Fixed Awnings Vs Retractable Awnings – Which One To Choose?


Fixed Awnings Vs Retractable Awnings - Which One To Choose

Whether you are a business owner, a designer, an architect, a developer, or a homeowner planning on designing your outdoor area, what you need is an amazing awning system that will make your area look awesome. Enhancing outdoor spaces has never been easier. Awnings provide you with a stylish yet functional product that will have you wanting more.

From sun, heat, and glare protection to protection against other weather conditions, these awnings are sure to enhance your space and allow you to enjoy your time outdoors no matter the weather. Awnings can transform and upgrade your outdoor sitting area where you can host outdoor parties if you are homeowners or welcome customers if you are a business owner. Awnings are sure to benefit everyone.

The question that arises here is, which type of awning to choose—fixed or retractable? But once you do some research, you will come to know that a retractable awning system in its various forms is the one you need. In this article, you can see for yourself as we have brought together the comparison between fixed and retractable awnings. So read below to find out more about the differences between fixed and retractable awnings.

1. Frames

Fixed Awnings

Most commonly fixed awnings are usually created from steel tubing, which is prone to rust and will corrode within 2 to 3 years at most.

Retractable Awnings

The frames are made from a stronger and rust-free material because retractable awnings require constant extension and retraction, so they need to be robust enough to withstand wear and tear.

These also come with a long warranty period.

2. Fabric

Fixed Awnings

  • They are usually installed with canvas or vinyl materials
  • These materials will fade, rot within a lifespan of 2 to 5 years.

Retractable Awnings

  • They are made with acrylic material that has resistance against fading and rotting and comes with a warranty of 10 to 15 years.
  • They can be retracted when the awning is not being used
  • Aluminum panels also last more than 15 years.

3. Light

Fixed Awnings

  • The area over which a fixed awning is installed will remain dark without the installation of some lighting. It will be specifically much darker on cloudy and stormy days.

Retractable Awnings

  • With retractable awnings Columbus, you can easily control the amount of light that enters your area by retracting the awning on a cloudy and stormy day.

4. Angle

Fixed Awnings

Fixed awnings provide a permanent shelter. The angle of coverage cannot be adjusted in fixed awnings.

Retractable Awnings

In lateral arm retractable systems, you can adjust the angle of coverage and shelter depending upon where the sun is.

You can also adjust the angle to allow visibility of outside from indoors.

5. Open and closed partially or fully.

Fixed Awnings

Fixed awnings are fully open the way they were when installed. They cannot be retracted to close them. They are permanently open.

Retractable Awnings

While retractable awning systems offer lateral folding panels and patio cover awnings that can be open and closed partially if you want.

Rotating panel awning systems can be fully opened and closed and also tilted.

6. Amount of space taken up

Fixed Awnings

Fixed awnings are always extended because they are stationary and fixed structures that are always extended and cannot be retracted. So they take up the space that they cover.

Retractable Awnings

These awning systems can be easily retracted when not in use, and they fold and are stored in the cassette or just fold against the building. They are discreet when folded.

7. Transfer and storage

Fixed Awnings

It is difficult to move, transfer and install fixed awning because of their large and bulky structure.

Retractable Awnings

On the other hand, retractable awnings are smaller than fixed awnings and less bulky; this makes them easier to move and transfer.

8. Sun Heat

Fixed Awnings

Even though fixed awnings help in summers, they cannot be retracted on colder days when heat and warmth from the sun are needed to warm up the building. Thus fixed awning can contribute to higher energy costs.

Retractable Awnings

However, with a retractable awning, you can enjoy both seasons easily.

In summers, you can keep your awning extended to get shade and protection from sun heat and glare.

And in winters, you can keep your awning retracted to allow the warmth from the sun to reach you and your building. This can save you on heater bills.

9. Exposure to UV rays

Fixed Awnings

Due to the exposure of UV rays and other elements to the cover, they have a much shorter lifespan as compared to the covers of the retractable awnings, which can be retracted when needed.

Retractable Awnings

Retractable awnings are kept retracted when not being used, so they are less exposed to the UV rays, and thus their cover has a longer lifespan.

10. Weather conditions

Fixed Awnings

Since fixed awnings are a permanent type of awnings, they cannot be removed when harsh weather conditions start. It is impracticable as well as expensive to do so.

This is why their covers and frames get damaged due to hail, snowstorms, hurricanes, high winds, and heavy rainfall.

Retractable Awnings

Retractable awnings can be easily retracted in case of extreme weather conditions.

Motorized retractable awnings come with sensors for wind, rain, sun, so they automatically retract and extend when sense change in weather. Moreover, control through smartphone apps makes it much easier to control.

Some awnings are even made to withstand winds, rainfall, and snow.

In a Nutshell

If you are looking to enhance your outdoor sitting area, then awning is the product you need. They will upgrade the look and create an ambiance that is welcoming and inviting. So, all these comparisons point towards the immense benefits of retractable awnings over fixed awnings. If you are planning to improve your outdoor area, then retractable awnings are the ones you should get. With enhanced protection and durability, these offer ease of operation and ease of use as well.


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