Retractable Awnings: Should You Choose Motorised or Manual Awnings?

23 September 2020
 Categories: Home & Garden, Blog


There are two types of retractable awnings: Motorised and manual. The motorised ones have an automated mechanism that allows you to open and retract the awning using a remotely controlled device. On the other hand, manual ones are operated by hand. Both have excellent performance when it comes to shielding a part of your home from the elements. However, they vary in a lot of ways. Thus, as you make a purchase, use the following factors to determine the best choice for your home.

Purchase and Installation Costs

Motorised retractable awnings tend to cost more than their manual counterparts. This is usually due to the complex automation mechanism in the motorised options. Additionally, they also cost a little more to install. You may need to install sensors and a controlling device, and this increases the cost of installation. Luckily, the difference in price usually ranges between a few hundred dollars. However, if the cost is a constraint, you may opt for a manual retractable awning.

Convenience and Ease of Use

Before buying an awning, think about how easy it will be to operate for you and the members of your household. Do you have elderly or disabled loved ones in your home? If so, they may not be able to operate a manual awning. However, they can use a remote or press on a switch to operate it. On the other hand, if the members of your household are capable of turning a crank or handle to open the awning, you can choose the manual one. However, it's worth noting that a motorised awning is more convenient and easier to use than the manual one.


Awnings are designed to create shading and protect you from the elements. You can use one on your patio or above a window that gets a lot of solar radiation during the day. Whichever the case, you need a functional awning. Motorised awnings do more than provide shading. Some come with sensors that can detect solar radiation and open automatically. This means you don't have to be there to open them during the day. As a result, they can reduce energy costs in your home by reducing solar gain. For this reason, they tend to be more functional and versatile than manual ones.

Maintenance Costs

Manual awnings are low-maintenance. Since they don't have automated functions, you don't have to worry about mechanical issues down the road. On the other hand, motorised retractable awnings may develop problems such as worn electric parts, faulty motor and many more. Additionally, they only work when there's power. Therefore, if there is a power outage in your home, the awning won't open or close. However, some come with manual levers for use during such situations.

Motorised awnings have more to offer than manual ones. Whichever you choose, hire an expert for professional installations.

To learn more about awnings, reach out to a local home and garden store.