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General Design Considerations for Retractable Awnings

General Design Considerations for Retractable Awnings

Retractable awnings are an excellent choice for a house or commercial property. In addition to adding beauty and comfort, they have an essential function – to provide protection from strong sunlight and light rain days. Moreover, they provide you with a pleasant place to spend summer afternoons or evenings in your yard or on your patio or deck.

Not only is the simple retractable awning a perfect addition to your commercial building or house’s exterior, but it also blocks the sun from penetrating your building or home. That can lower  your electricity bill  and reduce the need to use air conditioning.

Durable fabrics add a combination of utility and beauty to an outdoor space. You will find a wide variety of colors, designs, materials, and much more on the market. In this regard, if you are looking for motorized awnings outdoors, there are a few essential things to look out for.

Motorized Retractable Awning in blue color


Most retractable awnings that you will find on the market are widely used. 

Today you will find:

  • Retractable awnings for the house – they are classic and always in style. The retractable roof for the home is trendy, suitable for the yard, patio, or deck. Thanks to them, you have the opportunity to spend more time outdoors.

In this way, the company offers a more comfortable place for its customers, allowing them to enjoy good weather and at the same time be in the shade. Besides, even for light rain, it wouldn’t ruin their good afternoon.

  • Retractable awnings for apartments – the awnings are also perfect for apartments. What could be better than to turn your balcony into a beautiful place during the summer days?

In addition, what matters is the purpose of use and what type of weather conditions the awning will be exposed to. 

For example, a lateral arm retractable awning is the perfect choice if you need it mainly to provide shade and protection in light rain and light wind. It is fantastic for shading larger areas like residential patios and decks.

If you want to protect windows and doors, the retractable drop arm awnings are the perfect solution for you. In addition, they do great in slightly heavier weather. No matter what your needs and your goals are, one thing is for sure, outdoor awnings are the best choice for you. 

General Design Considerations for Retractable Awnings


The materials from which wall-mounted awnings are made play a crucial role. They are responsible for the durability and quality of the awning. The retractable awnings covers can be made from synthetic to natural materials


The retractable awnings are often made of acrylic, as this synthetic material is known for its durability and aesthetic appeal. Most acrylic is water-resistant and is protected from fading. Acrylic can be solution-dyed or non-solution-dyed.

Solution-dyed acrylics are fabrics that are dyed before the yarn is woven. With solution-dyed acrylic, a liquid solution is mixed with the dye and then machined into a fiber, so it already has color before it is spun into a yarn. This process makes it color-fast. Solution-dyed acrylic is considered to be the best type of fabric for retractable awnings and is available with a warranty of up to 10 years.


That material is most commonly used for permanent illuminated or backlit awnings, as it has greater transparency. In addition, they are characterized by the durability of prolonged sun exposure, humidity and some are highly resistant to mildew and UV rays.


Fiberglass can be used for the retractable cover. You can choose between a slightly translucent mesh (not for light rain) or opaque fiberglass retractable awning.


Aluminum framed retractable awnings are popular. They are strong and do not require specific maintenance. Aluminum frames that are factory powder coated do not require repainting, whereas heavy steel frames require repainting.

Natural materials

The retractable awnings made of natural materials are cheaper alternatives. In most cases, these are canvas and wood. Those types of awnings are not as durable and pose a risk of fire. In addition, they require much more frequent maintenance and replacement. 

Retractable awning manufacturers

As for manufacturers, today, many offer retractable awnings. I advise you to research the various manufacturers carefully. You need to find out more about them, look at user reviews, find out if the retractable awnings have a frame warranty if the frame warranty is pro-rated, the warranty’s length, and if they meet the relevant engineering specifications.

a lot of small retractable awnings which provide effective shade for your apartment window


Specifications are crucial. They ensure the correct and quality installation of both home retractable awnings and commercial retractable awnings. You need to make sure that you choose a good contractor, handyman, or carpenter to install the retractable awning of your choice or install it yourself if you are “handy”.

One of the leading indicators of this is the specifications. In many commercial cases, you will find them grouped by the type of frame design and fabric utilized. 

Each of the specifications includes documentation which must describe: 

  • Related documents
  • Description of work
  • Quality assurance
  • Submittals
  • Warranty
  • Acceptable manufacturers
  • Materials
  • Fabrication General
  • Execution – installation of the retractable awning

In this regard, the specifications for retractable awnings can be described as follows:

  • Vinyl Fabrics – Steel or galvanized steel frame with a vinyl cover and aluminum frame with a vinyl cover;
  • Flame Retardant Acrylic Fabrics – Steel or galvanized steel frame with a flame retardant solution-dyed acrylic cover and aluminum frame with a flame retardant solution-dyed acrylic cover;
  • Acrylic Fabrics – Steel or galvanized steel frame with an acrylic cover and aluminum frame with an acrylic cover.

With good research and taking into account some of the essential features and specifications, you are sure to find the perfect retractable awning for you to enjoy for a very long time.