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Most houses and storefronts, from the early abode houses to modern designer buildings, make use of awnings to improve cooling, add aesthetics, and complete a house or building’s overall personality. A foldable awning creates more options for shading and canopy solutions.
Scroll down for our folding lateral arm retractable awning FAQs.
From $2,479 to $11,779
The Palermo Plus
From $2,592 to $13,207
From $6,984 to $15,459
From $6,120 to $15,594
If you need more information about our best folding arm awnings or if you need help in choosing what suits your needs, please visit our description section on the “choose your awning” page to order your awning online. You can also call (866) 438-2964 toll-free from within the US or Canada or (305) 628-2424 worldwide or use live help. We are eager to help you and we provide professional installation services for the convenience of our customers all over the world.
Important Note: The FAQ questions and answers below ONLY apply to folding lateral arm awnings from Retractableawnings.com and not to any other product type available on our website or folding lateral arm awnings from any other vendor.
Are all your folding lateral arm awnings motorized?
No. We offer manual operation with a detachable crank, motorized and motorized with backup manual override.
What is backup manual override?
The backup manual override is used to close the retractable awning in case of loss of electricity in your home, building or neighborhood. This will prevent damage to the awning as you can close the awning manually prior to a storm or high winds.
Can you partially extend a folding lateral arm awning?
Yes, our retractable lateral arm awnings can be stopped at any position when being extended or retracted and when operated manually or using a motor.
What is the difference between the Palermo and Palermo PLUS models?
Both models allow the ability to adjust the pitch/angle. On the Palermo, the pitch is adjusted manually with hand tools using a ladder and on the Palermo PLUS the pitch/angle is adjusted using a detachable crank when standing below the arm.
The Palermo PLUS models has bubble levels on the front bar to attain a perfectly level front bar and the Palermo does not.
The Palermo model can be manufactured with a projection greater than or equal to the width as shown in the first picture on the Palermo model web page. The Palermo PLUS cannot.
What type of fabric do you use on your lateral arm awnings?
Retractableawnings.com only uses brand name solution dyed acrylic fabrics (such as Para, Dickson and Sunbrella) due to the long lasting color of these fabrics. We do not use traditional tent type canvas, cotton, polyester or duck fabrics as these fabrics tend to mildew, rot and fade very fast. In addition, we don’t use vinyl because even though vinyl does provide shade, it absorbs the heat and does not breathe and thus it is very hot under the retractable awning.
What is solution dyed acrylic fabric and why is it important to use?
There are two different ways that fibers for fabric are colored, and each method produces fibers with different characteristics. One way to color fibers is to dip them in a vat of dye after they are extruded. This method is great for achieving bright colors, and allows manufacturers to create smaller quantities of dyed fibers. In this method, the dye penetrates just the outer surface of the fiber. Think of a radish: the interior is white, but the exterior is red. This is the same way a “piece-dyed” or “yarn-dyed” fiber is colored. Most fabrics and carpet fibers today are dyed in this way.
The other way to dye fibers is to add the dye to the liquid fiber solution before the fibers are extruded. This allows the color to be mixed into the solution thoroughly, bringing the color all the way through the fiber once it is extruded. In this instance, picture a carrot: unlike a radish, which has color only on the outside, a solution dyed fiber has color all the way through the fiber.
What difference does the dye method make? A lot, if you are looking for a colorfast retractable awning fabric with a 10 year warranty! Solution-dyed fibers are the most colorfast in the industry.
Do you heat seal or sew the fabric panels to make up the full width of the retractable awning?
Retractableawnings.com uses high speed pneumatic machines to sew all of our folding lateral arm awning fabrics using Gore Tenara thread – the absolute best in the world. Gore Tenara thread maintains its strength even after continued exposure to UV sunlight. UV resistance is built into each and every thread, and is not a coating or additive that can wear. In addition, Gore Tenara thread remains flexible and extremely strong in hot and cold extremes. The thread won’t absorb water and it resists acid rain, salt water, pollution, snow and freezing. Retractableawnings.com does not use any other type of sewing thread including polyester as polyester does not stand up to the elements especially UV rays. Based on our testing Retractableawnings.com does not use heat sealing due to the fact that with even low amounts of humidity the fabric separates at the seam. Seams sewn with Gore Tenara thread are guaranteed not to come apart for life.
