In an ideal world, the improvements and upgrades that you’d enjoy the most will also be worth the money you put in. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. And as a homeowner, you’ll have to make smart decisions about where to spend your money.
A retractable awning is no different. Before you decide to have one installed, let’s look at the pros and cons. This will help you decide the most important question: is a retractable awning a good home investment?
If you spend any amount of time outdoors, a retractable awning is almost a necessity. But is the extra shade worth the investment? Here are some reasons it might be.
Better Temperature Control
A retractable awning allows you to control the amount of natural light that enters your home. In the hot summer months, expanding it won’t just shade your patio. It will also limit the sunlight hitting your windows. This helps keep your home cooler without the need for constant A/C. in fact, a retractable awning placed correctly can decrease interior temperature by up to 15 degrees.
In the winter, however, you can retract the awning for the opposite effect. You can let more sunlight enter your home for extra warmth without using your heating.
In either scenario, you can save money on heating and A/C and save stress on your unit.
Save Money on Electricity
Besides reducing the use (and cost) of your HVAC unit, a retractable awning can save you money in other ways, too.
A permanent awning will add shade all day. While this might be preferable on a hot day, it also limits the amount of sun that enters your home. You might have to turn on lights and lamps because of the lack of natural light.
With a retractable awning, though, you can adjust as needed throughout the day to let in natural light. Leave the lights off and you’ll save on electricity.
Protect Your Furniture
A retractable awning can actually help protect investments you’ve already made in your home, particularly furniture.
Outdoor furniture is durable and meant to withstand the elements. However, that doesn’t mean it’s immune to the effects of the weather. Sunlight in particular can cause your furniture, cushions, and accessories to fade and look less attractive.
A retractable awning, however, will protect your outdoor furniture from sun and water damage. It’ll look nicer, and you won’t have to replace it as often. And depending on the materials used to build your deck, the retractable awning can protect it, too.
And a retractable awning can also protect your interior decor. Furniture, rugs, curtains, and wall art won’t fade as quickly when the sunlight is blocked, even for part of the day.
Expand Your Living Area
Expanding your home’s “footprint” or usable living area is always a good investment. Without shade, your patio, deck, or other exterior area might be too hot and sunny to enjoy year-round.
But a large awning can decrease the temperature in the area underneath it by up to 20 degrees. You can spend time outdoors comfortably all year round.
Increase Your Home’s Value
One of the main considerations when adding improvements is whether you’ll get a decent Return on Investment (ROI) when you sell.
An uncovered patio might be enjoyable in the evening, but unusable in the harsh afternoon sun. Having outdoor space that’s functional at different times of the day, thanks to a retractable awning, will appeal to potential buyers.
An attractive retractable awning could help your home stand out from similar ones in the area and attract more offers. Make sure your awning matches the colors and style of your home for increased curb appeal.
Of course, not everything is perfect when it comes to retractable awnings. There are a couple of additional things to consider before moving forward.
The average price of having a retractable awning installed runs between $2,000 and $3,500. This is much less than the cost of adding a roof to your patio or deck, which averages between $3,00 and $10,000.
However, not every homeowner has that much cash on hand. If you can’t afford a retractable awning, talk to the company about the possibility of financing.
Possibility of a Breakdown
Like any other motorized equipment, a retractable awning requires maintenance. And it could break down at any time and in any position. A broken motor can leave your awning stuck open, closed, or anywhere in between until it’s fixed.
Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to keep it in the best working condition. And be sure to keep the metal parts clean so they don’t get rusty or stuck.
If you install a retractable awning, you’ll have to stay aware of any upcoming weather events. High winds can rip it off and turn it into a projectile that could cause damage to your home or that of your neighbors. And heavy snowfall can add more weight than your awning can hold, causing damage.
If you aren’t home, you should always retract the awning fully to avoid any possible problems.
Ideally, your retractable awning will look like a seamless part of the exterior of your home. But if you make major changes to the color or the “feel” of your home’s exterior, it might not be as good of a match.
If you decide to change paint colors, keep the awning in mind and find a color that will still look good together.
Should I Invest in a Retractable Awning?
If you enjoy entertaining, dining, or unwinding in your outdoor areas, a retractable awning will make a great upgrade for your home. It offers the benefits of a permanent awning, without its restrictions. And despite the initial cost, it’ll save you money on electricity, especially heating and A/C costs.
Most importantly, installing a retractable awning will increase your usage of outdoor spaces and allow you to make the most of your home.