Retractable Electric & Motorized Awnings FAQ
RetractableAwnings.com® is an international supplier (manufacturer/distributor) and installer of electric and motorized retractable awnings and canopies. At RetractableAwnings.com®, we have many residential and commercial products assembled from the finest quality 100% European certified components, fabric, and sewing thread. Installing a retractable roof, retractable, or rotating louver roof ensures you have the strength and control to effortlessly adjust your canopy or awning for the perfect shade and/or rain and/or snow coverage and to protect the area from weather damage.
Scroll down to learn more about and read our FAQs about manual, electric, and motorized retractable awnings, retractable pergolas, and other retractable products.
1. What types of electric and motorized retractable awnings are available?
Motorized or electric awnings make up nearly 100% of our product line, the only exception being the Torino model. That being said, most product types and models are available in either motorized/electric or manual operation. If motorized/electric, most are available with backup manual override in case of loss of electricity in the area. Product types available are:
All of our retractable awnings, retractable roof pergolas, and retractable louver roof pergolas can be stopped at any point when extending or retracting using our remote, optional indoor or outdoor wall switch, and optional iOS or Android app.
Your folding lateral arm retractable motorized awning should be retracted for heavy rain and high wind, but can otherwise be used year-round. If you live in a climate with regular heavy rain or snowfall, we recommend one of our motorized retractable pergolas, or bioclimatic louver roof which is designed for these types of weather.
Motorized and electric awnings can be either waterproof or water-resistant (water-repellent). Folding lateral arm motorized awnings are water-resistant (water-repellent). Most of our motorized retractable electric patio and deck pergolas and our motorized bioclimatic louver roofs are waterproof.
Water-resistant means the awning is able to resist the penetration of water to some degree but not entirely. Waterproof means it is impervious to water.
An anemometer-type wind sensor or front bar motion sensor can be attached to our motorized and electric awnings so that your awning or retractable patio/deck pergola will automatically be retracted if the sensor records a speed above the threshold you have set. Generally, we recommend this threshold be anywhere between 15 - 20 mph, for folding lateral arm awnings and 30 - 35 mph for retractable patio/deck pergolas, but you can always change this in the future based on local wind conditions.
The wind sensor (also called an anemometer) and the motion sensor are both small devices you mount adjacent to or on your folding lateral arm awning or retractable patio/deck pergola, which will automatically close your awning when they detect the wind speed has reached or surpassed your chosen threshold. For either device, the threshold can be changed at any time, depending on the conditions your awning or retractable patio/deck pergola is regularly exposed to.
The main difference between these two devices is that the anemometer-type wind sensor is mounted to the side of your folding lateral arm awning or retractable patio/deck pergola and is wired, meaning it needs to be plugged into an outlet. The motion sensor is mounted to the front bar of your folding lateral arm awning and is wireless and battery-powered. It detects wind (based on how much the front bar moves) from all directions, whereas the anemometer-type wind sensor only detects wind at whichever side of the awning it is mounted. The motion sensor is not available to be used on a retractable patio/deck pergola since there is no moving front bar.
Yes, you can install all our folding lateral arm, motorized and electric retractable awnings to almost any substrate including vinyl or aluminum siding, stucco, and even any kind of masonry (such as brick, concrete, concrete block, granite, travertine, and glass) and to the side or roof of an RV or mobile home. Retractable patio/deck pergola covers can only be mounted to a house, commercial building, or pergola and cannot be mounted to an RV or movable mobile home. The type of surface your awning or patio cover will be installed on will determine which kind/type and size of fastener you need. Retractableawnings.com® does not provide any fasteners for installation since this decision is made on-site by the homeowner or contractor or awning installation professional based on the substrate to which the product is being installed.
Most of our customers install our products themselves if they are skillful with their hands. For those that are not skilled in-home projects, or don’t have the time to install, Retractableawnings.com® provides a worldwide database of professional awning installers at https://www.awninginstallers.com/
9. Can my electric awning fabric be replaced?
Yes, the fabric on any and all of our products can be replaced when and if needed. Retractableawnings.com® has every order on file since its inception, so it is as easy as making a phone call, sending a quick email, or using our live help to request a quote. Generally, the fabric cost is approximately ⅓ of the cost of the original electric awning purchase.
A Somfy or Simu (owned by Somfy) tubular motor for a folding arm awning or retractable patio pergola generally costs $300-$900 depending on the size and torque needed to operate. The larger the product, the more difficult it is to operate without a motor. Some sizes cannot be manually operated and must be motorized.
11. Does the base price of all retractable awning models - Palermo, Palermo Plus, Roma, and Venezia - include a hand crank?
The base price of our retractable awning (all models) includes a detachable crank if a MANUAL awning is ordered. If a MOTORIZED awning is ordered then it does not include a crank since it is not needed. What you see in the configurator or our online price list for $149 is not the cost of the crank. It is the cost of the upgraded manual override motor that allows a customer to close the awning in case of loss of electricity in your home or neighborhood. Almost all RetractableAwnings.com customers buy the manual override motor to prevent damage, from a storm, to the retractable awning since it cannot be closed without a manual override motor. Whether or not you purchase the manual override the retractable awning will ship with one detachable crank that is used for both the manual override and the pitch adjustment (Palermo Plus model only).