A Comprehensive Look at Retractable Awnings
retractable awnings

Are you looking to make the most of your areas outside with retractable awnings while adding comfort? Maybe you’re just curious about motorized awnings and what they are. This comprehensive explainer will tell you everything you need to know.

There are several things you need to consider when exploring if retractable awnings are suitable for your property, including:

  1. Are the fabric and frame durable and long-lasting?
  2. Is the canopy sized correctly for the area you’re hoping to cover?
  3. Will you need a motorized awning for maximum convenience?


In this blog, we will help you answer all of those questions and more about window awnings, deck awnings, and patio shade for your outdoor living space. So, let’s get started!


Retractable Awnings


A retractable awning is a type of sunshade that can be extended and retracted at the touch of a button or switch. They’re perfect for properties with outdoor living spaces, as they provide shade and protection from the elements, making them more comfortable to use.

There are two main types of retractable awnings: manual and motorized:

  1. Manual – A manual awning must be extended and retracted by hand. They’re usually less expensive than motorized retractables, but they can be more challenging to use.
  2. Motorized – Motorized retractable awnings are operated by a motor, making them much easier to retract and extend. They’re more expensive than manual retractables, but many people find them worth the extra cost for the added convenience.

Motorized systems like motorized awnings and a retractable patio shade can be controlled by a switch, remote control, smartphone app, Apple Homekit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and other smart home devices. This automation gives you the maximum flexibility in how and when you use your awning through programmable scheduling, timers, mobile operation when off property.

Frame & Hardware

The frame and hardware of your retractable window awnings are essential factors to consider when purchasing one. Ensure that the frame is made from a durable material, like aluminum, and that the hardware is high quality and will last. When fully extended, the frame and wall mounted hardware should be strong enough to support the full awning’s projection weight and protect any people or objects underneath.

Type of Fabric

The fabric of your retractable awning is also important to consider. Treaty Oak Shade Company in Austin, TX, offers plenty of colors, styles, and fabric designs to fit the look and theme of your home’s exterior, including acrylic fabric, vinyl, cotton, polyester, and canvas. Ensure that the material is UV-resistant and will not fade in the sun. It’s also helpful to choose a waterproof fabric in case of rain.


Retractable awnings can be installed on most properties, including homes, businesses, and schools. The installation process usually takes just a few hours and can be done by a professional or homeowner. However, with the torque, weight, motorized options, electrical wiring, and the safety of the home’s exterior, we highly recommend using a professional installer.


Retractable awnings vary in price, depending on the shelter’s size, type, and features. Manual retractables are usually less expensive than motorized retractables, and retractable awnings with more features will be more costly than those with fewer.

That being said, retractable awnings and a retractable patio shade are a cost-effective way to provide ample shade and protection from the sun and rain, and you can often finance them through a home equity line of credit.


Retractable awnings are perfect for properties with outdoor living spaces, like patios, decks, and gardens. They’re also great for businesses that want to provide a shady oasis for their customers and schools that offer a comfortable outdoor learning environment.


Benefits of Retractable Awnings for Outdoor Living


There are many benefits to retractable awnings, including:

  • Create shade
  • Protection from UV-rays
  • Protection from light rain and light wind
  • Comfort while outside
  • Added privacy

A retractable awning can help you make the most of your outdoor space, whether it’s for relaxing in the sun or sheltering from the rain. They’re a great way to add comfort and privacy to your home or business.

Longevity & Durability

Compared to a fabric, stationary awning, commonly used for homes and commercial establishments, it has better longevity. That’s because retractable awning fabric, from the name itself, can be rolled up to better protect against thinning and fading. Frame-wise, it has to be able to support the fabric’s weight.

Custom Installation Options

Window awnings and retractables can be attached to a soffit, roof, or wall; depending on the home’s exterior. Installation on different structures like a condo, a single-story home, an older home with eaves, and even the likes of vinyl or brick will vary.

Outdoor Living Function & Comfort

The shade can serve as protection so you can sit outside, whether it’s rainy or the sun is out. On mainly sunny days, the awning can be closed with no difficulty for full enjoyment of the sun. The temperature under retractable awnings can drop by up to 20 percent less. If the canopy happens to cover a sliding glass door or windows, the temperature indoors will be reduced as well by 15 percent.

Style, Design, and Home Value

Retractable awnings have become such an iconic symbol of Americana homes. Retractable awnings boost livable outdoor space, help with curb appeal, and increase the property’s overall value. You can choose from various colors, stripes, and patterns to make it as unique as you are.


Where Are Retractable Awnings Usually Installed?


Retractable awnings are commonly seen in patios, decks, balconies, and even around pools. They’re so popular because you can use them to provide more comfort and shade in any of these areas.

A retractable awning can be placed wherever there’s a mounting area on a structure that’s permanent and sturdy. Less industrial-looking retractable awnings of a smaller scale go well with windows and doors. In contrast, retractable awnings that are larger and more permanent are great for patios and decks.

Business Applications

Restaurants, cafes, and bars can use retractable awnings for their outdoor seating areas to shield customers from the sun or rain. Businesses also use them over a deck, patio, window opening, and entrances for aesthetics and function. The awnings are great for commercial properties as well.

Motor Homes & RVs

There are retractable awnings explicitly made for motor homes and RVs. These awnings usually have a built-in roller system that retracts the fabric into a protective casing when not in use.


Here’s What You Should Consider When Looking into a Retractable Awning

Motorized retractable awnings have become popular because they offer convenience and easy operation. With a touch of a button, the shelter can be opened, closed, or stopped in any position. They are perfect for homes or businesses with multiple or large windows and door openings. 

With nearly unlimited options and customizations, here are several considerations that will help you choose the perfect retractable awning for your home or business:

  • Color – This is a fun one! Awning colors are seemingly endless, and you should take your home’s exterior into account when picking out a color. You might want to match the trim or roof so it all pops.
  • Fabric – Not all materials are made equal, and some come with a warranty. Ensure how long the contract is, what the fabric is made of, and if it’s fade-resistant.
  • Installation – Who will be installing the awning? This is a professional job, and it’s not one you want to take on yourself if you’re not experienced.
  • Operation (Manual or Motorized?) – If you’re not particularly strong, or if you have a disability that doesn’t allow for much manual labor, then you’ll want to go for a motorized retractable awning.
  • Size & Extension – How long should the awning be? This will depend on the size of the area it needs to cover.
  • Warranties – Most retractable awning companies offer a warranty, but it’s important to know what is and isn’t covered.

So there you have it! Everything you need to know about retractable awnings before you make your purchase. They are the perfect solution for shading your home or business in style.

Are Retractable Awnings Right For You?

Retractable awnings are an excellent choice for any home or establishment for many reasons. For one, they have better longevity than standard fabric awnings. They also provide shade that’s helpful in sunny or rainy conditions. Operations can be either manual or motorized. Consider factors such as fabric, color, warranties, and guarantees when looking into retractable awnings for your home.

Need to get retractable awnings in Austin? Reach out to Treaty Oak Shade today! We’re a custom outdoor shades company offering durable, functional, and elegant exterior shades and products.

Contact Us & Discover How We Can Help You Today!

(512) 939-3446

15218 Nightingale Ln

Austin, TX 78734

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Treaty Oak Shade Company build longterm relationships with our team members, clients and suppliers by working directly with builders, architects and interior designers to achieve the best outcome.

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(512) 939-3446

15218 Nightingale Ln,

Austin, TX 78734

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