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Pergolas and Retractable Awnings: Which Is Best For You?

Posted on Thursday, February 25th, 2021 at 9:53 am.
pergolas and retractable awnings

Learn how you can decide between pergolas and retractable awnings.

Retractable awnings are an excellent choice for homeowners who want to increase their living space and decrease their monthly energy expenses. These awnings are easy to use and provide reliable sun protection without blocking your view. They can be great additions to backyard patios or decks, in particular. However, homeowners looking to add some style and sun protection to their homes may also be interested in pergolas. Pergolas can be attached to the sides of buildings or homes, just like awnings, to offer protection. However, pergolas can also be freestanding. Both can be excellent additions to any home, but which is right for yours? Read on to find out. 

Materials Used

While both pergolas and retractable awnings can be supported by posts and attached to your home, pergolas are often freestanding and made mostly or entirely from wooden beams or latticework. A pergola may have fabric or cloth draped over the top, but the basic structure is often wood. Awnings are often constructed from metal, and retractable awnings will most likely have sturdy fabric attached as sun protection. 

Sun Protection

A pergola serves many of the same functions as an awning, providing comfort and living space and helping shade areas from excess sun exposure. However, if you are mainly concerned with sun protection, an awning may be a better choice for your home, as the awning fabric can block the sun more effectively. If you love the look of a pergola, though, you may explore your design options that include fabric coverings that provide more thorough protection. 

Design Flexibility

Pergolas can be a beautiful addition to a backyard, deck, or patio. Because of their size and construction, pergolas are best suited for backyard use. Awnings, however, come in various sizes and, because of their structure, can be attached over doors and windows. If you are interested in preventing excess heat from entering your home, window awnings can be especially useful. However, if you are interested in creating a shaded area that isn’t directly attached to your home, pergolas can be quite beneficial. 

Ease of Installation

Pergolas and retractable awnings can both be efficiently installed by the experts at Carroll Architectural Shade. Awnings are especially fitting for homeowners with little space to work with or who want their shade products installed quickly. Pergolas will require a bit of space for the posts and surrounding infrastructure, so they are best for homeowners committed to installing a long-lasting, beautiful backyard pergola. 

If you’re unsure which shade product is right for you, contact Carroll Architectural Shade to discuss which designs may be best suited for your property and comfort. 


Through our combined locations in Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., Carroll Architectural Shade provides innovative craftsmanship, superb service, competitive pricing, and unfailing attention to detail for customers throughout Maryland and Virginia.

Our highly skilled craftsmen design and custom manufacture shade products in house, including commercial awnings, residential awnings, retractable awnings, roll up curtains, aluminum awnings, and flat metal canopies. Founded in 1958 by James Carroll Sr., and still family-owned by his sons today, Carroll Architectural Shade remains committed to delivering top quality craftsmanship and service.

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