5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Retractable Awning

February 22, 2023

Does this sound familiar?

You’re looking for a way to upgrade your outdoor space but have no idea what to do with it. You think the space is large enough for a cozy seating area, but nothing can protect it from the elements.

After researching, you settle on a retractable awning as the ideal shade solution for your space. Excited about your discovery, you start looking at options and then quickly realize there are far too many to choose from, and you have yet to decide what to look for first.

“What size should I go with?”

“What material makes the most sense?”

“Where do I even begin?”

If you’re asking any of these questions, we’ve got you covered!

These are five things to consider before buying a retractable awning.

1. The Purpose
Before buying a retractable awning, figure out your main purpose. If you want to make your space more private or shelter it from the sun and rain, knowing your intended use for the custom awning will help you select the right type and size for your outdoor area.

At this point, you can also think about how much of a role your awning will play in the aesthetics of your space. Would you like a bold-colored awning to make a statement? Or would you prefer a patio cover that fades into the background?

Understanding your goals for your outdoor space is the first step in the right direction when it comes to selecting an awning.

2. The Location
Next up is to consider where the awning will be installed and the type of exposure it will get from the elements. Awnings that are exposed to strong winds or heavy rain will need to be made of more durable materials and have stronger support structures. At the same time, locations that are known for milder weather will offer more flexibility in terms of suitable material choices.

You’ll also want to look at the type of space you’re dealing with. Maybe a pergola awning or metal canopy would suit it best. Maybe awnings for your windows make more sense than one large product.

Once you decide on your location and take the time to learn what you can about it, it will be much easier to narrow down your workable options.
The Size
Before you start sifting through the plethora of options available, you should measure the area you want to cover. Once you have the measurements for the installation area, you can choose a size that will provide as much coverage as you desire.

Additionally, you will want to factor in the height of the area where the awning will be mounted, as well as the height of the awning when it is fully extended.

Write down all your measurements; then it’s on to selecting the awning material, which is a crucial part of optimizing the lifespan of your sunshade investment.

3. The Material
Awnings are made from a variety of materials, including fabric, metal, and plastic. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, so consider which one will best meet your needs based on your intended use, location, and budget.

As previously mentioned, the first thing you need to consider is the exposure your awning will receive once it is installed. The harsher the conditions, the more durable the material needs to be. In order to make the most out of the awning, it’s best to pay a little more for a sturdier material than to try to save a few dollars by opting for something lower in quality.

Reminder: Function matters just as much as form when it comes to awnings!

4. The Cost
Establishing your budget is the next consideration. Retractable awnings can range in price from several hundred to several thousand dollars, so make sure you have reasonable expectations as you go into the buying process.

Keep in mind that the price of an awning will reflect the quality of its materials, construction, and features, so a higher price could—and should—result in a more durable and long-lasting product.

Need help figuring out what type of awning would work best for your space?

We would love to help! Contact us today for a free consultation and we’ll get started on elevating your outdoor space.