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Should You Purchase a Retractable Awning or Pergola?

The growing popularity of outdoor living areas in residential and commercial properties worldwide is directly tied to growth in homeowners’ interest in retractable awnings and pergolas. Having these installations can increase one’s living space, protect structures from weather, save money on energy costs, and improve a home’s curb appeal.

The variety of pergolas and awnings available now is so vast that it might be challenging to pick the right model for your home. Before making such a purchase, you must decide what features you require and how you want your yard to appear.

Here are seven things to consider before purchasing a retractable awning or pergola:

1. Your Budget

The costs of constructing a pergola or an awning all depend on the materials used and the size of the structure. Pergolas can cost more than awnings since they are more complex, need more ground space, and are usually attached to your home. Pergolas typically come with a foundation, while awnings do not. Additionally, a pergola can be pricier because of the materials used.

2. Your Location

A retractable awning is often used to create an outdoor space that you can use in the summer. If your garden has a pool, for example, then you can retract a retractable awning over it. On the other hand, Pergolas can easily cover a large area, making it ideal for people who want to make their backyard a comfortable living space.

3. Your Purchase

A pergola is a permanent structure and can be costly to install. A retractable awning is more affordable, often much more. Consider the future and when you’ll want to take it with you. A pergola will remain, while a retractable awning will be portable.

4. Your Space and Style

If you have plenty of space, you should consider building a pergola. If you have limited space, a retractable awning may be better. Pergolas have a classical style that homeowners often prefer.

5. Durability

Pergolas are more durable because they are built to last. However, they are more expensive and require a more significant investment since they are permanent structures. Retractable awnings are more susceptible to the weather, so they require much maintenance.

6. Functionality

Pergolas give you more flexibility in terms of function. Given the size and materials used, a pergola can serve multiple purposes, from creating a dining space to a sun-drenched retreat. Pergolas can also support plants, vines, and climbing plants. Awnings are mainly used to block sun and rain.

7. Maintenance

Pergolas require little maintenance, if any. The structure is made of wood and will not need extreme care. A retractable awning will require cleaning and maintenance for the material used to make it. A pergola will require little maintenance, while a retractable awning may need more.


A pergola and a retractable awning are equally helpful and will add function to your yard. The best pergola or retractable awning to buy will, of course, depend on your specific needs and requirements. Be sure that you fully understand the pros and cons of each, and it will be easier to make the right choice.

Van Nuys Awning Co. is a flourishing producer of residential and commercial awnings, specializing in patio umbrellas and cushions, maritime canvas goods, and other metal products in California. If you want to find the right contractors for your home’s outdoor installations, contact us today!

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