Retractable Pergola vs. Folding Arm Awning? Which One’s Right for You?

While both retractable pergolas and fold arm awnings deliver outstanding protection from the elements (sun, rain and wind) and feature motors to enhance ease-of-operation, there aren’t all that many other similarities between the two products. However, if both options are suitable for your home and both meet your budget, which one’s the right choice for you?

At Aspect Shade, that’s a question we’re often asked. Retractable pergolas like our opening roof systems offer many benefits, as do quality retractable awnings, but there’s more to choosing the right solution for your Sydney home than the benefits alone.

Here we look at some of the many benefits associated with both products, and the factors that may make either the better option for your home and your lifestyle requirements.

Light And Shade Control

Both retractable pergolas and folding arm awnings provide excellent light and shade control. So, which is the better option? When deciding between the two shading solutions, consider factors like:

● Nearby shading structures
● The direction your home faces
● The style and colour schemes of your home
● The position of doorways leading onto alfresco spaces.

Also consider your budget, as retractable pergolas are generally the more expensive of the two. A benefit of both is that retractable pergola systems and folding arm awnings are easily retrofitted to most residential buildings, including freestanding dwellings, apartments and townhouses. What’s more, if you’re currently in the planning or building stages of your new home, it’s possible to integrate either shade solution into the design. That’s a great benefit.

Check with your local council before getting the project underway, but outdoor fire pits are immensely popular in Sydney and as they add value to homes, you can expect to recoup most of your investment when you sell. Adding an outdoor fire pit with seating area as part of a larger landscaping project is a popular exterior upgrade that delivers many benefits.

Automation and weather sensors

Looking for a shade solution that’s easily automated and can be fitted with weather sensors to make life at home simpler and easier? Both automated pergolas and folding arm awnings are suitable, and both offer a wide range of customisation features and options to consider.

Wind Resistance

Wind resistance is an aspect that you just can’t afford to overlook when exploring your pergola and awning options. Retractable pergolas tend to offer the best wind resistance of the two and are, therefore, the better option for exposed areas like balconies that may be hit harder than other areas by strong winds. Modern folding arm awnings do offer enhanced wind resistance in comparison to older models, and when fitted with wind and motion sensors, fold away when strong winds are detected to protect the awning from damage.

Folding Arm Awnings

Choose folding arm awnings when you need a lightweight solution that’s:

● Cost-effective
● Provides reliable external shade
● Versatile and easy to keep clean.

Retractable Pergolas

Choose a retractable pergola when you need a permanent solution that:

● Delivers significant wind resistance
● Provides great light and shade control
● Provides complete protection from the elements.

As Sydney’s shade solutions specialists, the Aspect Shade team can help you understand whether a retractable pergola or folding arm awning is the best choice for your home. When you’re ready to arrange a time for us to discuss your needs and give you a competitive quote, contact us online, send an email to or call 02 9199 8970.

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