Confused by the many different awnings you see when searching online? How do you know which one is right for you? How do you know what size is right and which model is best?
You will see a lot of retractable awnings (or folding arm) in our online shop and again, many different models to choose from at very different price ranges. What we do guarantee though is that we are selling the very best retractable awnings, which are manufactured entirely in Europe and for a good reason. 

What Makes a Good Awning?

They have been developed, tested and manufactured in Northern European climates, very similar to our own here and not just awnings from super sunny climates, which are only really suitable for the calmest and sunniest of days. You can relax knowing that any of our awnings are the most suitable in all ways for sun shading, but also capable of dealing with the damp, cold and freezing temperatures we endure in the UK too. The fabrics are of the highest quality and the part of any awning which takes the brunt of the outside action when in use.

The supporting arms are also super relevant for performance and most of our awnings use drop forged knuckle joints, which ensure the very best strength when the arms are in use, holding firm in the constant drumming of the gentlest of breezes. Cheaper awnings will fail here very quickly and the cheap fabrics will also deteriorate very fast in our British climate.

If you are going to fit an awning of a reasonable size or very large then invest in something which will perform and last many years to come with replaceable components when required in the future. All our awnings can have replacement covers, if you ever want to change your colours or you somehow damage the fabric in the future.

Green Retractable Awning

Why Would You Have a Retractable Awning?

Purple Retractable Awning

When we talk about a retractable awning in context, we are talking about a generally quite large fabric cover, which is retracted in and out from a roll, either housed in a covered cassette, semi covered or open. The fabric extends outwards via 2 or more jointed aluminium arms, depending on the size, and these arms are under tension, so when the fabric is driven out, the arms try to pull back in and then hold the fabric taut. The whole system is self supporting, so it is a convenient way of putting a relatively small, long cassette onto a wall or structure which then opens out to provide sun shade and in some cases some rain protection. When not required the whole thing just retracts back in for another day…

The best awnings simply use the best and strongest components, as you might imagine there are some big forces in play when, for example, a 6m wide and 3.5m extended fabric awning is in use, that is about the size of a medium sized sail on a sailing yacht. A lot of power when the wind gets under it!!

A retractable awning has now become one of the most popular forms of sun shade protection and the best manufacturers have made far more options available such as LED lighting, full length front valances, smart control options and infra red heating.

The designs available are numerous from larger and very bold cassette acting as a canopy in their own right to compact cassette to house everything in the smallest package possible.
For so many homes around the UK an awning makes perfect sense in a world affected now by climate change. We hear of customers who can’t even use their gardens in the summer when they are South facing and have minimal breeze for cooling because of built up fences and other properties around them.

Our team of awning experts are on hand to discuss any questions about out products 

Call 01933 449 000 or Email

Our range of Retractable Awning Offer
  • Sun Shade and UV protection - particularly relevant to children playing outside in the summer months but also to those susceptible to sun burn
  • Cooling for the area underneath the awning, but often also for the room behind the awning, also protected from the heat gain of the sunshine.
  • A defined space to create an outdoor area with furniture and other items to provide a preferred place to go to more of the year round
  • The health benefits of more time outdoors with fresh air and natural light. We don't need to tell you the benefits of being outdoors, it has become obvious to all since the pandemic.
  • Energy savings for the rooms being cooled by using an awning. Temperature reductions of up to 15 degrees are possible simply by keeping the sun and solar gain effects from the windows and room protected. Less use of any air conditioning required.
  • Beautiful exterior lighting, even when not in use with some awning models where the lighting is on the outside and built into the cassette housing.
  • Rain protection. A contentious one for sure but properly specified and installed with some caveats, rain protection is perfectly possible with a retractable awning.
  • Completely packed away when not in use. This is what a lot of people love. The fact it all retracts safely into a small cassette when not in use is fantastic for all users.
  • Protect your furniture more from the hottest and most damaging UV rays in the summer
  • Full or partial vision from inside your home. An awnings when fully extended will usually give anyone inside the house complete vision unlike sun blinds which will block your view when is use. Don’t feel enclosed inside your own home, an awning will throw down huge amounts of shade but not block vision generally.
  • Added value to your home if you have spent time and added an awning which looks right and performs well when in use. You will have an outdoor relaxing and entertaining area sorted for quick and simple use when required.
  • Stylish, elegant aesthetics from the many super cool designs available which can enhance a blank brick wall, especially with additional LED lighting included to use into the evenings.

