Suspended or Mounted Structure? Choosing the Right Retractable Awning

Tags: suspended awning | mounted awning | patio | terrace August 12, 2019
Suspended or Mounted Structure? Choosing the Right Retractable Awning

Thinking about adding a shading structure to your home or business? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Fortunately, there are many shading options available on the market, but knowing which one is best for your home or business can be a daunting process, especially if it’s your first time investing in an outdoor awning.

This article will focus on two awning options: suspended and mounted awnings. Read on to find out which option is best for you and what factors to consider before making a move.

Suspended vs. mounted awning: what’s the difference?

Suspended or Mounted Structure? Choosing the Right Retractable Awning

Although they have similar uses, it’s important to understand the main difference between the two:

Suspended awnings are designed for style and functionality, and provide shade and shelter without the need for columns or structural foundations. They are attached to the exterior portion (wall, ceiling or roof) of a house or building, and can be used over a window, door, or entranceway of a home, office, business or industrial establishment. Fixed for year-round usage, they can simply be retracted during winter.

A mounted awning, on the other hand, is a freestanding structure with supporting beams or columns, similar to a canopy or tent. It usually covers a wider area than its suspendable counterpart, allowing you to control the amount of shade you desire. There are different types of freestanding awnings such as fixed retractable awnings (ie: Attico model), motorized pergolas, terrace awnings (ie: Capriccio model), as well as pergolinas for small terraces.

Before choosing which one to use for your home or business, it’s important to consider these five factors:

1. Coverage and size of terrace
2. Mounting and installation constraints
3. Matching of awning look & home exterior design
4. UV rays and weather protection
5. Total cost

1- Zone coverage and patio size

Wall awnings usually extend up to 19 feet in length, which means they will partially cover small- to medium-sized decks or immediate surrounding areas. Standing awnings, on the other hand, cover a wider surface area and can be anchored anywhere around a property or terrace, giving you the freedom to shade any section of your terrace. They can reach up to 25 feet long (depending on the awning), making them ideal for hosting large parties and get-togethers.

Both options, whether suspended or mounted, can be customized to fit your desired specs and can be manually retractable or motorized.

2- Mounting and installation

For a smaller patio or deck, take into account the available space you have and the area you want covered. Is it too far off the building or property? Do you have enough leeway and space to anchor a wall awning to your existing framework?

If you don’t want to cluster your outdoor space or obstruct the view, a retractable wall pergola or a suspended awning are great options. They can be mounted on the wall, ceiling, and even the roof with sturdy fixation poles. Usually, there is a minimum mounting height required for installation – ranging from 6 to 10 inches. Keep in mind that larger awnings will require even stronger mounts and frameworks to support the fabric weight and structure, and resist harsh north-american climate.

Larger backyards and decks, on the other hand, will enable you to combine a few different awning options throughout your patio, such as fixed retractable awnings or terrace awning to cover a dining or pool area.

Suspended or Mounted Structure? Choosing the Right Retractable Awning

3- Look and design

Depending on what architectural look you are going for, the advantage of suspendable awnings is that they don’t impede on the view or space.

Freestanding awnings’ supporting beams, conversely, may look intrusive and even obstructive depending on the size of your terrace and emplacement of your awning. And because they are anchored to the ground, they can be difficult to remove once in place. However, with a comfortable enough dining or relaxing area, columns or beams shouldn’t be a problem.

So before installing your awning, ensure the one you choose is placed in the perfect location and blends seamlessly with the existing design and theme of your home.

4- Weather protection

Both suspended and mounted awnings have slanted slopes which provide protection from the sun’s UV rays, pouring rain, and other weather conditions. And both options come with weather-resistant acrylic or vinyl fabrics that resist tearing, fading and discoloration.

Suspended retractable awnings prevent harsh light and shadows from entering a home, keeping temperatures low and protecting furniture from sun damage. However, these awnings are less sturdy, and are meant to be retracted during extreme weather conditions such as high winds, rain or icy temperatures. Strong winds could potentially damage components of the awning or the wall mountings.

Fixed retractable awnings can usually hold themselves well when strong winds hit and during the wintertime. The aluminum posts can resist strong wind gusts, snow and rain, making them a great option for year-round use.

5- Cost

While retractable awnings are generally more costly than their suspendable counterparts, the total amount you invest is going to be directly related to the style and size of the awning, and the types of fabrics you choose.

Generally, the wider and longer they extend out, the more costly they will be. You should also factor in an awning’s added features/accessories. Does your awning operate manually or is it motorized? Do you want to add an optional protective hood to protect it from weather inclements? Do you want to add lighting? Etc.

Suspended or Mounted Structure? Choosing the Right Retractable Awning

2 things to keep in mind

If you’re opting for a suspendable awning, ensure:

Your walls are an appropriate height and sturdy enough to support its weight. (Remember that once it’s extended, the awning can exert some additional pressure and weight on the wall)

If you’ve chosen to have a mounted awning, ensure:

The emplacement of your awning does not obstruct the view or impede on your outdoor living space, and that beams are fixed in the corners of your patio or terrace.


Installing a retractable fixed or suspendable awning over your deck or patio will provide valuable shade and protect you and your property from the sun’s harmful UV rays and decrease the temperature on your deck, and the inside of your home.

No matter which awning you opt for, rest assured that they are designed to combine the highest level of design, versatility and performance. They require low maintenance, are customizable to meet your specific requirements, and come equipped with a five year warranty so you can enjoy them for many years to come.

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