What You Should Look For in a Retractable Awning

Heat from the sun during the summer months can make it uncomfortable to spend time outdoors. At times, it can even be unbearable to sit near a west-facing window in the afternoon because of the piercing light and heavy heat. You may be finding yourself researching some options to create more shade. That’s what we’re here to help you figure out.

A simple and effective way to create more shade in and around your home is by installing a retractable awning above target areas that let in too much heat, like your patio or windows. If you’ve been wondering, “Should I get a retractable awning?” you may also be unsure what to look for in a retractable awning and whether it is worth the cost. Take it from the experts: The small luxury of a retractable outdoor awning will be one of the best additions you will ever make to your home, and here is why.

Benefits of Investing in a Retractable Awning

Creating a more comfortable space outdoors is only one of the benefits of a retractable awning. If increasing your overall comfort is not reason enough, a retractable awning can also minimize the risks of sunburn, save you money and protect the investments you have already made to your home’s exterior by shielding it from damaging UV rays. Additionally, an awning adds a classy splash of decor to the exterior of your home, creating a fun and relaxing outdoor aesthetic. 

1. Providing Comfort and Safety With Your Awning

Description of How Much Coverage Awnings Can Add

Creating shade wherever possible is a great way to ensure fun relaxation in your yard or on your patio. Shade can keep the family and guests from dealing with the damaging effects of the sun. You don’t want aggressive sunlight to be a reason not to enjoy a cookout on your deck or an outdoor birthday party for your little ones. If you have invested time and care into your lawn and outdoor activities, it is important you can enjoy them without worrying about dangerous UV rays. Awnings can cover both large and small areas, projecting anywhere from 4′ 11″ to 16′ 5″ from your house to provide valuable shade. Covering these spaces will also slightly increase your level of privacy, creating a patterned barrier between you and potential upstairs onlookers. An awning makes your outdoor living area a haven for your family, friends and guests to enjoy themselves while staying protected from a variety of concerns. 

2. Saving Money Every Day With Your Awning

Consider again the amount of heat that creeps into your home through west-facing windows on sunny afternoons. Not only can the light and heat make it uncomfortable to sit by these windows, but it can also rack up the unnecessary air conditioning expenses of cooling your home back down. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an awning that provides shade over certain windows can reduce up to 77 percent of solar heat gain inside your home. Installing a simple shade is an automatic, effortless way to lower your electric bill. Imagine the difference these substantial savings could make month after month! This is why investing in good, efficient protection is critical for both your home and your bank account.  

Retractable Awnings can Reduce up to 77 Percent of Solar Heat Gain in Your Home

3. Beautifying the Outdoors With Your Awning

A retractable awning can do two things for the visual appeal of your deck or patio. First, it adds some color and comfort to enhance the appearance of your outdoor living area. At Garrety Glass, not only do we receive countless testimonials from customers thrilled with their outdoor space’s new look, but we have been able to fill an entire gallery with the beauty and charm our shades create day after day. With hundreds of fabric varieties and various frame colors, which we address more below, you can create the exact look for your home’s exterior you have always dreamed of.

Secondly, a retractable awning protects your outdoor furnishings from fading in the sunlight. Over time, this valuable perk will keep your patio looking fresh. Along those lines, providing some protection from the sun will also have financial benefits. Because it reduces the chances you will need to replace chairs or tables — or even renovate the deck itself — due to them being worn down by sun damage, you will find yourself saving money in the long run.

Different Types of Awnings Available

When shopping around, you will find the different types of retractable awnings come down to three factors: quality, style and whether it is manual or motorized. While you don’t need to shop the highest-end product to get a good-quality awning, there are a few characteristics that set reliable products apart from cheap ones. Paying attention to these will save you money and effort in the long run.

The Best Quality for Your Retractable Awning

As with any improvement to your home, we understand you want to make the best decision to protect your investment. If you shop around, you’ll see a wide range of retractable awning costs, so how can you know without a doubt what price and quality to shoot for? At Garrety Glass, with our 20 years of experience, we pride ourselves on offering the best service and products to protect both your home and your budget. That’s why we offer fair pricing on only the best-quality awnings, but we also hope to provide accurate information to help you make these kinds of decisions.

So what does the quality we take pride in look like? It starts off with reliable materials that include: 

  • Stainless steel frames for high durability and low maintenance
  • 100 percent solution-dyed acrylic fabric that is protected against mildew, rot and fading
  • Teflon®-coated bushings for smooth and quiet raising and lowering
  • Chemically resistant threads for seams that will last a lifetime
  • Aluminum powder-coated finishes

Among other features offered by our manufacturer, these materials and the way they are crafted will ensure your favorite awning is protection built to last. Not only that, but our Betterliving awnings are backed by some of the best warranties in the industry. Nothing says quality you can trust like a 12-year guarantee on fabrics

The Best Style to Suit Your Needs

In addition to quality, we want to create a product that is visually and stylistically a match for your home. We make it easy to customize the best possible design to fit your space and preferences with thousands of combinations of the following elements.

