Retractable Awnings Reviews | Compare the Best Awning Companies & Models

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Frequently Asked Questions

Not sure where to start on your journey to the perfect awning or pergola product? Check out some frequently asked questions from fellow customers — and answers from the expert.

Retractable Awnings

Naturally, you’re looking for the best retractable awning — a product perfect for your specific outdoor space, climate and weather conditions, aesthetic preferences, and budget. 

All of these factors are key in finding your perfect retractable awning, and the answer to this question could be different for everyone. There isn’t a single one-size-fits-all option. But whether you’re looking for a small awning, a portable option, or a motorized product, I have the information you need to find your perfect match.

There are three main categories of awning products on today’s market:

  • Freestanding awnings – Freestanding models can feature fixed or retractable awnings. Instead of attaching to a wall or roof, they attach independently using aluminum, steel , wood, or PVC frames.
  • Stationary awnings – Stationary awnings are affixed to a building component (like a wall or roof). Unlike freestanding awnings, they aren’t portable and can’t be easily moved. If a stationary awning uses fabric, the fabric can’t be retracted to prevent damage ahead of inclement weather.
  • Retractable awnings – Retractable awnings can be either freestanding (mounted on independent frames) or affixed to a building component like a wall, fascia, soffit/eave/overhang or roof. Retractable awnings (either by mechanical or automatic means) can be rolled up (retracted) to prevent damage, customize the volume of shade, accommodate decorations, or for other purposes.

The answer will depend on your specific needs. For example, if you need a small, freestanding awning, you can expect to spend less on products and installation than you might for a large, retractable awning affixed to your roof. 

Check out our retractable awning cost guide for more information and cost-saving tips.

Retractable Pergolas

Awnings and pergolas are similar, and they have two main parts:

  • The frame – Both pergola and awning frames can be freestanding or affixed to another permanent structure, like your home’s roof, fascia, eave/soffit/overhang or exterior walls.
  • The shade – While awning shades (shade coverings) are typically made from fabric, pergola roofs can be made from wood, aluminum louvers, PVC, and other materials.

Like a retractable awning, the best retractable pergola is high-quality with European engineering certifications, has Beaufort wind load tests and meets your specific requirements for aesthetics, application, size, weather conditions, material and cost. 

If you aren’t sure where to start your search, check out customer reviews for pergolas with retractable canopies.

Your pergola costs will vary based on your size, testing, materials used to manufacture, warranty and durability needs — prices also depend upon the retraction method for your pergola (manual or motorized retractable pergolas). 

To compare pergola products, check out our comparison guide, complete with numerous options to choose from.

The site’s mission is to help consumers choose the best retractable awnings available. I don’t sell any products, but I do feature real customer reviews for numerous retractable awning and pergola brands to help you make the best possible choice for your outdoor shade or rain product. 

Brands featured on our website cannot have reviews removed or edited (positive or negative) — all reviews are 100% authentic, customer-submitted, and designed to help other consumers pick a high-quality product.

If you’ve never shopped for a retractable awning or pergola before, start with a few helpful guides from our blog:

Once you peruse these guides, you’ll know more about how these products work, their applications, and their installation. Once you’re familiar with the basics, check out our more in-depth guides to start narrowing down your product selection:

If you still have questions after reviewing the knowledge database and customer reviews, feel free to reach out to me  — I started this site to help spread correct information about pergolas and awnings, and I am always happy to share information that can help you choose the perfect product for your home or business.

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