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The lateral arm awning is one of the most timeless designs in architecture. It is the perfect blend of simplicity and functionality. Retractable lateral arm awnings add some complexity (and additional usefulness and longevity), but the underlying simplicity is still there.
The lateral arm awning models offered through RetractableAwnings.com are distinguished by the quality in their details. There are several key areas to compare our models:
Frame designs and options
Movement / Motorization
Common features for all lateral arm retractable awning models
Size, smallest to largest
Certifications and testing
To see the entire comparison scroll left to right and top to bottom
|Size notes||The largest lateral arm awning available from RetractableAwnings.com, in width.||The largest lateral arm awnings available from RetractableAwnings.com, both in width and extension.||Longer projection than the Venezia.|
|Sizing / measuring||1/8 inch increments for precise dimensions||1/8 inch increments for precise dimensions||1/8 inch increments for precise dimensions||1/8 inch increments for precise dimensions|
|Origin||Europe (Italy)||Europe (Italy)||Europe (Italy)||Europe (Italy)|
|Valance||Optional, any design||Optional, any design||Not available||Optional, any design|
|Cassette / hood||
|Motor and sensors||Yes||Yes||Yes; torque-sensing motor recommended||Yes|
|Adjustable pitch||60 degrees||70 degrees||40 degrees||45 degrees|
|Interesting notes||An optional arm lowering kit which allows the Palermo to project outward longer than the width of the awning. This creates an oversized awning space.||
Fully-enclosed case (full cassette) which surrounds the fabric roller and seals it off when retracted.
Every lateral arm awning has four major components: a back bar which is installed in place; the the front bar; the folding arms; and the roller tube. The way that these are configured creates different profiles and movements for each awning model, even if the parts are the same.
|Palermo and Palermo Plus||The roller tube is slightly in front of the back bar, creating an elongated and slightly angled profile. This is enclosed with an end cap.|
|Venezia||This combines the back bar and roller tube. The front bar is wide and forms a cap; when closed, it entirely encloses the fabric and frame. The Venezia has a circle profile when fully closed.|
|Roma||This sets the roller tube directly on top of the back brace, creating a half-moon profile. This profile is enclosed with an endcap.|
There are two different styles of lateral arm awnings: a semi-cassette and a full cassette. A cassette is a case that surrounds the roller tube to provide protection when the awning is retracted. A semi-cassette covers the top of the roller tube. A full cassette has another cap across the front bar, to completely enclose the awning when retracted. All of the RetractableAwnings.com lateral arm awnings are semi-cassette models, with the exception of the Venezia, which is full cassette.
|Palermo and Palermo Plus||Yes||
All RetractableAwnings.com lateral arm models are made of aluminum with powdercoating for durability and color quality. However, the different models are available in different colors.
The last critical aspect of the awning frame is its country of origin. RetractableAwnings.com uses components from a variety of different international manufacturers, each unique with its emphasis on design, quality, or options. RetractableAwnings.com sources almost all of its frames from European manufacturers (which emphasize design, sustainability, and quality).
|Palermo and Palermo Plus||
Each lateral arm retractable awning model allows a variety of different fabric choices.
|Model||Fabric Manufacturers||Total Number of Options|
|Palermo and Palermo Plus||
Movement / Motorization
All lateral arm retractable awning models can be extended or closed either manually or using a Somfy motor. Even when motorized, they have a manual override in case of a power outage.
In addition to the Somfy motors, all lateral arm awning models can have additional options to help automate the awning:
All of the retractable awning models have an adjustable pitch, meaning that the angle of the awning slope can be changed. The amount of change varies by awning model.
|Model||Degree of Pitch|
|Palermo Plus||70 degrees|
Common Features for All Lateral Arm Models
|3D rendering||RetractableAwnings.com has a unique 3D rendering tool, which allows you to select different frames, fabrics, and other options and create a conceptual image based on your photographs and specifications. The 3D rendering tool can create images of all five lateral arm awning models.|
|Roller tube||The roller tube is at the back of the lateral arm frame, and is what rolls and extends the fabric. All lateral arm models use Heavy duty 70mm or 78mm galvanized steel rollers. The size used depends on the size of the awning.|
The torsion bar (also called the square bar) is the back brace of the lateral arm awning frame, which is mounted against the structure. The torsion bar provides a counterbalance to the lateral arm awning as it extends. For strength, all torsion bars for lateral arm awnings have the same specifications:
All lateral arm awning models can be mounted in the same locations, with the appropriate hardware:
|Powder-coated aluminum frames||Powder-coating is more durable and rust-resistant than regular paint. Additionally, aluminum itself is rust resistant. All frames are powder-coated. The Palermo, Palermo Plus, Roma, and Venezia models use a patented powder-coating method called Qualicoat.|
|Tenara thread||The fabric for all lateral arm awning models is sewn using Tenara thread. Tenara is specially engineered to be UV resistant and to resist breaking or wear from UV radiation or weather. There is a lifetime warranty on the thread.|
Size, Smallest to Largest
|Model||Max Width||Width Increments for Sizing||Max Projection
|Venezia||39'4" / 1198.88cm||1/8 inch||13'6” / 411.48cm||
|Roma||39'4" / 1198.88cm||1/8 inch||16' / 487.68cm||
|Palermo||52'6" / 1,600.20cm||1/8 inch||11'10” / 360.68cm||
|Palermo Plus||52'6" / 1,600.20cm||1/8 inch||13'6” / 411.48cm||
Certifications and testing
All five lateral arm awning models are TUV certified. TUV is a European testing standard that specifies quality requirements for every step of manufacturing, from staffing and initial project planning to final product inspections.
The Venezia, Palermo, Palermo Plus, and Roma models are CE certified. CE (an abbreviation for Conformité Européenne) is a statement by the manufacturer that a product meets all applicable EU regulations. Each manufacturer must do a conformity assessment and technical file to ensure that they have evaluated and met all of those regulations. This mark is required to sell products for some countries within the EU.
Beaufort Wind Force Scale Rating
The Beaufort wind force scale is a way to measure the effect of wind on objects on land or at sea. This is an empirical measurement, based on observation. The full range goes from 0 (no wind) to 12 (hurricane force winds, over 73 mph / 118 km/h). The wind scale rating for retractable awning models means that the awning frames are designed and tested to withstand winds of those speeds.
|Model||Beaufort Rating||Wind Speeds|
|Palermo||5||18-24mph or 29-38km/hr|
|Palermo Plus||5||18-24mph or 29-38km/hr|
|Venezia||4||13-17mph or 20-28km/hr|
|Roma||3||8-12mph or 12-19km/hr|
Additionally, each lateral arm fabric manufacturer has its own certifications for quality and environmental safety, as well as specific treatments and finishes for performance. These are detailed on the Lateral Arm Awning Fabric Manufacturers Comparison page.