Buying guide for Retractable Patio Awnings

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When buying a patio awning you will see a myriad of different specifications and models available on EBAY. There are basically 3 types of awnings on the market :

(1)  Standard Awnings

These consist of usually an aluminium roller with brackets fitted to both ends and a gearbox with a winding handle hook. This assembly is attached to a square steel bar which then attaches to the wall brackets. A decent Standard awning must have at least 2 wall brackets for up to 3meters in width and 3 wall brackets for up to 4 meters in width. Standard Awnings are the cheapest as they are relatively simple in construction. The downsides are that they do not have any weather cover incorporated into the awning, so when the awning is wound in awning fabric exposed to the elements will not have any protection.

To get around this you can buy "weather covers" that slip over your wound in awning ( a bit like a patio furniture cover ). These are a valuable addition to your awning. They also keep your awning in clean condition throughout the winter so are a worthwhile investment.

(2) Half Cassette Awnings

These consist of a 3/4 round aluminium tube usually of substatial construction inside of which the aluminum roller tube and canvas are located. They are typically available with and without motor and/or remote control functions. These are far more advanced than Standard Awnings and will last many more years. The cover is well protected from the elements by the Half Cassette body and will not suffer from fading or mould like a Standard Awning. These type of awnings are much heavier than Standard Awnings due to huge amount of extra aluminium used in their construction and they typically cost most than twice that of a Standard Awning. Additionally the arms of a Half Cassette awning are more robust and made from much more substantial sized aluminium.

If you are concerned about the strength of your supporting wall, then you may want to avoid a Half Cassette awning due to their increased weight, but you can usually get around these kind of problems ( especially with insulation block type walls ) by securing the wall bolts into the wall with the addition of a 2 part epoxy glue which should be left to harden for at least 6 hours before bolting up your wall brackets and hanging your awning.

(3) Full Cassette Awnings

These awnings totally encase the cover and   

Cheap Awnings

You will notice a wide range of prices on EBAY for Standard Awnings. Ultimately you pay for what you get. The very cheap awnings on ebay are manufactured to hit those price points. Typical short cuts include : not treating the cover with a waterproof protection or not giving the cover any anti UV protection. This results in fading of the fabric after just one year and also tends to encourage mould to grow into the fabric and around the sewn edges of the fabric.  All metal parts ( except the winding handle hook ) are powder coated. This treatment protects the metal from corroding but to save money in production the coating is very thin. 

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