Sometimes, when you want sunlight to flood your rooms and outdoor sitting areas, an awning gets in the way. Other times, you need the awning’s shade and protection from the elements.

Did you know you can have it both ways?

Retractable awnings give you control over your comfort level. They protect you, your guests, and your furniture from harmful UV light when you need protection. Then, when you want a little extra sunshine, you can retract them.

The Benefits of Retractable Awnings

Retractable awnings wrap several big benefits into one package. These benefits include:

Reducing Heating and Cooling Costs

By reducing indoor sunlight, retractable awnings can reduce your home’s cooling costs in the summer. Then, in the cooler months, they can retract to let in more sunlight, reducing heating costs.

Convenience and Durability

Modern awnings extend and retract electronically which means you can operate them like any other electrical appliance. There’s no need to turn a crank or lock in a gear. Current models can sync with your smartphone, making them even easier to use, and it’s even possible for awnings to deploy and retract automatically depending on weather conditions.

Today’s retractable awnings also stand up to wind and rain better than their previous models. Plus, since you can retract an awning before a storm, the awning’s substructure won’t have to withstand high winds like a permanent awning would.

Protection for Furniture and Decor

Sunlight will eventually fade and crack even the most durable outdoor furniture. Retractable awnings can extend your furniture’s life. Indoor decor located near windows or doors can benefit, too.

Extending Outdoor Living Space

Most of us can sit in the sun for only so long. And our patience for mist and rain is even thinner. Even the nicest patio or deck will feel inhospitable unless the weather is perfect, and not every day will feature perfect weather.

By protecting decks and patios from the harvest elements, awnings can increase the amount of time we spend outdoors.

Are Retractable Awnings Worth the Investment?

Retractable awnings can be worth the investment. For starters, they can extend your outdoor living space without requiring a new construction project.

Compared to the cost of building a new structure — which would include a foundation, pillars, a roof, and lots of labor — a retractable awning does not cost very much. In this sense, retractable awnings provide a cost-efficient way to improve your home.

But, like many investments in your home, the return on your investment in retractable awnings will depend on how often you use the awnings. If you deploy but never retract your awnings, the money you spent — compared to the cost of a stationary awning — likely won’t be worthwhile.

What You Need to Know About Retractable Awnings

Homeowners shouldn’t order retractable awnings online or from a hardware store. These types of one-size-fits-all products won’t fit your home perfectly. Plus, these awnings don’t integrate into the design of your home.

The best retractable awnings will be custom-built specifically for your home. Custom-built retractable awnings will look seamless — both when deployed and when retracted. They’ll look like they’ve always been part of your home.

Of course, even the best awnings work only when installed properly. Professional installation will ensure the awning operates safely and efficiently.

RCI Doors™ offers free estimates on custom-built retractable awnings for your home or business. RCI also offers certified installation for commercial and residential awnings.

Pros and Cons of Investing in Retractable Awnings

Like any home improvement project, retractable awnings have pros and cons.

Flexibility: You really can have the best of both worlds — awnings when you need protection; no awnings when you want unfiltered sunlight.
Efficiency: Extending your outdoor living space with a retractable awning costs a lot less than building a structure with a foundation and roof supports.
Ease of Use: Push-button operation — or smartphone synchronization — makes today’s retractable awnings easier than ever to use.

Cost: While retractable awnings are drastically cheaper than a permanent structure, they cost more than a stationary awning — and they cost more than temporary solutions like large umbrellas.
Ongoing Maintenance: Retractable awnings rely on moving parts and sensors which need occasional maintenance. Over time, motors can fail, requiring service or replacement.

Frequently Asked Questions about Retractable Awnings

How Much Does It Cost to Purchase and Install a Retractable Awning?

Size and features affect the cost of a retractable awning. A motorized awning over a window will likely cost in the $500 to $750 range; an awning to cover an entire deck or patio could cost $3,000 to $4,000 or more.

Which Type of Material Would Be Best and Why?

RCI Doors™ recommends Sunbrella materials that offer durability and a wide variety of designs. Remember, your awning is only as good as its material. If you buy a discount product that fades or wears out within a few years, you could spend more in the long run.

How Much Maintenance Is Required for Owning a Retractable Awning?

When used as designed, retractable awnings should expand and retract for years without requiring service. However, scheduling annual maintenance can help extend the life of your awning and prevent future failures.

Why Should You Invest in a Retractable Awning?

Retractable awnings provide a lot in one package. They improve the function of a home while also enhancing its appearance. They also help create outdoor living spaces. Unlike temporary umbrellas, retractable awnings can increase the value of the home.

Where Is the Best Place to Buy One of These Awnings?

Retractable awning specialists like RCI Doors™ are best equipped to design and install retractable awnings that work seamlessly with your home. Unlike big-box stores, specialists customize awnings for your home.

Can Retractable Awnings Be Installed as Do-It-Yourself Projects or Are They Better Left to Professionals?

Retractable awnings should be installed by professionals who have experience designing and installing these home improvements. Improper installation could damage the awning and injure someone.

Discover the Value Behind Retractable Awnings

Retractable awnings make decks and patios more welcoming — even when the weather is less than perfect. They also cover windows and entryways on sunny days and automatically retract on cloudy days, lowering HVAC costs. Plus, retractable awnings can enhance the appearance and value of your home.

What other single home improvement project can enhance a home’s functionality, efficiency, value, and curb appeal simultaneously?

RCI Doors™ is a leading provider and installer of customized, modern retractable awnings. Contact us today for your free quote.

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