MOTORIZED AWNINGS – 101 Beginners Guide


Choosing the best motorized retractable awning for your patio or deck can be confusing, so let’s make it easy and go through the types that are out there and their various prices. Overall, the cost for a quality motorized awning ranges between $425.00 and $5,000.00. The average cost is $2,500.00.

With such a wide price range, you can guess that there are many different variables that come into play, but with those comes a lot of customer choice. We all love options, right?! We want a personal touch to our patio decor. It’s a place where want to feel happy, cozy, and even express your own style. So, let’s dive in…

First of all, a motorized awning is much more convenient than one with a hand-crank. It’s just easier to use, so if you can afford to pay over $425.00 rather than $200.00, it’s worth it for the ease of use alone.

This patio product comes in many different colors, styles, sizes, and operational systems, so let’s start with the big decisions and then get to the more detail-oriented choices at the end. 

NOTE:  When shopping for your awning, be sure it’s for residential decks and patios. Some are specifically made for RV’s, and those are not the type of awning this article discusses.



The most common sizes of awnings across the board of manufacturers are: 

  • 8′ Wide x 10′ Deep*
  • 10′ Wide x 12′ Deep
  • 16′ Wide x 10′ Deep
  • 18′ Wide x 11′ Deep
  • 20′ Wide x 10′ Deep

*Projection away from home.

There are even larger sizes available, and many that vary slightly from the above.




There will be a substantial difference in cost between the smallest size and the largest size available.


Naturally, if you choose an awning made of cotton vs. acrylic, you should expect to pay much more for the acrylic due to all of its outdoor strength. Here are some of the pros and cons of each of the main fabric choices:

  • Polyester. Least expensive, lightweight, water resistant (in light rain), UV resistant, but won’t last more than 1-2 years and is not fade or mildew resistant.
  • Cotton. Least expensive if don’t count polyester, lightweight, eco-friendly, and breathable, but won’t last more than 3-4 years and is not water, fade, mildew, or UV resistant.
  • Solution-Dyed Acrylic. More expensive than cotton, breathable, mildew/fade/water-resistant, UV resistant, lasts 6-10 years, but 3 to 10 times more expensive than cotton, not waterproof, and shrinks and sags with temperature changes. 
  • Vinyl. More expensive than cotton, Waterproof, mildew, and UV resistant, doesn’t sag in humid weather, lasts up to 5 years and cost is in between the prices for cotton and solution-dyed acrylic, but will fade in sun and not breathable. 

Now, there are treatments that you or the manufacturer can add to a cotton awning to make it waterproof or resistant, UV resistant, and mildew resistant, so keep that in mind, too.   

Given the above material characteristics, you should evaluate your specific needs and situation relative to the awning. 

Consider factors like the number of hours the awning will be in direct sunlight, whether it will be used in a dry or wet climate, the importance of UV protection to those who will use it, how many years do you need/want it to last before you need to get a new one, and what is the aesthetic look you’re going for. 

Weighing these factors should help you narrow down your choice. Also, think about what it will be used for… dining, relaxing, parties, etc. That can help you determine the style for sure.

If it will only be used in one season, then you can go for one that doesn’t cost much and doesn’t need to be super durable. But if you’re likely to retract and open it daily or more than once daily for a couple of seasons or more, then maybe lean toward one that doesn’t shrink and sage with temperature changes… the frequent retracting can wear it down faster. 


Add-ons or no add-ons is the question. Technically, no add-ons are needed for the awning to operate, but some may be desirable or even necessary for your particular needs or situation. For example, customers with disabilities may enjoy the lights option, so they only have to use one remote to control the awning and the ambience–less moving around!

“Bells and Whistles” add-ons

There are some pretty cool add-ons that you may want for your new awning experience. These will all add to the price, of course, but some are definitely worth it. If there’s a certain luxury or option you know you want, then be sure to ask about it early in your shopping journey.

