Retractable Awnings are a great way to turn a sun-scorched deck or patio into comfortable, functional real estate. We purchased a 10 x 12 foot retractable awning for our backyard patio with southern exposure and it has really changed how we live. It is a concrete paver patio with no shade during the hottest part of the day. Now we can use the patio all day long, which is great for marathon barbecue sessions or just chilling with a cold drink.
The air temperature can be up to 20 degrees cooler under the awning compared to the ambient air temperature. We chose a light colored fabric for a couple of reasons.
- It was in stock so we didn’t have to special order our retractable awning.
- We wanted to reflect as much heat and light away from the patio as possible rather than having the fabric absorb the heat from the sun.
- We wanted to ensure it would feel light and airy on the patio when the retractable awning was open.
Our house stays a lot cooler when we have the awning deployed. Sometimes we only open it enough to keep the sun from shining in the back door. This alone keeps the house pretty cool. As long as the sun doesn’t shine into the house, the heat doesn’t transfer to the inside air. You can save up to 17% on your cooling costs by using a retractable awning.
We can sit on the patio on hot summer days and also when there is a light rain. We just have to watch the fabric to make sure water isn’t pooling on it too much. This 10 x 12 awning adds 120 square feet of comfortable living space to our 1100 square foot home.
Retractable awnings are a good way to add value to your home. While they are growing in popularity, they are still quite rare and could set you apart from the competition at resale time.
What to look for when choosing a retractable awning:
You’ll need to decide whether you want a manual or a motorized retractable awning. The manual version typically is a few hundred dollars cheaper than the motorized. The motorized does offer the convenience factor. Some even have sensors that detect rain or high wind and will automatically retract. We chose a manually operated awning. It came with a removable wand to crank it open. It takes about a minute to crank it open all the way, but it doesn’t take much effort at all.
Choose a model with a powder-coated finish. This will ensure it looks good and lasts for a long time.
Get UV resistant fabric. It will resist fading and also reflect more light and heat away from your living area.
Pitch control is a good thing. Pitch control adjustments allow you to raise and lower the front edge of the awning to be able to block out the sun if it is low in the sky. It is sort of like using your visor in your car.
Choose a high quality retractable awning and you’ll enhance your Backyard Life experience!