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The Practical Appeal of Retractable Awnings

The Practical Appeal of Retractable Awnings

Arts & Crafts-style retractable awnings are an instant dose of old-fashioned

The retractable awning is an excellent solution for any home’s exterior. Above all, they are beneficial because they provide you with shade, prevent the penetration of the sun’s damaging UV rays on hot summer days and reduce glare and heat.

The Arts & Crafts-style retractable awnings are like a garment for your outdoor space. They give it freshness and are a complement to the exterior of your home.

The story of traditional awnings and the love of Americans who own houses dates back to 1890. Then the Arts & Crafts-style awnings were rediscovered, and interest in them grew.

That continued during and after the era of arts and crafts. The retractable awning was often installed  on Mediterranean-style houses, Tudors and Dutch Colonials, cottages, and bungalows.

At first, the retractable fabric awnings were popular, and then in the 1940s, they were replaced by aluminum ones. During this period, air conditioning began to appear, which reduced the interest and use of most awnings. 

Retractable Awnings - the excellent solution for any home’s exterior

That continued until the middle of the century, but then the desire of house owners to use and install retractable awnings in their homes increased again.

Apart from the materials from which they were made, another characteristic of retractable awnings is their design. From 1900 until today, stripes remain extremely popular, especially when it comes to combining blue, brown, or green with white

In different periods, the width of the strip has changed, and after 1920 stripes with a larger width were popular.

Today, the wide variety of retractable awnings that are offered to you is amazing. For example, you can choose from beautiful awnings that are in the style of those that were fashionable in 1910. 

Also, bet on retractable awnings with a stripe or solid color if your exterior is strictly formal or has too many details.

But your choice doesn’t end there. If before the awnings were manually operated , today, together with them, you can choose motorized ones with retracting mechanisms. And if you like the retro style, then the retractable awnings with a hand crank are the perfect choice for you.

The good news is that even the simplest retractable awnings models have a mechanism to collapse the frame and fabric against the building. That is a valuable asset , especially when the weather is either heavy rain or high wind. 

And last but not least, the fabric is another essential characteristic. As for home retractable awnings, you can choose between four main types of fabrics. 

The Practical Appeal of Retractable Awnings

Photo source: Unsplash


Тhat fabric is among the classic types. It is also the cheapest, and you’ll find it with an acrylic-painted surface. You can choose between one-color awnings or stripes. The only disadvantage is that it lasts between three and five years and does fade easily.


Тhe fabric is usually a bit more expensive than Canvas. Still, on the other hand, it will last longer, and depending on the weather conditions to which it is exposed and the method of maintenance, it is usually used for about five years. 

Characteristically, it has a harder, shiny finish. And the good news is that it is washable and has better sun-darkening properties although it will rot and mildew easily.


Polyester is another material that is somewhat  popular for  retractable awnings. It is much stronger than cotton, as it has a coating. The most significant advantage of polyester is that it is more resistant to mildew but it usually fades in less than one year.

Acrylic (solution dyed)

Solution dyed acrylic  is a highly durable fabric that resembles cotton. It is characterized by high resistance to fading, rotting and mildewing and can be used for up to 10 years or more. It is the recommended choice for a retractable awning.

Practical attributes- advantages

High quality awnings have great practical qualities, making them a good investment for your home and the exterior of your house. As a homeowner we know that you value your time spent outdoors and for that reason  a folding lateral arm awning is the perfect option for you. 

Among the most significant advantages are:

  • Reduce the heat absorption – retractable awnings are the perfect solution for rooms with eastern, western or southern exposure, providing a cooler room. In this regard, choose bright colors that will not attract direct sunlight.
  • Protect from harmful UV light – a well-chosen retractable awning will provide shade, protecting your interior from fading. These include carpets, upholstery, and wallpaper primarily.
  • Saves on your electricity bills – first, the retractable awnings reduce heat, which reduces the need to use your air conditioner. Thanks to the improved energy efficiency your energy savings will be significant. 
  • Protect from the rain – the benefits of window retractable awnings are many. Above all, the awning allows you to leave the windows open, even when it rains (light rain only), and prevents the formation of unpleasant stains on the windows after a light rain.

Remember that mold is one of the biggest enemies of retractable awnings, no matter what its material. In this regard, you should always extend your awning after rain. Also, you should use a fabric cover for your retractable awning in the winter. You don’t need to remove it as this is one of the main advantages of a retractable versus a fixed/permanent awning.

  • Add value to your home – in addition to all the valuable properties, the retractable awning can become a beautiful decoration, adding resale value to your home, creating comfort for you and your family. The retractable awning will undoubtedly increase your home’s curb appeal. 

retractable awnings are a beautiful decoration which can add value to your home

Photo source: Unsplash

Arts & Crafts-style retractable awning resources

Today you will find many companies that offer installation and maintenance of retractable awnings or if you are handy, you can DIY.  We advise you to do thorough and detailed research when making your choice.

Search for local dealers or installers, check for reviews from their customers, browse their services and find out if they offer the style of awning you are looking for and for what cost.

Some of the companies that receive high marks are:

  • Shadetree Awning