When you’re shopping around for an awning – you should know that there are two different types: fixed or retractable awnings. Sometimes it’s confusing to decide which type is best for you since they come in a huge variety of styles, shapes and sizes.

If you’re wanting to shade an area which is close to the house, an awning may be the right choice for your home.  A retractable awning provides the flexibility to relax in the shade when extended or soak up the sun when retracted. For a more permanent shade option, a fixed-frame awning will keep your outdoor space covered from any of the weather elements.

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If you’re researching either one of these awnings, then you’ve probably already done a little homework on them. But just in case you haven’t, here’s a quick little cheat sheet to help you out. Feel free to visit our website here or our Pinterest page for more design inspiration and awning photo galleries.



  • Attached to your home or business
  • Uses frames, screws & other materials to securely attach it to the building
  • Can only be permanently removed; not temporarily removed
  • Can be printed with logos, graphics, address, etc


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  • Attached to your home or building
  • Can be retracted when in not in use by a remote control, hand crank, mobile app, motorized device, etc.
  • Often used for homes and backyards and typically don’t include graphics/printing on them


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Both types of awnings use specialty outdoor fabrics, such as Sunbrella,  which is weather-proof, fade-proof, mold & mildew resistant. Both types of awnings provide shade, UV ray protection and weather protection. You can view their website for fabric styles and options or visit our showroom to check out all our fabric samples. An awning can be an easy way to add a pop of color to your space. Or if you are looking for your awning to blend in, match the fabric color with your home or business. Also keep in mind your furniture’s color palette – both inside and out – since the awnings will be visible from both sides. A shade structure made using Sunbrella fabric offers more than just extended space. It also protects from the sun’s harmful rays and lowers your energy bills. Shade is a smart choice.



When choosing between fixed or retractable awnings, keep in mind these other necessary details as well, such as:

  • Size of home or building – which determines the style of awning you can use
  • HMA and/or local building codes – know before you install; otherwise you risk a possible fine afterwards
  • Budget – that narrows down your options
  • Environment – choose a type that suits the climate and weather where you live – consider UV ray protected & fire retardant fabric
  • Measurements – your local awning professional will need to come out to take measurements prior to ordering
  • Location – decide on where your awning is most needed – back yard or windows, front door or windows, side yard, porch, patio, etc
  • Installation – research local installers and awning professionals on websites such as Yelp, HomeAdvisor, Houzz, Google+, etc


Now that you’ve got a quick run down of the two most popular types of awnings, which one would you choose? Contact us here for more information on fixed and retractable awnings. We’d be happy to assist you in the planning and design process. Feel free to call us anytime at (704) 333-1581 with any questions.

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