How to Choose Retractable Awnings


Awnings are sufficient at providing shade on your porch or deck. They also help reduce your heat bill in the summer by limiting the sun's contact with the exterior of your home. Retractable awnings take the convenience one step further. Rather than always providing shade, these awnings retract so you can vary the level of sun that shines on your home and deck. You also have the choice between a motorized awning and a manual version that you extend yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Measure the length and width of the area where you would like to install the awning. Retractable awnings typically mount on the exterior of a home approximately 6 to 7 feet high off the deck or porch. They also extend out at least 10 feet, depending on the brand and model. Choose a retractable awning whose width can fit on the side of your house. Ensure that it has enough space to extend to its full length.

  • Examine the exterior wall of the house where the awning will be attached. Keep exterior objects in mind, as the awning cannot be mounted where there are windows, pipes, chimneys, wires or other structures in the way of the mounting hardware.

  • Evaluate your needs when choosing between a manual and motorized retractable awning. If you plan to retract it on a daily basis, consider a motorized awning. This is especially imnportant if you are getting a large awning that is heavy and laborious to extend often using a hand crank.

  • Buy a retractable awning that comes with a remote control if you choose to use a motorized model. The remote can be used away from the awning so you can retract it from the comfort of your home or from the other side or your backyard. This feature will be well appreciated when a heavy wind and rain storm approaches and you can retract the awning while remaining indoors.

  • Study user reviews of the retractable awning models you are considering purchasing. Some motorized awnings have inexpensive motors that don't hold up well under repeated use. Manual awnings sometimes feature awning materials that rip easily when retracted often. Reading reviews will alert you to bad models. Purchase a retractable awning that has gotten many positive reviews.

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