What is a Retractable Awning & Why Should I Want One?

A retractable awning offers the ultimate in versatility. In Laymen’s terms, a retractable awning is an adjustable extension that offers the user the comfort and shade of a roof with even more ease and convenience than a window. Having dinner guests on your patio? Don’t let that light drizzle ruin the evening. Want to enjoy a beautiful summer day without the sunburn? A retractable awning is the solution. A retractable awning allows homeowners and their guests to enjoy their patio safely and comfortably without building a permanent structure.

Outside, the awning provides shade from the glare and damaging radiation of direct sunlight. Inside, it prevents unwanted heat that enters the home through your windows.

How do I operate the awning?
The most popular system is the manual operated awning that uses a simple removable hand crank, but some homeowners elect to install a tubular motor. The motorization of an awning provides the additional option of a sun and wind sensor that automatically operates the awning. A sensor enables the awning to detect sunlight and open to the desired position without any effort from the homeowner. The sun goes down and the awning automatically retracts safely.

Most retractable awnings also have impressive longevity. You can expect the most common acrylic fabrics to last 10 to 12 years depending on use and exposure. Installation under an eve or installing a hood and end caps with the awning will extend the life of the fabric. Additionally, you can elect to just change the fabric, rather than the mechanical pieces of the awning. The cost of replacing fabric is roughly 1/3 of the cost of a full awning replacement.

The awnings are virtually maintenance free. If you live inland, simply wash the frame and fabric once per year with mild soap and water. In salt-water areas we suggest rinsing the frame and cover monthly. Bird droppings should be cleaned from the fabric immediately.

How much wind and rain can the retractable awning withstand?
Retractable awnings are for protection from the sun and engineered for winds 15 to 25 mph (depending on the size of the awning). It is generally recommend that the awning be retracted if you would be uncomfortable sitting under it. In other words, if it is too windy for you to comfortably sit under the awning, then it is uncomfortable for the awning as well, and it should be retracted. Wind damage is not covered under the warrantee.

Light rain will not be much of a problem if the fabric is taught enough for the water to simply run off. However, the awning is a sunshade and should not be expected to protect from heavy rain or snow. Consider a motorized option with a sun and wind sensor to automatically extend and retract the awning as needed.
If the awning is installed with the minimum recommended angle of pitch, it is safe to use in light to moderate rain. However, it should never be left in the rain unattended, as heavy rain could cause water to pool on the fabric and possibly damage the frame and the fabric.

Is installation difficult or damaging to the structure of my home?
There will be some holes from the bolts used to secure the mounting brackets, but there should not be any substantial modification needed on a common type home wall.

How long does it take to order and install my awning?
We custom manufacture all of our retractable awnings to fit the exact size you need. Once you place the order, depending on the time of year you can expect a lead-time of roughly two to four weeks. The installation itself will only take a few hours.

Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions about our selection of awnings or other products!

Liberty Awnings & Shades
450 E. Watkins Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 956-1642 voice
(602) 956-1651 fax