Where is the motor located and does it add any additional width to the retractable awning?
The motor on all of our folding lateral arm awnings is located inside the roller tube that the fabric rolls around and therefore does not add any additional width to the retractable awning. The motor can either be on the left or right side of the awning – your choice.
What is the difference between the Palermo/Palermo Plus, Venezia and Roma models?
All models components are from Europe – the very best in the world and nothing from China - the very lowest quality in the world. The Palermo/Palermo Plus models frame tucks neatly under the hood/cover. The maximum projection on the Palermo is 11’10” and on the Palermo Plus is 13’2”. The Venezia model is fully enclosed so none of the hardware, roller tube or fabric is visible. The Venezia also has a sleek appearance and does not allow birds, squirrels, rodents etc. to nest under the hood since it is fully enclosed. The Venezia has a maximum projection of 13’2”. The Roma model is available with either a 14’3” or 16’0” projection (largest folding lateral arm awning in the world). For a more detailed side by side comparison of all models, click on or copy and paste the link below in to your browser address bar. You can make the pdf larger if using Adobe Acrobat by clicking on the + sign or Ctrl +:
Which folding lateral arm awning model is right for me?
That depends on your needs, what type of weather you plan to have the awning extended or partially extended in, where you would like to install the retractable awning, how you plan to use it, the size you need or want (the area you want to cover) and your budget.
Can I leave my folding lateral arm awning open in the wind and if so, how much wind?
The very best folding lateral arm awnings in the world like our Palermo/Palermo Plus model can handle +- 20-24mph or 29-38km/hr. (Beaufort scale 5) when extended and in use. Most people are indoors when the wind speed is above 20mph or 32km/hr. and would not be using the retractable awning. To be sure your folding lateral arm awning is not damaged by high wind, Retractableawnings.com highly recommends using either a wind sensor (anemometer) or motion sensor to automatically close the awning. All models except are Beaufort wind load tested.
What is the difference between your wind sensor (anemometer) and motion sensor?
The wind sensor (anemometer) will close the awning when the wind reaches a certain speed. The wind speed can be set to close the awning anywhere between 12mph and 31mph and can always be changed in the future if wind conditions change. The anemometer is a wired device and needs to be plugged in to an outlet.
The motion sensor will also close the awning when the wind reaches a certain speed. The sensitivity is based on the movement of the front bar of the retractable folding lateral arm awning and can be changed in the future if wind conditions change. The motion sensor is not a wired device (i.e. it is wireless) sending a radio signal to the motor and does not need electrical power. Instead, it operates using batteries.
Can I use or leave my folding lateral arm awning extended during the rain or during the snow season?
All lateral arm awning models from Retractableawnings.com can be used for LIGHT rain but not for HEAVY rain. HEAVY rainfall is considered more than .30” (7.6mm) per hour per the American Meteorological Society. Water from LIGHT rain will run off as long as there is enough pitch (angle/slope) placed on the arms/fabric. Should you need a product for HEAVY rain, hail protection, or snow load please consider one of our retractable patio and deck pergola cover systems designed for these types of weather. Click on or copy and paste the link below into your browser address bar to see a complete side-by-side comparison of all 20 retractable patio and deck cover system models on 2 pages. You can make the pdf larger if using Adobe Acrobat by clicking on the + sign or Ctrl +. Here is the link:
Can I install your folding lateral arm awnings on vinyl or aluminum siding, stucco, or on masonry (common materials used for masonry are brick, concrete block, granite, glass block, marble, travertine, cast stone, limestone) or to the side of my RV (recreational vehicle) or mobile home?
All models offered by Retractableawnings.com can be installed in to any of the above. What is extremely important, is to use the correct type of fastener depending on what substrate the awning will be installed in to. Retractableawnings.com provides everything needed for the retractable awning and installation except for the fasteners. The decision on fastener type and length used is to be made locally based on the substrate being installed in to along with building code requirements (if any).
Can I mount your lateral folding arm awnings to my wall OR soffit / eave / overhang OR roof OR side of the rafter OR to a beam?
All models offered by Retractableawnings.com can be attached to a wall, soffit / eave / overhang, roof and side of a rafter or beam. We have non rusting (non-corroding) aluminum brackets for all of the above mounting options.
What is a folding arm awning?