1. Model — Depending on the size of the area you want to be covered and the amount of space available for mounting the awning, there are three models to choose from: 

  • The Betterliving Awning for standard coverage. This model provides coverage for typical sizes and offers the most customizability.  
  • The Narrow-Fit Awning. Some areas require a narrower fit, so this model is specifically designed to provide coverage for snug spaces. 
  • The Extra-Long Projection Awning for the farthest reach. This model comes with telescoping legs that give added support to cover the largest areas.

Each of these three models also has various frame, support and accessory options for you to select from. Overall, the quality of these is the same. Their main variation comes down to the size of the area you want to cover.

2. Frame color — The frames are available in three different neutral shades, depending on the aesthetic of your home exterior: white, sandstone and earthstone. 

3. Fabric color and pattern — With our Betterliving retractable awnings, there are hundreds of colors and corresponding patterns to choose from to best suit your needs.

There are Hundreds of Colors and Patterns of Retractable Awning to Choose From

Of course, the different colors will not have any effect on the durability or longevity of your retractable awning. However, as a company that values the satisfaction of our customers above all else, we want your awning to fit your personality and the environment of your home, and we provide the service you deserve to make that a reality.

The Best Type of Retraction to Fit Your Preferences

There are two types of retraction for awnings: manual retraction and motorized retraction. While in essence, the functionality of these two types is the same, manually retractable awnings are far simpler and offer fewer overall benefits than motorized retractable awnings.

The Simplicity of Manual Retractable Awnings

Manually retractable awnings have the basic function of creating shade when and how you decide to. When in use, they offer the same protection from UV rays and heat as motorized awnings. While you have to hand-crank it, a manual awning is typically lower in price than a motorized product. You also save yourself the time and energy of performing regular maintenance on a motor. However, manual retractable awnings lack the ability to perform certain tasks that make having an awning much more pleasant and effective. Therefore, we recommend you look into the special features a motorized awning can offer before making your final decision.

Special Features of Motorized Retractable Awnings

Motorized retractable awnings offer the style and comfort you have been looking for, while also minimizing the amount of effort you will need to take to get the most out of your new shade-creator. One of these features is the ability to lower the shade easily at your convenience, even from inside the house. Imagine it is late afternoon, and the setting sun is causing heat and bright light to come in through your sliding glass door. As long as you’re within range, with a motorized awning, you can grab your remote control and lower the awning to immediately start shading the warm side of the house.

Not only is the level of convenience higher with the motorized awning, but an array of accessories is at your disposal to make the device even more effective than perhaps a manual awning would be. This is because these accessories allow the device to function both when you are actively thinking about it and when you are busy doing something else.

Some of these accessories include the following.

Using a Rain Sensor Allows Your Awning to Retract Automatically when it Detects Rain
  • Rain and sun sensors — Sometimes, the weather can change without us being aware of it. High rains can blow in without warning and damage an awning left open by mistake. Retractable awnings are designed to withstand and shelter from the sun, but they are ill-equipped to handle pooling rainwater. Fortunately, you can choose to install a sensor in your motorized awning to allow it to take notice of changes in the weather and retract should the clouds roll in. Similarly, you can program a sensor on your motorized awning to jump into gear the moment that afternoon sun hits. When the sensor realizes the sun is out, your awning will lower automatically until the sun sets again. These sensors will allow you to go about your day without having to worry about lowering your device manually, and they keep the temperature of your home at bay and your electric bill low. Sensors also allow you to set seasonal preferences, and they operate on solar-powered energy. They do all the work on their own, so you don’t have to.
  • Wind sensors — High winds can also cause damage to an awning that is left open, but you can easily prevent such harm with a small wind sensor installed at the front bar of your awning. Similar to the rain and sun sensors, this small device will tell your awning to retract when winds begin to pick up.
  • MyLink app for smartphones and tablets: We mentioned the ability to operate your awning from a remote control, but did you know there’s an app for that, too? MyLink can connect your motorized Betterliving awning to your smartphone or tablet, enabling you to control your awnings with the push of a button and to schedule exact times for lowering and retracting. Additionally, you can use the app even when you are away from home to help control the shade around your house. This way, you can enjoy your time away without worrying about your awnings.

These are just a few of the numerous useful accessories you can opt to add to your motorized awning. Some features may only be available with certain models, and some options incur additional cost. For more information, please contact us directly, and we will help you determine if these accessories are a good fit for your awning.

Your Next Steps

If a more energy-efficient home, protection from dangerous UV rays and convenient operation at your fingertips sound like valuable changes you want to make to your outdoor space, Garrety Glass may be able to help you get started. We offer only the best retractable awning installation and service. Feel free to check out our customer testimonials, and we would even be glad to put you in touch with someone who has benefited from our products. 

However, if you still find yourself unsure and wondering what to look for in a retractable awning, give us a shout, and you can get a free consultation and estimate for your space before making any decisions. 

Contact us to get the information and assistance you need to make the best purchase for your home. Don’t wait to create the energy savings and comfort you deserve.