10 Things to Consider Before Buying a Retractable Awning or Retractable Pergola

10 Things to Consider Before Buying a Retractable Awning or Retractable Pergola


If you are thinking of buying a retractable awning or pergola, there are a few things that you should consider first. Let’s find out what they are!

There are a lot of factors when it comes to considering up retractable cover, including things like the size, the costs, and the seasons you’ll use it in. You should also think about the aesthetics, the material you want to use, and your privacy requirements. This will help to ensure you get the right structure for you.

We’re going to explore all these factors and a few more in this article so that you can choose the perfect awning or pergola for your setup.

1: Privacy Functionality

If you want the ultimate privacy, a pergola is certainly the way to go, as it offers a lot more screening than a simple awning. An awning provides protection from the sun, but gives you little protection from prying eyes.

2: The Cost

Pergolas are typically more expensive than regular awnings because the design is more complicated. However, if you can afford one, you may feel that their other advantages outweigh the price factor.

3: The Size

If your backyard is tiny, you may find that an awning is too big and covers more of it than you want. It takes up quite a bit of space and could block out more sun than you like.

However, on the flip side, this means that it offers more protection and can usually seat a greater number of individuals. If you put a pergola up in your garden, it tends to take up less room, but it also doesn’t provide you with as much space. Unless you dedicate a large amount of room to your pergola, you will probably only be able to seat a few individuals in it.

4: Material

You usually have a lot of choice when it comes to selecting a material for either a pergola or an awning. However, bear in mind that pergolas tend to last for longer than awnings, and therefore it’s important to have a hard-wearing material that will stand the test of time.

Some pergolas make use of steel, plastic, or wood for the frame, and they are usually wrapped in a strong, durable fabric. Awnings may use strong materials for the frame, but the fabric is often less sturdy and may not last as long.

5: Sun Protection

A pergola will give you good protection from the sun, but an awning tends to offer more on this count. It can be easily retracted when you want it out of the way, but it covers a larger area than most pergolas do.

If you host events for friends, such as backyard barbecues, this extra space can be invaluable. Nobody wants to get sunburned!

6: Complex Structure

The installation of a pergola tends to be more complex, which is partly why it costs more to buy one. It needs poles or columns, and this requires more materials and more setup work. However, this disadvantage is somewhat offset by the fact that a pergola is more durable and should last longer than an awning.

7: The Aesthetics

Both pergolas and awnings look beautiful if you choose your design well, and neither has an advantage over the other on this count. Decide whether you want a snug getaway in your backyard, or just a cover that you can pull out to protect yourself from the elements.

8: The Mobility Factor

When weighing up your choices, think about how easy your purchase will be to relocate if you decide you want to put it somewhere else. Are you going to be able to fold it away, or will you have to decide on one position and leave it there?

Both pergolas and retractable awnings have options that can be folded away and relocated but some pergolas are meant to be fixed in position.

9: The Different Seasons

Awnings only offer shade and shelter from precipitation, whereas a pergola fully encompasses the inhabitants and can offer protection from temperature (to an extent) and cold winds. You might choose a pergola if you intend to spend winter days outdoors.

10: Installation Position

Pergolas can be positioned anywhere in your garden, while awnings tend to be adjacent to the house. Pergolas are therefore more flexible, and often a better option.


Both pergolas and awnings can transform your backyard and make the space far more usable, but they do offer different pros and cons. Weigh these up carefully before choosing your product.