Retractable shading products such as awnings and pergolas are a fantastic solution for any outdoor area, whether residential or commercial. You may have heard about the numerous benefits of these structures and the variety of models and options available on the market.
If you consider purchasing an outdoor shading product for your home or business, you’ve probably already started looking at retractable awning prices. You may have noticed a massive contrast in the price of online models.
But why is that? How come when you type in “retractable awning cost,” one costs $500, and another one is $5,000? It’s natural to begin thinking if there is a mistake if one vendor is overpriced or the other doesn’t offer quality products.
In any case, retractable awnings can be considered a significant investment. I created this ultimate guide on retractable awning prices – to help you understand the considerable price differences and why they occur. After all, making the right decision will produce unparalleled value and return on investment.
What determines the price of retractable awnings?
Let’s start from the basics – what determines the price of retractable awnings? Like all other products, no matter if we talk about refrigerators or awnings, the price should be proportional to production cost, labor cost and the acquired profit.
And when discussing the production of a retractable patio awning, manufacturers and vendors consider various of the product’s properties and features. Today, I’ll discuss the ones that play the most significant role.
Type of retractable awning
The type of retractable awning is a major determining factor of the product’s price. You can notice this already while you’re doing your research. Generally, we can categorize awning products into two types: retractable pergolas and retractable awnings.
They can be further divided depending on their structure and mechanism into the following categories:
- Lateral arm awnings – cost anywhere between $800 and $6,000
- Sidearm (drop arm) awnings – cost anywhere between $950 and $6,000
- Retractable canopies – cost anywhere between $800 and $6,000
- Drop-down vertical screens – cost anywhere between $1,000 and $7,000
- Retractable side awnings – cost anywhere between $100 and $500
- Retractable freestanding awning (or portable awning) – costs anywhere between $1,000 – $7,000
- Retractable pergola covers – costs anywhere between $15,000 and $25,000
- Retractable louvered-roof pergolas – cost anywhere between $10,000 and 20,000
- Pergolas with retractable shades – cost anywhere between $900 and $4,000
Size of the product (width x projection)
It stands to reason that the size contributes to the final price of your product. After all, the larger the size, the larger the shade and overall protected area underneath. Manufacturers use more production materials for big retractable awnings and implement complex technologies for strength, durability and resilience.
The awning size comprises two measurements – its width and its projection. The width is the measurement of the awning taken from one lateral side to the other. The projection is the measurement of how far away from its cassette can the roof can extend.
So, the larger the awning, the more expensive it will be. There are countless options for different-sized products, and you can also order a custom model. Below, you can see a table representing standard retractable awning sizes, their application and typical costs.
Size (width x projection)
Where to install?
How much does it cost?
Max 15′ x max 5′
Over windows or doors
$700 – $2,500
Max 20′ x max 10′
Over windows or doors
$2,500 – $5,500
Max 40′ x max 20′
Over large balconies, decks, patios, backyards
$5,500 – $7,000
Max 52′ x max 29′
Over decks, patios, backyards
$6,500 – $10,000 and more
*Table 1: Retractable awnings cost according to their size
Another factor that plays a significant role in forming the price of a retractable awning is its operational mechanism. You can typically operate such shading systems in one of two ways – manually or automatically.
That being said, we can categorize retractable mechanisms into two distinct categories:
- Manual awnings
- Motorized awnings
Manual retractable awning
Manual awnings operate thanks to a detachable hand crank which you need to rotate left or right to extend or retract the canopy. It’s a relatively simple mechanism but very functional and cost-effective.
Generally speaking, manual awning models are cheaper and more budget-friendly than motorized awnings.
Retractable motorized awning
A motorized awning works thanks to an electric motor that’s either hard-wired or digitally controlled. Pressing a button on your phone or wall activates the motor, which causes the awning retraction or extension.
Electric motors are suitable for large, heavy shading structures that are difficult to control through a hand crank. You can further automate functions via various weather, temperature and time sensors or connect your shading system with your smart home system.
Given all these factors, you can understand why a motorized awning would require a higher initial investment when compared to a manual awning.
For the sake of clarity, let’s look into some numbers of similar structures with different operations:
- Manual retractable awning for window/door
- Manual retractable awning for deck/patio – $675 – $1,950
- Motorized retractable awning for window/door – $750 – $2,000
- Motorized retractable awning for deck/patio – $2,175 – $3,950
- Manual retractable pergola canopy
- Motorized retractable pergola canopy
Production materials are the core of retractable window awnings. Thanks to them, you receive protection from various weather conditions such as sun, UV rays, heat, precipitation, wind and more.
Each material is directly responsible for the quality of the awning and its protective qualities. The main things to look for are the frame, the fabric, the motor (if any), and the assembly hardware.
You should also take any additional enhancements for durability and resistance into account. Some examples of such enhancements are water-repellent or fire-retardant coating for fabrics and powder-coating for metal frames.
Providing many mounting possibilities for the same awning model is not easily achievable. You need to construct a product able to withstand all conditions while staying stable and resilient in different installation angles and surfaces.
