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  • Folding Arm Awnings  Folding Canopies

    Folding Arm Awnings & Folding Canopies

    Folding arm canopies and awnings for homes can reduce your cooling costs while protecting your outdoor furniture from harmful UV rays.

  • Retractable Pergola Covers  Awnings

    Retractable Pergola Covers & Awnings

    Retractable pergola covers are best for residents in areas prone to heavy rain and high wind while also adding beauty and interest to your outdoor space.

  • Retractable Drop Arm Awnings

    Retractable Drop Arm Awnings

    Retractable home drop arm awnings provide shelter for windows and doors. They are available in a multitude of color options to complement your personal style.

  • Retractable Patio Screens and Vertical Drop Awnings

    Retractable Patio Screens and Vertical Drop Awnings

    Retractable screens fit nicely in the spaces of gazebos and pergolas to provide your backyard with some extra privacy. Vertical screens can also be installed over windows.

  • Retractable Window Awnings

    Retractable Window Awnings

    Retractable canopies add a little interest to the exterior of your home. They’re a great option if you want to add some UV protection to windows and doors.

  • Retractable Free Standing Awnings and Canopies

    Retractable Free Standing Awnings and Canopies

    Provide shelter to your patio or deck with retractable free standing awnings and canopies. They are easy to install and the louver roof option can handle snow load.

  • Retractable Lateral Arm Awnings

    Retractable Lateral Arm Awnings

    Retractable lateral arm awnings are commonly used for commercial decks and patios to provide protection from UV rays and light rain. They are installed to the wall, fascia, beam, roof, or an eave/soffit/overhang.

  • Retractable Pergola Roof Covers

    Retractable Pergola Roof Covers 

    Retractable pergola roof covers can be free-standing or installed on a building, patio or deck. These durable structures can handle heavy rain, high wind and are chosen for both practical and decorative purposes.

  • Retractable Side Arm | Drop Arm Awnings

    Retractable Side Arm | Drop Arm Awnings

    Retractable side arm / drop arm commercial awnings protect windows and doors from the sun, rain, and other weather conditions. They are easily customizable with a large variety of fabric options.

  • Power Retractable Screens

    Power Retractable Screens

    Retractable vertical drop screens are flexible window awnings that can be retracted and rolled up into a cassette box. For privacy, you can install them inside or outside a rectangular or square opening, such as on the sides of pergolas and gazebos.

  • Retractable Canopies for Commercial Buildings

    Retractable Canopies for Commercial Buildings

    Retractable canopies protect areas from sun, UV rays, light rain, and light wind. They are available in a variety of colors for coordinating with your business’s color scheme or logo.

Need help with installing your retractable awning, pergola, canopy, shade sail or screen? We've got you covered!

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Folding Arm Awnings & Folding Canopies

Most houses and storefronts, from the early adobe houses to modern designer buildings, make use of folding canopies and folding arm awnings to improve cooling, add aesthetics, and complete a house or building’s overall personality. An awning creates more options for shading or outdoor seating.

Scroll down for our fold out awning FAQs. 

Over 37 Years of Experience

At RetractableAwnings.com, we have a team of experts ready to help you choose the perfect folding arm awning, pergola, canopy or screen for your needs. Whether you want to know the difference between awnings and canopies or you’re curious about our fabric options, we’re happy to help.

Send us a message via our Contact Us page. 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.

Need to Know More?


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.

What is a folding arm awning?

A folding arm awning is an improvement from an ordinary canopy or shade due to its versatility. The solution dyed acrylic fabric is attached to a roller tube and front bar and either in a full cassette container or under an optional hood/cover. The fabric is supported on both sides by foldable lateral arms (containing German stainless steel chains and Italian heavy duty springs) which can be adjusted manually or automated with a motor and sensor. The awning frame can then be mounted to a wall, a soffit / eave / overhang, fascia, beam, rafter or mounted to a roof, as well as fastened over windows and doorways.

What should I consider when purchasing a folding arm awning?

Quality is the single most important consideration when choosing the best folding arm retractable awning.


