wind and light or heavy rain. Depending on the manufacturer, retractable awnings can be made of vinyl, canvas, polyester, duck cloth or water-resistant fabric such as solution-dyed acrylic (the best option by far).

Benefits of a Custom Awning

As I shared, investing in custom awnings costs more money, but in the long run, it pays off. 

Some of the most significant advantages are:

  • It will last for many years if engineered correctly and uses high-quality European components (nothing from China)
  • It preserves furniture
  • It is versatile – the awning has different operating levels
  • It can provide shade, light rain and sun protection
  • It beautifies your outdoor living space
  • Lower power consumption
  • Uncomplicated operation
  • Environmentally conscious- it reduces electricity usage

Who is a Custom Retractable Awning Appropriate For?

Depending on the purpose of use, these retractable awnings can be for:

  • Residential use
  • Commercial use
  • Industrial use
  • Institutional use
  • Government use

That allows anyone needing a custom awning to take advantage of the product’s benefits. Each type of use has specific needs and meets the relevant requirements so you can easily find what you need. 

The residential retractable awnings can be for a deck, patio, hot tub and can also be installed on a balcony. Commercial retractable awnings are the best choice for hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, pubs, institutions, golf clubs, etc.

An awning over a home’s windows

Why Retractable Awnings Reviews?

Unfortunately, there is much misinformation, both online and offline, about retractable awnings. The primary aim of Retractable Awnings Reviews is to provide the necessary information to all homeowners, business owners, institutions, and governments about all types of retractable awnings.

With over 40 years of experience in retractable awnings, Retractable Awning Reviews provides helpful information about the best retractable awning system companies, services, and products in the USA and Canada. This way, each consumer can make an informed decision and invest in the right product.

Whether you need custom retractable side awnings, a new retractable pergola, or retractable canopies, I’m here to help you choose a covering that works best for your home, business, or other use.


Use Retractable Awnings Reviews for helpful information about the best custom-made awning companies and products. I also share information about many types of custom awnings.

That’s because I have over 40 years of experience working with awnings. I’ve worked as a manufacturer, distributor, and installer of high-quality retractable exterior sun, wind, bug, rain, and snow protection systems, including custom retractable awnings.

Definitely! While they can take a little longer to manufacture than pre-made awnings, a custom awning that retracts lets you have protection from the sun, light rain, and other elements whenever you’d like.

If you’re handy, installing your own awning is possible. If you aren’t, I recommend having someone who is handy with you to help install your awning. You can also contact an awning installation service. Carpenters, a handyman, builders and contractors will also be able to help with installation.