Few vendors offer such options, as it’s quite an accomplishment and requires craftsmanship and excellent execution. That’s why if they provide you with more than one or two mounting possibilities, the retractable canopy can come at a higher price than usual.
Other related services
Retractable awning cost is directly related to the services you receive as a part of your purchase.
For example, let’s say you purchase a product from an eCommerce platform where you only pay for the product and then they send it via a courier service. You’ll need to install it yourself. If you have questions, there would be no one to ask, as the platform’s customer service representatives wouldn’t know about the specific product.
On the other hand, if you purchase your product directly from a reliable company that offers end-to-end services, you can expect superior quality services and pay extra for your comfort.
Some retractable awning companies take care of all their processes, including manufacturing, assembly, shipping, installation and post-purchase services. They certified retractable awning installers they’ve signed contracts with to come to your home or business and guarantee a quality installation.
In addition, you can enjoy professional consultation and superb customer service if you have questions about the product before or after your purchase. You can purchase custom awnings or address any questions about warranty, etc.
How much does it cost to install a retractable awning?
After we’ve covered what forms the price of the product itself, it’s time to talk about how much it would cost to get your awning installed. Installation can be an additional cost if you don’t purchase from the right vendor.
Reputable awning companies offer installation as a free service once you purchase the product. They either send company representatives or a contractor that provides the service in your area.
Suppose you don’t see that the awning company states they will cover installation costs. You will need to install it yourself or hire a professional installation service provider and pay extra.
There are a few variables that form the installation cost:
- How large is the awning (width x projection)
- Where will it be installed/located (window, roof, freestanding, etc.)
- What is the type of awning (folding arm, canopy pergola, louvered roof pergola, etc.)
- Does it operate manually or electrically
- What materials will be used for the installation
- How many working hours are required to finish the project
- What area/state do you live in
- Does retractable awning installation require a permit
Naturally, you can imagine that larger awnings are more expensive to install. For example, installing a massive commercial patio cover system for a substantial outdoor area would require more working hours than installing a lateral arm awning over a window.
If you purchase retractable motorized awnings, be prepared to pay extra for the electrical work that will be done. If the motors are hard-wired, you’ll need the help of a certified electrician to connect them to the electrical system.
Why does the area you live in matter?
Installation costs vary depending on the area you live in. The main reason is that when choosing an installation company, there might be more options in one state/area than the other. When there’s a higher number of companies, they must offer competitive prices to stay in business.
For example, in Florida, you may need to pay up to $10,000 for large commercial projects, while the maximum in Tennessee would be $4,400. Quite a difference, right?
If you want the best deal possible, do proper research before making a final decision. Hiring off-season would typically make a significant price difference.
What to expect?
As you can see, many factors affect the final price. However, generally speaking, you can expect to pay about $500 for a retractable awning and around $3,700 for a retractable pergola.
So, how much do retractable awnings cost?
Overall, retractable awnings can be quite an investment. The price range is wide as various products have different materials, functions and applications.
The typical price range for each type plus installation costs is as follows:
- Lateral arm awning
- Retractable canopy
- Drop arm awning
- Vertical drop screen
- Side patio awning
- Retractable pergola canopy
- Retractable louvered roof pergola
Should you hire an expert for the installation or do it by yourself?
I understand that you might be tempted to install the retractable awning yourself, as it seems like a more budget-friendly option, especially if the vendor doesn’t offer a complimentary service.
You should know that completing a small residential project is viable as long as you have an installation manual, the right tools, some help and previous experience. If you have experience in similar handy projects, you can quickly assemble and mount a small awning over your window or front door.
However, I recommend undertaking such projects only if you are experienced or confident of your knowledge and abilities. Consider that you’ll be working with not-so-safe tools and at a certain height over the ground level, so although minimal, there are some health hazards.
What are the pros and cons?
Other things could go wrong with DIY projects, so I recommend hiring a professional installation company.
Installing motorized deck awnings would require a certified expert’s unique skills and knowledge. Connecting electrical systems on your own can present safety hazards and damage your entire system.
The most significant advantage of hiring a professional installer is that you guarantee you won’t invalidate the product’s warranty. In case any damage or malfunction occurs, it will be covered either by the installer or the seller.
Although installing awnings often won’t require acquiring planning permits, it’s a detail you want to pay attention to. Failing to get a planning permit, which is required, can lead to severe consequences and fees.
The pro of hiring a professional company is that they will do the necessary research instead of you and submit a permit application with all the corresponding files and documents.
Is the investment worth it?
Although buying and installing a retractable awning can seem like a significant investment, it’s completely worth it. You can reap the benefits of such a shading system for years to come if you choose the high-quality awning that fits your needs.
Creating an outdoor leisure area at your home will give you comfort and peace in your busy everyday life. If you can spend time with your friends and family while enjoying the outdoors and staying protected from the weather elements.
If you are a business owner, you can add more usable space for your property and create comfort for your customers and clients. You will leave them with memorable experiences and beautiful outdoor views throughout their stay.
High-quality retractable awnings have a high return on investment (ROI) and can reduce energy costs as they balance indoor and outdoor air temperatures.