Retractable Awning Installation Frequently Asked Questions
After many years of installing awnings, these are some basic questions our past customers asked us.
1. How much wind can my retractable awning take?
We tell people at 35 MPH you should push the button and close the awning. Another good rule of thumb is if it is too windy for you to sit and enjoy the outdoors, it is probably too windy for the awning.
2. I live in a gusty, coastal environment. Would a motorized retractable awning work here?
Absolutely. Many of our clients own waterfront, vacation homes, pent houses, and more. We specialize in retractable awnings for windy environments like upper decks, open spaces and retirement communities that have houses lined in a row that creates a wind tunnel effect. We would recommend a wind sensor to protect your investment.
3. What is a Wind Sensor? Do they work?
A wind sensor is a wireless device that is installed on one of the extending arms of a retractable awning. It senses the up and down motion of the arm and will send a signal to the motor to close the awning if the movement is too great. The sensitivity of the wind sensor can be easily adjusted for a particular location. This prevents the awning from closing with every gust of wind. The wireless wind sensors work great and are easily the best accessory available for motorized retractable awnings. They run on 2 AAA batteries and usually last 5 years before the batteries need to be changed. This accessory is compatible with all motorized awnings or any retractable awning with a Somfy RTS motor.
4. How high will the front of the awning be in relation to the mounting height of the awning?
The pitch of the awning is adjustable. The front bar of the awning can be adjusted up or down to the clients specification regardless of the mounting height of the awning on the wall. We usually aim to set the front bar height at 6'8" to 7' from the deck or patio. This can also be adjusted up or down at anytime in the future by the homeowner.
5. What is the target mounting height along the wall?
Our target mounting height is 9' to 10' high on the wall. The retractable awning minimum height to mount is 7'6". We have installed retractable awnings lower than the minimum in certain circumstances but we prefer to mount much higher for peak performance in wind and rain. The more pitch or angle the awning has, the more stable it will be in the wind and the easier rain water will run off.
6. I don't think I have the unobstructed wall space required for a retractable awning. There is a window or trim or some other architectural feature right where I want to put the awning. Can it still be done?
In most cases, yes. We use spacers behind the awning to clear obstructions and the awning can mount right over trim and windows. Sometimes there is an electrical conduit or leader from a gutter that can also be cleared. To be sure, please invite us out for a free estimate and let one of our sales professionals explain exactly how your specific job will be installed.
7. Will the awning or the mounting brackets damage my siding?
No. We use an aluminum spacer behind the wall mount brackets that prevents the siding from being pushed in, dented or damaged in any way. This same method of installation is used for many different types of siding including aluminum, vinyl, interlocking vinyl tiles, wooden shakes etc... Our installers are experts in retractable awning installation and we promise to leave a clean finish on every installation. Our goal is to make the awning look like it has always been there and is part of the original home design. All brackets are sealed with silicone, not caulk and are guaranteed not to leak for the life of the product.
8. Do you ever mount a wooden board across the wall and then install the awning onto the board?
No. In almost all cases, we install the awning as described and pictured above, right over the siding. We believe this leaves the cleanest look and provides the strongest connection to the house. In rare cases we do install a board across the wall and wrap it in aluminum then install the awning onto the board. This is rare and there is usually some specific need or requirement for this type of installation like a very old house with less wall studs or a customer has requested this particular installation method.
9. How are these awnings hooked up electrically?
Awnings come with an 18' cord with a plug. The awning is then controlled with a wireless remote control. In most cases, we can cleanly run the wire to an outdoor receptacle and plug it in. We run the wire through the trim of the siding or behind the siding to hide it. We understand no one wants to see a wire hanging down the back of their house. If there is no outdoor electrical outlet or there is no way to cleanly run the wire, we bring in our electrician to hardwire the awning. When hardwired, very little wire is exposed and the awning is permanently hooked up to the house. The awning motor draws very little amperage and does not need a dedicated line. The awning can be tied into the existing circuitry in the wall. Upcharge for hardwire is $500-$1,000
Awning Hardwired by Electrician
Awning Plugged-In by AwningUp®
Remote Control Installed on Wall
10. How long can I expect my Retractable Awning to last?
With very little maintenance each year, you can expect your new retractable awning to last up to 15-20 years. The strongest feature of a retractable awning is that it is rolled up when not in use. This greatly extends the life span of a retractable awning over fixed frame awnings and other permanent structures. In coastal environments we recommend the winter cover accessory to keep your awning looking and performing its best for many years. In less severe, suburban environments, retractable awnings require little to no maintenance at all. We still recommend hosing it off once a year and removing the scalloped valance during the off-season.