Folding arm awning prices can depend on factors such as quality of materials, craftsmanship, engineering certifications, 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 very careful with cheap, extremely low-quality folding arm awnings from China that you buy online just to save on cost. The number of repairs and the possible danger to people due to no engineering specifications or wind loads, falling components or the entire awning falling, fabric that fades, mildews, and rots easily and quickly, and 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 awning arms also go through 80,000 cycles (the highest in the industry) of operation to test the durability of their construction and operation.

Are all your folding lateral arm awnings motorized?

We offer 3 different types of operation: manual operation with a detachable crank, motorized, and motorized with backup manual override.

What is a 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 using our detachable crank prior to a storm or high winds.

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.

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 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 and on the Palermo Plus the pitch/angle is adjusted using a detachable crank when standing below the arms.
  • The Palermo Plus model 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. The Palermo Plus cannot.
  • The Palermo has a maximum projection of 11’10” and the Palermo Plus has a maximum projection of 13’2”.

What is the difference between the Palermo/Palermo Plus, Venezia, and Roma models?

The Palermo & Palermo Plus model frames tuck neatly under the optional 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. The Venezia has a maximum projection of 13’2”.


The Roma is available with either a 14’3” or 16’0” projection (the largest folding lateral arm awning in the world) and is available with an optional heavy-duty aluminum hood.


Check out the comparison here for more details.

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, beam, rafter, 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. In almost all residential installations no permit is required.

What are some of the advantages of using a folding arm awning?

From homes to storefronts, this awning style adds curb appeal while also offering shade you can use for additional seating. They can even help reduce your cooling costs. Our folding arm awnings have over 400 different fabric options so you don’t have to worry about finding something that will fit your color scheme. Check out our guide for more reasons to buy a retractable lateral arm awning.

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. During windy days, heavy rain, and bad weather, you can retract your awning to save it from wear and tear and damage.


You can also use wind and motion sensors to retract the folding lateral arm awning automatically. This is especially useful when it’s windy or no one is at home to turn the crank manually or operate the motor. 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 using the rain sensor when enough pitch is available on the arms for front rainwater runoff to protect furniture and tables from light rain.

Can I leave my folding lateral arm awning open in the wind and if so, how much wind?

Our Palermo and Palermo Plus models can handle about 20-24 mph or 29-38 km/hr (Beaufort scale 5) when extended and in use. The Roma and Venezia both have a Beaufort rating of 4.


Most people are indoors when the wind speed is above 20 mph or 32 km/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 at RetractableAwnings.com 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. You can set the sensor to close the awning anywhere at wind speeds between 12 mph and 31 mph. This setting can always be changed in the future. The anemometer is a wired device and needs to be plugged into 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. The sensitivity setting can be changed at any time. The motion sensor is wireless and operates using batteries normally easily changed about once per year depending on usage.
  • The main benefit of the motion sensor over the wind sensor is that since it is placed on the front bar, it detects wind (in the form of movement) from either side, or the front, and under the retractable awning. Whereas the wind sensor (anemometer) only detects wind at whichever side of the awning the anemometer is installed.

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 or any other vendor can be used for light rain but not for heavy rain assuming water repellent fabric is being used. 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, high wind, hail protection, or snow load please consider one of our retractable patio and deck pergola cover systems designed for these types of weather.


View a complete side-by-side comparison of all retractable patio and deck cover system models.

Can I install your folding lateral arm awnings on vinyl or aluminum siding, stucco, or on masonry or to the side of my RV or mobile home?

All models offered by Retractableawnings.com can easily be installed onto any of the above. It is extremely important to use the correct type and size of fastener depending on what substrate the awning will be installed to. Retractableawnings.com provides everything needed for the retractable awning and installation except for the fasteners. The decision on fastener type and size used is to be made locally based on the substrate the awning is being installed onto 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, fascia, or beam. We have non-rusting (non-corroding) aluminum brackets for all of the above mounting options.

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.

Use our product discovery questions to discover what option is right for you.


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