Simply put, a folding arm awning is an improvement upon the ordinary canopy or shade. This is done by placing the retractable canvas fabric into a full cassette container or under an optional hood/cover and replacing the frames with foldable lateral arms. The awning and the frame can then be mounted against a wall, to a soffit/eave/overhang, fascia or roof-mounted, as well as fastened over windows and doorways. This folding canopy can then be opened or retracted either by turning a manual crank handle or by an electric motor.
What are the advantages of using a folding arm awning?
Folding canopies have many advantages over permanent roofing solutions or standard shades, making them great options for homes with patios and business establishments with outdoor facilities like coffee shops.
Are folding arm awnings adaptable to different types of weather?
Foldable awnings are great additions to any home or business establishment because of their adaptability to weather conditions. During summer days, you can fully extend the awning to block harmful UV rays, glare, and heat. When it’s a little chilly you can retract the canopy to let in some sunlight, thus reducing the cost of heating a house, business, institutional, or government building. During windy days, heavy rain, and bad weather, you can retract awnings to save them from wear and tear. You can also use wind and motion sensors to trigger the awning’s tubular motor to retract the folding lateral arm awning automatically. This is especially useful when it’s raining or no one is at home to turn the crank manually. A sun sensor can be used to extend the canopy awning at sunrise and close it at sunset. You can use a rain sensor to close the folding arm awning in cases where not enough pitch can be placed on the arms for light rain runoff. It is also possible to extend the canopy awning when enough pitch is available on the arms for front rainwater runoff to protect furniture and tables from the rain.
Is a folding arm awning aesthetically pleasing?
A bland window, sliding door, or set of french windows or doors can instantly be transformed into a canopied beauty by installing a folding arm window awning. With a variety of fabrics to choose from, you can pick a color that complements your home, giving it an eye-catching accent. For businesses, placing a bright window awning with their logo emblazoned on the fabric will add brand recognition. Owners of properties with open patios and courts can install folding arm outdoor awnings as an alternative to permanent concrete or metal roofing. Aside from being more modern, a folding arm awning can add a stylistic finish to an otherwise bare outdoor area.
Are your lateral arm retractable awnings easy to install?
Since lateral arm retractable awnings are available as a complete set, the entire folding canopy has all the materials needed for a successful installation (fasteners excluded). Depending on the application, these awnings can either be attached to a flat wall, soffit/eave/overhang, fascia, roof, or pillars using specific types of fasteners. Our awnings come with instructions for a do-it-yourself project or you can have a professional handyman, carpenter, contractor, or builder come in for a few hours of work. In both cases, installing a foldable awning is a much easier endeavor than constructing an outdoor roof and in almost all residential installations no permit is required.
Can your retractable awnings be customized?
Customization is another strength of our foldable arm awnings as you can choose the precise width and projection of your awning. Aside from getting a perfect fit, you can also choose the colors of the fabric which can form an outstanding accent for your home or business area. You have the ability to change the angle of the awning’s pitch to suit your taste and for better early morning or late afternoon sun protection. You can make it almost flat with a slight angle to shade the largest area possible or you can angle it sharply to provide the best cover from the sun or eavesdropping neighbors.
What should I consider when purchasing a folding arm awning?
Excited to get your very own foldable arm awning? To help you with your folding arm awnings review, here are the two most important considerations when choosing the best folding arm awning for your requirements.
Folding arm awning prices can depend on factors such as quality of materials, craftsmanship, and design. You can buy a simple and small foldable awning at around $2,000, bigger lateral arm awnings can cost around $6,000, and a very large foldable awning can cost up to $12,000. Motorized versions can increase the awning’s overall cost by about $800 to $1,000. Be careful with cheap folding arm awnings that you buy online just to save on cost. The number of repairs and the possible danger to people due to falling components or the entire awning, fabric that fades, mildews and rots easily, frames that rust or come apart can prove more costly in the long run.
The best folding arm awnings can last for years so it is very important to choose a trusted awning supplier known for providing high-quality products. As an awning supplier and manufacturer, we take pride that we only sell the very best products that passed the strictest European TÜV Product Approval requirements and underwent the European CE certification to conform with health, safety, and environmental protection standards. Our retractable awnings arms also go through 80,000 cycles (highest in the industry) of operation to test the durability of their construction.