We could go on and on here, but the point really is that a properly specified retractable fabric awning is a great outdoor weather protection product and can add so much to your home, lifestyle outdoors and general health.

Invest in quality and reap the benefits from many years to come.

Weinor Awnings



Yeallow Awnings

Full, Semi or Open Cassette Awnings?

Stripe awning in blue

Any awning will be presented as one of the above options and the benefits and performance of each are maybe not always clear? Most customers will believe they want a full cassette awning and anything else is a compromise, but this isn’t the case in terms of performance.

A full cassette awning can be a great product of course ,with the neatest visual appearance and everything nicely stored away when closed. What isn't obvious with most full cassette awnings is the fact the arms fix back to a single point through the cassette housing and this can be a problem if you have restrictions on your house wall for fixing points. A lot of full cassette awnings are called ‘end fif’ awnings and this means you have 2 brackets and they are pretty much situated at either end of the awning regardless of the width. This can suit many applications just fine but what if there is a poor fixing point on one side? You can’t relocate the fixing brackets, but you can use spreader plates to create additional fixing positions.

With a lot of semi cassette and open cassette awning models you have the option of moving the fixing brackets around to suit the site conditions, This is possible because the awning arms in these types of awnings mainly fit to a torque bar (‘carry bar’) which is the full length of the awning and spread the forces from the arms out across this bar. This enables the key fixing bracket positions to be flexible and in most cases also makes the awning more stable with the arms spreading the load more evenly through this torque bar.

Red Awning Retractable Awning Awning with side blind

A lot of the time for our commercial clients where the aesthetics on the closed awning are not always such a concern and maybe there is an overhang for protection too, they use semi or open cassette awnings to save some costs. However, whilst saving costs, in many cases you have a more stable awning cover anyway. We have several semi cassette awnings where the arm design and mechanics simply won’t fit neatly into a full cassette but the awning is a better prospect overall because of the benefits as above. The Markilux 1600 is a good example of this.
It is a semi cassette awning which is known for its stability but also can go up to the largest of sizes if required with almost limitless option for the fixing bracket points.

So in summary for aesthetics, the full cassette awning will usually score highest on this but for performance this isn’t always the case. For domestic awnings 85% of customers will have a full cassette awning and around 15% may have issue with fixing on site so look at other options.
Commercial customers will be a very different split and far more semi cassette awnings are used with minimal use of an open cassette without any cover at all, simply because the exposed fabric will deteriorate faster over time in out British weather.


Red awning in summer Markilux 1600

Experience comfort outdoors with Awnings Online. Explore our range, find your ideal awning, and start enjoying the perfect blend of style and functionality.

Luxury Awnings?

Erhardt K Awning

You often see this reference used online to ‘luxury’ awnings, but in reality in most cases this is referring to awnings simply made to a very high standard and specification and totally fit for purpose in a climate like ours. ‘Budget’ awnings will honestly do the same thing and come in and out with a manual winding handle or electric tube motor drive, BUT, overall they will simply be a lot lighter because the folding arms are thinner, maybe even hollow, the fabric is thinner and just less material is used to make them. The combined result of course, for a product which has to support itself against gravity and weather, is an awning which won’t stay stable in even light winds and certainly won’t have fabric to last many years looking in top form.
We have photos galore from customers showing us their budget awnings in pieces, often on the floor in bits, looking to replace with something they can rely on longer. 


When Should I Not Have an Awning?

As we can show you in our shop and you will see in many brochures, a ‘self supporting’ retractable fabric awning can go up to around 14m wide and many models will extend to 4m in projection. So, these are large sizes for sure. If you want a retractable fabric solution and your initial requirement is to deal with rainfall, or you want more than 4m projection, then forget a retractable awning and look to the retractable pergola systems. These systems have a supporting framework and can generally go to around a 6m projection but more importantly they have a higher wind rating and the fabric is supported on all 4 sides and can deal with rainfall as part of the design, albeit with a caveat still on the pitch of the canopy cover.

If your site is windy and you want rain protection mainly, then do not look at self supporting retractable awnings any longer…

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