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Manual vs Motorized Retractable Awnings

retractable awning on home - Marygrove Awnings

Awnings are a great way to protect your home or business from the elements. But how do you know which type of awning is right for you? Manual and motorized retractable awnings offer different benefits, so it’s important to weigh these before making a decision.

What is a Manual Retractable Awning?

A manual retractable awning is typically extended manually by using a detachable crank, a rope, or chain to extend or retract the awning. Manual awnings are great for those who only want to manually extend and retract the awning when necessary, rather than having it always be extended or retracted automatically by an electric motor.

What are some advantages and disadvantages?

The Benefits of Manual Awnings

Work with Many Surfaces

Manual retractable awnings work well with many types of buildings. They can be installed on a variety of surfaces, including brick and stone. This makes them a great choice for a range of homes and businesses.

More Affordable

Manual retractable awnings are generally more affordable than retractable awnings, which makes them better for budget -conscious homeowners and business owners.

Easy to Install

Manual awnings are easy to install, which means you can have your new awning up in no time at all! They don’t need to be mounted onto the wall and can simply hang over the window or door frame like curtains.

No Mechanics Required

Another upside to manual retractable awnings is that they are easy to operate and provide all the benefits of an awning without any additional electrical installation or mechanical systems required.

The Disadvantages of Manual Awnings

Manual Open and Close

You will need to manually open and close your manual retractable awning, which can be disruptive if you forget or neglect to do so before leaving home for the day. This can allow heat or cold inside depending on the time of year.

May Be Difficult to Open

Manual awnings are more difficult to open and close than retractable awnings. The larger the awning, the more times you will need to crank the lever to open and close the awning.

Less Durable

Manual awnings are typically less durable than retractable ones, as they can’t be retracted when an object hits it or if something gets caught in the mechanism (though there is a chance for this with motorized retractables too).

motorized retracted awning on home - Marygrove Awnings

What is a Motorized Retractable Awning?

A motorized retractable awning is a type of awning that is retractable, meaning it can automatically be rolled up and stored out of sight when not in use. They are especially useful on patios because they allow you to have the sun’s warmth during the day but block its light at night or while you’re away from home for an extended period of time.

The Benefits of Motorized Retractable Awnings

The benefits of motorized retractable awnings include:

Easy to Use

They’re easy to use: you can just set them up using a remote control and retracting the unit is as simple as pressing a button.

No Tangles

Since retractables do not use strings and curtains like manual awnings, they don’t get tangled up when you’re trying to roll them up.

They’re also durable and reliable: motorized retractables are typically made of strong materials like aluminum or steel so you won’t have to worry about them rusting over time.


You can program some awnings to automatically retract after a certain time or when the sun goes down. You can even set them up to retract if it’s windy!

Disadvantages of Motorized Retractable Awnings

The disadvantages of motorized retractable awnings include:

Higher Cost

They’re more expensive than manual awnings. You’re not just paying for the fabric and frame, but you’re paying for the mechanics and the electronics that make them work.

Require Maintenance

Retracting mechanisms can sometimes get stuck, which necessitates periodic maintenance to ensure they function properly. If they’re not working properly, you’ll likely need someone to come out and fix them for you.

You May Not Be There When They Retract

If you’re not careful while having them automatically retracted, they can get caught on objects around your home and become damaged. If you set them up to retract automatically when you’re not around, you may not see any obstacles.

Both manual and retractable awnings are good options, depending on your needs.

Manual retractable awnings are usually less expensive, but they require more physical labor. Retractable awnings can be an excellent option if you live in the country or have limited space and want to store it when not in use–or just need one of them for aesthetic reasons.

When it comes to awnings, there is no one-size fits all. A retractable awning offers the flexibility of an automatic system with the manual operation that some people prefer for their home or business. If you’re looking at both and just can’t decide which would be best for your needs, contact us! Our team will help you find out what type of installation works best for where you live or work so that your decision doesn’t have to be made alone.

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