Here are some of the best options out there:

  • Dimming LED Lights
  • Wireless Wind Sensor (with automatic retracting and extending)
  • Somfy myLink
  • Patio Lights
  • Front and Side Solar Screens
  • Cleaning Kit
  • Heaters
  • Removable front bar (for additional support when it’s windy outside) 
  • Module to control the awning via a free smartphone or tablet iPhone or Android app
  • Motion sensor
  • Sun and rain sensors package 
  • Timers
  • Keypad with code pad
  • Keybox with key

Names of Manufacturers (not an all-inclusive list but will get you started):

  • SunSetter
  • Aleco
  • Great Lakes Awnings
  • Sunesta
  • Retractable Awnings
  • Advaning
  • SunPro
  • Skyview
  • Awntech

TIPLook for companies who offer Sunbrella, a name-brand awning fabric recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation and it’s earned the Greenguard seal for low chemical emissions. Plus, it comes in many different colors and patterns. It’s closest to the dyed acrylic type of material.


This table does not include any add-on accessories. 

Size  8′ wide x 10’2″ projection from home12′ wide x 10’2′ projection from home  12′ wide x 10′ projection from home  12′ wide x 10’2″ projection from home12′ wide x 10′ projection from home    
Blocks UV raysYES; 99% of UVA and UVB raysYES; 99% of UVA and UVB rays  YES; UV resistantYESYES; 99% of UVA and UVB rays  
ColorCream, brown, gray, black, blue, and multi-color stripeBeige, gray, denim, stone, striped multi-colorBlue, brown, burgundy, green, black and striped (with white)Beige, gray, white, orange, striped multi-colorBlack, green, blue, gray, tan, burgandy, yellow, striped 
Material  Laminated fabric (or woven acrylic for $200 more)SunbrellaPolyesterDyed Acrylic (Sunbrella availabe for an upcharge)Dyed Acrylic
WarrantyYES; 5-yearYES; 10-yearYES; 1-yearYES; Fabric 10-year, Frame 25-year, and Thread lifetime, Motor 5-yearYES; 5-year
Wireless Motor  YES; lateral arm style with remote controlYES; lateral arm w/ horizontal ones below fabricYES; lateral arm style with remote control  YES; folding arm style with remote controlYES; lateral arm style with remote control  
  PRICE$1,831.00 (installation not included)$3,894.00 (installation not included)$429.00 (installation not included)  $3,073.00 (installation not included)$1,399.90 (installation not included)


In addition to the cost of the awning itself, expect to pay an installation fee of at least $200. While the most basic awnings are not very difficult to install and can be installed by most able-bodied people, you’ll probably want it professionally installed. 

With purchasing the professional installation, you get peace of mind because you know it’s being done right and it’s securing any warranty that comes with the awning or one that you purchased separately. The larger the awning and the more complicated the operation system the more the installation will cost… up to $450 at times.

Some companies offer free installation, so definitely inquire about that when you’re shopping. But it’s also possible that the installation cost is just rolled into the price of the awning, so prepare to do some simple math when researching.

Some manufacturer’s like Retractable Awnings include step-by-step instructions, so almost anyone can install their product; they also include a DVD if you’d rather see how to do it than read about it. 

In all instances, the installation materials are included with the awning, such as frames, brackets, arms, etc. 

Least expensive awning companies

If saving money or simple lack of money is your focus for this project, then Aleko is your best bet. SunSetter also offers some high-quality basic awnings for low prices.


Most expensive awning companies

If sky’s the limit, then seek out awnings from Skyveiw or Retractable. As you should expect, these manufacturers use only high quality materials and sturdy parts for excellent motorization. On top of that, they offer many more “bells and whistles” than the more budget-conscious companies. 

Food for thought:  It’s not uncommon for people who choose the inexpensive awnings that can be bought on Amazon to have problems with the product such as poor craftsmanship which leads to repair costs and possible injury to guests and pets if a piece falls down from the awning or one of the arms breaks, causing the whole thing to collapse.

Alright, that’s it for this article guys, if you found it useful then a share on social media or your website would be cool!

All the best


ps here’s a few articles related to this one you might find interesting:

Do White Awnings Get Dirty – Here Are The Facts

How Much are Marygrove Awnings? Popular Models Covered

5 Best Awnings Produced In America

Steve Foster

Suburbanite, tech geek, handy man, automation enthusiast who started blogging about the stuff I do around my home and found he had a knack for it.

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